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In most but not all cases, if you activate an HTML tag by enclosing it in these: < >s, you must also deactivate it at some point, as in < I > and < /I > for italics shown above. An exception to this rule is < P >, or paragraph separator tags, and < BR > or line breaks.
Specifying Multiple Text Characteristics Within a Single HTML Tag
HTML tags work in different ways, depending on aspect of design they're controlling. As I mentioned above, you can control all elements of web design via HTML code—page separation, text formatting, image placement, design layout, and hyperlink insertion. For this reason, one HTML tag can include multiple variables. This sounds a lot trickier than it is.
For example, a tag with multiple variables enclosed all in one of these: < >, can be used to format text. An equals (=) sign is used to specify multiple characteristics within a single HTML tag. To tag a section of text for font specs, begin with:
< FONT FACE=
Using no spaces after equals (=) sign, type your font name in quotes, as so: "arial". You can also specify size and color here. In same tag that says to close. Your font tag will now look like this:
< FONT FACE="arial" SIZE="2" > (but with no end spaces).
If you wanted to, you could also include a color for text within that tag. The color is entered in same way as font face and size, and is named within its own set of quotation marks either in a basic name such as "black" or "red", or a 6-digit numerical code that begins with a number sign.
So, an HTML tag that designates a paragraph typed in Arial font at 2nd smallest size of type, in color black, would look like this:
< FONT FACE="arial SIZE="2" COLOR="black" >
All of type that came after this HTML tag would take on characteristics above. Once you wanted to "shut off" font characteristics of that blurb of text, you would type tag < /FONT >.
Using HTML Tags to Add Images to Your Web Page
Now suppose you wanted to add an image to your webpage. And let's assume image was already located in folder of your website where images are stored. In order to make image appear in your NEW web page, you need:
1. complete web address of your website (such as http://www.wordfeeder.com),
2. folder (or subdirectory) on your server where images are kept, and
3. file name of image (ends in .jpg).
The HTML code used to "pick up" an image from a source is IMG SRC. As always, it belongs inside those handy bracket-things. So your tag would begin:
< IMG SRC=
Without typing any spaces before or after = (equals) sign, you'd then paste URL of where image is located (as explained in examples 1, 2 and 3 above), and follow with filename and .jpg ending. I'll illustrate this with an example from my own web collection of images:
< IMG SRC="http://www.wordfeeder.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/wordfeederlogox.jpg" >
By typing that HTML tag with specific web address and folder information/filename within quotation marks, computer knows origin of image, and will then "hyperlink it" into your web page.
If you're ever unsure of filepath of an image you need, go to webpage where it's located and then right-click image. Under "properties", you'll find complete URL path that must be typed in between two quotation marks that fall inside your Image Source tag.
Note: you do not need to "shut off" an image tag.
You can also include multiple variables within a single image tag. For example, if you wanted to left-align above image, you'd edit above tag to look like this:
< IMG SRC="http://www.wordfeeder.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/wordfeederlogox.jpg" ALIGN=left >
Hyperlink Tags for Email and Website Addresses
Ever wonder how webmasters create live links? A live link might say something like, "Click here for more info!" and then when you click there, you're suddenly transported to a new web page. A live link is simply type covering a website address. Check it out:
< A href="http://wordfeeder.com" rel="nofollow" >Visit Wordfeeder for more info!< /A >
That's HTML code for "hyperlinked text". It looks weird, but think about it this way. The first part in that's enclosed in these: < >, is what turns on "make following words into a link that leads to address I am typing here" function. The end tag, < /A > is what "shuts off" "hypertext linking" feature and will then let you resume typing in normal, unlinked text.
As you can see, by typing a few simple HTML tags, you can create some pretty amazing things. This article is just tip of iceberg. I hope that explanations and examples shown have at least provided a basic understanding of HTML for you. A great way to learn is by "studying" other people's web page code from View>Source window. You practice by copying their HTML code into your own fake pages, and filling in "meat" between their "on" and "off" tags with text and images that suit your own purposes. But be careful. If you paste HTML incorrectly, you can totally wreck and corrupt your document.
For folks who want to get into serious design, I highly recommend that you buy a comprehensive HTML guide. Once you get hang of HTML, there's no telling what you can create!
Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with nine years' industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.