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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition by Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy

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Chapter 17. Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

We’ve sprinkled a number of tips, tricks, and hacks throughout this book, along with style guidelines, examples, and instructions. So why have a special chapter on tips, tricks, and hacks? Because it’s where many readers will turn when they pick up this book for the first time. HTML and XHTML are the languages, albeit constrained, that make the Web the exciting place that it is. And interested readers want to know, “How do I do the cool stuff ?”

Top of the Tips

The most important tip for even veteran authors is to surf the Web for yourself. We can show and explain a few neat tricks to get you started, but there are thousands of authors out there combining and recombining HTML and XHTML tags and juggling content to create compelling and useful documents.

Examine (don’t steal) others’ pages for eye-catching and effective features, and use them to guide your own creations. Get a feel for the more effective web collections. How are their documents organized? How large is each document?

We all learn from experience, so go get it!

Design for Your Audience

We continuously argue throughout this book that content matters most, not look. But that doesn’t mean presentation doesn’t matter.

Effective documents match your target audience’s expectations, giving them a familiar environment in which to explore and gather information. Serious academicians, for instance, expect a journal-like appearance for a treatise on the physiology of the kumquat: long on meaningful ...

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