Chapter 7. Adding Graphics

It’s safe to say that the creators of the Internet never imagined it would look the way it does today—thick with pictures, ads, videos, and animated graphics. They designed a meeting place for leading academic minds; we ended up with something closer to a Sri Lankan bazaar. But no one’s complaining, because the Web would be an awfully drab place without graphics.

In this chapter, you’ll master the art of web graphics. You’ll learn how to add ordinary images to a web page and to position them perfectly. You’ll also consider what it takes to prepare pictures for the Web—or to find good alternatives online.

Understanding Images

To understand how images work on the Web, you need to know two things:

  • They don’t reside in your HTML files. Instead, you store each image as a separate file.

  • To display pictures on a page, you use the <img> element in your HTML document.

You’ll use images throughout your site. You might even use them instead of ordinary text, if you need a special font.


If you’re not sure whether a piece of content on a page is a graphic, try right-clicking it. If it’s an image, most browsers give you a Save Picture As option in a pop-up menu.

The <img> Element

Pictures appear on your web pages courtesy of the <img> element, which tells a browser where to find them. For example, here’s an <img> element that displays the file named photo01.jpg:

<img src="photo01.jpg" />

Pictures are standalone elements (HTML Elements for Basic Text), which means you don’t ...

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