basic html file:

A basic html file

What is an html document?
The web pages that we have all seen on the internet are in fact html documents, html is short for HyperText Markup Language, so what you actually see is a rendered version of a text file  that contains html, in your browser.
HTML can be described as a "page description language", and that it describes how information is or should be rendered in a browser.
html is stored as a plain  text file,  and there is no formatting or special  characters used to create an html file.
So an html file  can be easily viewed in any simple text  editor software/program such as Microsofts Notepad text  editor program.
When an html document is opened in a browser the browser then proceeds  to perform the following tasks.

  1. The browser reads through the html in the file.
  2. Then the browser displays the information in the browser window.
  3. The browser then formats the results using the formatting commands within the html document itself.
  4. Then the browser adds , images, links, and other external multimedia as instructed within the html document.

This demonstrates  to us that the html document contains "instructions" for the browser which tell the browser how to "draw" the information in the browser window.
There are different versions  of html and each of these versions has different instructions the browser can understand, and the number of instructions have been built upon and increased over several  years of developement.

html file structure.

An html file has a very simple file structure , the file contains an Identifier which tells the browser it is reading an html file. The file also contains a Header this part of the file contains information for the browser and other agents for instance search engines.
The file also contains a Body this contains information that is to be displayed/rendered in the browser window, it contains the formatting instructions,links,images instructions ect.

Header Information
Body Information

html tags

HTML uses the concept of a Tags to pass information to the browser, a tag is something that is enclosed by a less than symbol <, and a greater than symbol >, and is usually a word and looks like this  <tag>.
There are lots of html tags  that the browser understands, and there are various rules that govern the tags,  these are defined within the html version  that you use in your document.
Sometimes a tag  does not hold enough information to be useful to the browser.
To enable a tag  to provide more information the use of attributes is permitted.
For instance a <div> tag  has a border  attribute you can use this to control the border, for this element, or you can use the background-color  attribute to change the colour of the background of the element.
The example below will make the background colour of the <div> element grey, just like the example above of an html files structure.

<div style="background–color:#d5d5d5;">  </div>

You can have more than one attribute for any one tag  and these are defined in the version  of html.
There have been a number of versions  of html since it was first version  was made available such as html 3.2, html 4.01 or xhtml 1.0
Attributes are usually formatted  in this manner.

  • Within the enclosing <  > symbols/characters.
  • The attribute name  ie border.
  • Then use an equals sign =
  • Open quotes  "
  • value for instance border="10px"
  • Close the quotes "
  • <div border="10px;">

There are different types of tags  these are block level and text level or inline tags.
The block level tags have an effect on a block  of information and cause the information  to be rendered on a new line.
The text level tag only has an effect on a little bit of text and does not cause a new line to be output.
HTML needs to know when to start to apply the rules ect that the tag  defines and when to stop applying the rules too.
So html  uses the concept  of start and end tags, and the rules are applied to all the text within the start and end tags.

Now that we have looked at the structure of an html document we can look at the tags that make up an html document/web page the 8 basic tags.

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