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HTML Beginner's Guide - page 2 / 16

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Note

We've said here to use a basic text-editor, such as Notepad, but you may be tempted to use a dedicated software program such as Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage.

You should be very careful when using these programs, especially if you are a beginner as they often throw in unnecessary or non- standard code.

If you're serious about learning HTML, you should read through a tutorial such as this first, so that you at least have a basic understanding of what is going on.

Software programs such as these will never give you the same control over a web page as coding by hand.

Tags, Attributes and Elements

Although the basics of HTML are plain text, we need a bit more to make it a valid HTML document.

Tags

The basic structure of an HTML document includes tags, which surround content and apply meaning to it.

Change your document so that it looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> <html> <body> This is my first web page </body> </html>

Now save the document again, go back to the web browser and select 'refresh' (which will reload the page).

The appearance of the page will not have changed at all, but the purpose of HTML is to apply meaning, not presentation, and this example has now defined some fundamental elements of a web page.

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