Chapter 3. Text Formatting

Getting text onto a Web page (Chapter 2) is a good start, but effective communication requires effective design, too. Large, bold headlines help readers scan a page’s important topics. Colorful text focuses attention. Bulleted sentences crystallize and summarize ideas. Just as a monotonous, low-key voice puts a crowd to sleep, a vast desert of plain HTML text is sure to turn visitors away from the important message of your site. In fact, text formatting could be the key to making your Widgets Online 2004 Sale-a-thon a resounding success instead of an unnoticed disaster.

To help you get your point across, Dreamweaver provides the tools you need to format your text in compelling and eye-catching ways (see Figure 3-1 for examples of good and bad text formatting).

Paragraph Formatting

Just as you use paragraphs to help organize your thoughts into clear, well-structured, and cohesive units when you’re writing a paper or letter, you organize content on Web pages into blocks of information within HTML tags (see Section 0.2 for more on tags). The most basic block of information is a simple paragraph, indicated in HTML by a paragraph tag, like this:

<p>Hello. This is one paragraph on this Web page. </p>

To a Web browser, everything between the opening <p> and closing </p> tags is considered part of the same paragraph. Many Dreamweaver formatting options—headlines, lists, indents, and alignment, for example—can apply only to an entire paragraph at a time, as opposed ...

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