Chapter V.1. HyperText Markup Language

The language used to create every Web page in the world is HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Although you can create Web pages with specialized Web page editing programs, such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage, it's still nice to know how HTML works so you can modify Web pages manually or create unique effects that may be difficult or impossible to accomplish with a Web page editing program.

Much like a traditional programming language relies on keywords, HTML also relies on keywords, or tags, that follow a rigidly defined syntax. Instead of creating a working program like a traditional programming language, HTML creates Web pages that browsers can view.

In a traditional programming language, an error or bug can keep the entire program from running or make it calculate incorrectly. In HTML, an error can keep a Web page from appearing or just make the Web page display incorrectly. If you're interested in understanding the heart of Web page designing, you need to understand the basics of using HTML.

The Structure of an HTML Document

The basic HTML tab defines the entire HTML document like this:

<html>
</html>

Anything between the <html> and </html> tags will appear on the Web page.

Warning

The last tag uses a slash (/) to identify the end of the tag.

Generally, HTML tags work in pairs — the first tag defines something, and the second tag (the one beginning with a slash) marks the end of that definition. If you omit one of the <html> or </html> ...

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