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Friday, April 12, 2013

HTML Part 6

(See 04-04-13 for HTML Part 5)
Handling text on a web page can seem to the novice webmaster as something on the order of herding cats. I know, that's an old, somewhat hackneyed metaphor, but it's also the most apt in this case. Just when you think you've got your words (cats) under control you do some little thing, seemingly unrelated to your text, and suddenly the whole page goes awry, your words go running off like scaredy-cats all over the place. HTML, as I mentioned in Part 1, stands for "Hyper Text Markup Language." I'm not sure who thought that up but when they chose the word "hyper" to lead it off, they were certainly right on the button--as in hyperactive. HTML, as the name implies, is merely a simple editing language for text, images, and links designed to be universal enough to work with most Internet browsers in a similar, predictable manner. Although I've saved this for last, text is really the simplest of these functions.
Once you've placed the first tag opening you HTML file, all text thereafter not place in < and > brackets will appear in default mode on your web page until you place the HTML closure tag at the end. That sounds simple enough, and it is, so long as you don't mind your text running off the right side of the screen (page), printed black on white using a 12 pt. Times font. It's when you try organizing you words--herding your cats, so to speak--that things can get a bit more complex. The HTML code shown below is that which creates the first line of text in the column directly to your right just beneath the image of my new book Art THINK.
The code first tells the browser the size of the font in 2-pt. increments (from 1 thru 8 starting at 10 pt.), followed by the color of the text. Since my standard background here is black, the text can be white or any primary or secondary color in plain English. For more subtle color variations you'll need a color chart listing hexadecimal codes (placed in quotation marks in place of the color names). FACE refers to the name of the font, and there are hundreds to choose from, though a browser will revert to a default font if the user's computer does not have on file the font specified. In choosing a font, readability is the key factor followed by the theme or essence of your page presentation. The single letter abbreviations seen within the < and > brackets above are as follows: B=bold print; P=new paragraph; and I=italics. Of course every opening tag also demands a closing tag containing the slash mark /. The text itself is everything outside the < and > brackets, and will appear as entered. Spacing is of little consequence using HTML code except within the text blurb itself. The same is true regarding the exact order in which tags appear (except that closing tags must go after the content).
Okay, kitty-cats, line up, single file...forward, MARCH.

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