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Creating a Website: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 5. Text Elements

Getting text into a web page is easy. You just open up an HTML file, drop in your content, and add the occasional HTML tag to format that content. But getting text to look exactly the way you want is a different story.

Before you can make your web pages look pretty, you need to put in a bit of organization work. In this chapter, you’ll get the first tool you need: the HTML elements that let you break masses of text into neatly separated headings, paragraphs, lists, and more. You put several of these elements at work in the résumé examples in Chapter 2, but now you’ll tour the HTML workshop to see everything it has to offer. Once you finish this step, you’ll be ready for the next chapter, where you learn to format your carefully structured content with style sheets—powerful page-formatting instructions that let you change the appearance of individual elements, entire web pages, and even your complete website.

Understanding Text and the Web

Sooner or later, every website creator discovers that designing for the Web is very different from designing something that’s going to be printed. Before you can unleash your inner web-page graphic designer, you need to clear a few conceptual hurdles.

Consider the difference between an HTML page and a page created in a word processor. Word processing programs show you exactly how a document will look before you print it: You know how large your headlines will be, what font they’re in, where your text wraps from one line to ...

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