Interactive HTML Tutorial


Lesson 2 - Rudimentary Tags


This lesson introduces a number of basic tags that allow an HTML page to be formatted - much in the same way that word processors format documents. The following topics are covered:

Character Formatting:

The Bold <B></B> element specifies that the enclosed text should be displayed in boldface.

The Underlined <U></U> element specifies that the enclosed text should be displayed underlined.

The Italic <I></I> element specifies that the enclosed text should be italicized.

Below are these HTML tags beside samples of their respective browser displays:

HTML Code   Browser Display
This text is <B>bold!</B>   This text is bold!
This text is <I>italicized.</I>   This text is italicized.
This text is <U>underlined</U>.   This text is underlined.

Paragraphs

In HTML you indicate paragraphs with the <P> and </P> elements. Without these elements the document becomes one long paragraph. Likewise, browsers ignore any indentations or blank lines in the HTML code.

Thus the examples below, although coded differently, are all displayed the same way:

HTML Code   Browser Display
<P> This is a very short paragraph to illustrate my point.</P> <P>And this is the second paragraph. </P>   This is a very short paragraph to illustrate my point.

And this is the second paragraph.

<P> Although this
is written differently
with lots of carriage returns
it still only displays
the paragraphs when
you put in the Paragraph
Tag.</P> <P> Like so.</P>
  Although this is written differently with lots of carriage returns it still only displays the paragraphs when you put in the Paragraph Tag.

Like so.

NOTE: The </P> closing tag may be omitted. This is because browsers understand that when they encounter a <P> tag, it means that the previous paragraph has ended.

To preserve readability when composing HTML files, separate paragraphs with blank lines. As mentioned above, browsers will ignore blank spaces inserted into source code.


Paragraph Alignment

Paragraph alignment can be manipulated by including either the RIGHT, LEFT, or CENTER (note the Americanized spelling) attributes within the <P> tag as shown below:

HTML Code   Browser Display
<P ALIGN=left> This paragraph is left aligned. </P>  

This paragraph is left aligned.

<P ALIGN=CENTER> This is a centered paragraph. </P>  

This is a centered paragraph.

<P ALIGN=RIGHT> This paragraph is right aligned. </P>  

This paragraph is right aligned.



Forced Line Breaks

The line break tag <BR> can be used to control how browsers render text. When an HTML document is viewed the text normally does a word-wrap at the end of a line. If a text break is desired before the end of a line, use the <BR> tag to force a line break without any extra space between lines. This element has no closing tag.

HTML Code   Browser Display
CN Tower<BR>
301 Front Street West<BR>
Penthouse<BR>
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2T6<BR>
Canada<BR>
  CN Tower
301 Front Street West
Penthouse
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2T6
Canada

Using the <P> tag instead of the <BR> tag for short lines of text, such as the above example, would have resulted in unwanted additional white space.


Horizontal Rules

The horizontal rule <HR> tag produces a horizontal line the width of the browser window. Horizontal rules are useful for separating major sections of a document. The length of a rule can be varied by using the "WIDTH=" and "SIZE=" attributes.

HTML Code   Browser Display
Horizontal Rules rule!<HR SIZE=3 WIDTH=80%>   Horizontal Rules rule!

There are two other attributes that can be used with the <HR> tag. They are:

ALIGN= RIGHT, LEFT, or CENTER
NOSHADE Causes the rule to appear solid black.


Try it out!

In the box below, type the following HTML code, then click the "View" button. The HTML document you have written will be displayed in your browser. You may wish to change some of the tags and/or attributes to experiment with some of the different items discussed in this lesson.

Try typing this:

<HTML>

<HEAD>
<TITLE>HTML</TITLE>
</HEAD>

<BODY BGCOLOR="#800080" TEXT="#FFFFFF">

Learning HTML is <B>so</B> much fun!

<P ALIGN=center>
And it is really <I>easy</I> once you get the hang of it.
</P>
<HR SIZE=3>
</BODY>

</HTML>



(To return to this page after viewing click "Back" on your browser.)


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