Chapter 7. Text Formatting


  • Fonts

  • Customizing text with character styles

  • Using the FONT and BASEFONT elements

  • Aligning and indenting text

  • Choosing character sets

  • Using special characters and entities

Text is the heart of all Web pages. No matter how graphically oriented the site is, most information is transmitted by words. This chapter deals with how to use textual characters to make the most of your Web pages. At times, this chapter's information flies in the face of conventional wisdom and recommends flouting the advice of established standards bodies, but the focus is always on one thing — how to make your job as a Web page designer as easy as it can be.


Look at your formatting toolbar and click on the drop-down list of fonts. You'll see dozens of specific fonts to choose from in five generic types:

  • Serif

  • Sans-serif

  • Monospace cursive

  • Fantasy

For most normal text output, you would be using either serif or san-serif fonts. It has been determined that it is easier to read large blocks of text on screen (and even off) using serif fonts, while headings and subheadings are better with san-serif. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Take a look at the font formats used in the book you now hold in your hand. What is serif? What is san-serif?

The Times New Roman font has a series of small lines called serifs that, many font artists believe, help the human eye catch and identify a letter more effectively. Fonts that do not have serifs are known as sans-serif fonts (sans being ...

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