Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.
Home pages are a genial medium. It is simple and easy to use, and easily accessible for most. Through the internet large parts of world’s population can communicate, directly and without restrictions. By making your own homed pages you get the option to ”publish” your work to thousands of other people!
I started making home pages in 1996. In the beginning I used the Netscape Composer program, which was freeware and easy to work with. Later I tried with the somewhat larger programs FrontPage and Dreamweaver. But regardless of what I did I always ended up having to adjust the HTML-code manually.
Within a couple of years I gradually dropped the graphic editors (Composer, FrontPage, Dreamweaver etc.) and started to write all the code manually. That turned out to be a good choice, especially when I started to use the shareware program NoteTab. That turned out to be much faster and simpler to create home pages with. Over time I have created thousands of HTML documents, and it is all done with NoteTab – that tells something about the capabilities of this program.
This book is written based on my experiences with HTML through the last 6 years. I have tried to write the introduction to HTML, which I could have used when I started the work. Those are the fundamentals that all in my humble opinion need to master.
At the same time I am trying to give some hints for effective and appropriate work habits. We should not forget that when it comes to home pages, the contents are the most important. Therefore the HTML coding in itself is not particularly interesting. It just has to work – and I hope I can help you with that!
The book is in three parts, and they should ideally be read continuously from beginning to end. The coverage is built up around a long number of exercises that you need to do on your pc. The exercises are not at all hard or complicated; at least that was not the intent. Maybe some of them are even boring at first glance. But the exercises are very important for learning. So I highly recommend that you do all exercises as they are described here. Then you will guaranteed learn a lot about HTML!
In pat one there is an introduction to HTML and to choice of programs. But the exercises start soon, and here is the primary focus on formatting of text and layout with graphics etc in the home pages.
In part two the exercises continue and you are introduced to tables and hyperlinks. We look at different options to control the home page layout – including the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
In the appendix I have included a number of more unique tips and descriptions that you will enjoy in the long run.
Many thanks to my good helpers Ebbe, Jan and Peter, who have gone through the exercises and approved of them. Also thanks to Jette and Kirsten, who as usual have been invaluable during the work!
Michael B. Karbo. August 2001/March 2006
My coverage starts by giving you a brief introduction to the HTML concept. It is my thought that you need to learn the subject through the exercises that appear later in this book, but start by reading this short introduction. Then you need to ready your pc with the programs that you will be working with.
Of course you need a pc with the proper accessories to make the various exercises in the book. But not too much is required:
· Your pc has Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP (as I use) plus an internet connection.
· You have installed the necessary internet components in Windows (TCP/IP etc.), so you can log on to the internet.
· You have installed Microsoft Internet Explorer – preferably in version 5.5 or 6. The program is freeware from the internet, as is a couple of other programs we need to use in this book.
· That you retrieve the shareware program NoteTab from the home page for this book and install it as described.
Finally I presume that you are reasonably proficient in the use of mouse, dialog boxes, menus and keyboard in Windows. Some times I will cover all steps of the operations; other times I expect that you can figure them out for yourself. The illustrations come from a pc with Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 6.
A home page is one or more documents. Documents that include graphics and possibly different kinds of formulas or whatever other interesting content that can be placed on the internet.
Home pages can be displayed on the screen, and you can print them. That is done through a browser that you use to surf the net.
Home page documents are special compared to many other types of documents. For one thing they are written in what is termed pure text, and they are formatted using HTML, which is an open standard that is defined through a number of interest organizations around the world. In reality that means that no company has a monopoly on the home page format. And with that:
· The home page can be read through multiple different programs (browsers, word processors and other program types).
· The home page can be placed on many different types of computers (i.e. Windows, Unix, Macintosh).
· The home page can be authored with lots of different programs.
We can then conclude that the home page format, also called HTML, is 100% general universally spread. Everyone can make, see and use home pages – as long as they have internet access. Therefore it is excellent – also for laymen – to know of and possibly be able to work with HTML, at least to some extent. And that is the issue for this book!
Graphics, links, multimedia etc.
HTML is a ”language” that is used for formatting home page documents. The language consists of some codes, also called tags that are woven into the text – and you will work with that in this book:
Figure 1. Part of a HTML file. Notice that the content is text, but part of it is so-called codes.
When the home page is written (in HTML), it needs to be shown with a browser. Then you can see that the home page is composed of many elements:
· Text that can be formatted different fonts, -color and sizes, Italic, underlines etc.
· Photos and other graphics.
· Text and graphics can be inserted in tables or in other ways, resulting in different layouts.
· Links to other home pages on the internet.
The above mentioned elements are the most common; they are included in almost every home page. Beyond those there are plenty of other elements that can be included in a home page. Than can be formulas where to enter user information, Database connections, sound or video clips that stream (the transfer is done simultaneously with the display).
And there are many other techniques that you can blend into your home pages. But in this book you will only work with the most fundamental HTML elements. Actually about 90% of all home pages include only a few elements. You can get a long way with text, graphics!