Creating your own homepage:

What an HTML Document Is: HTML documents are plain-text (also known as ASCII) files that can be created using any text editor (e.g., Emacs or vi on UNIX machines; BBEdit on a Macintosh; Notepad on a Windows machine). You can also use word-processing software if you remember to save your document as "text only with line breaks."

Tags Explained: An element is a fundamental component of the structure of a text document. Some examples of elements are heads, tables, paragraphs, and lists. Think of it this way: you use HTML tags to mark the elements of a file for your browser. Elements can contain plain text, other elements, or both.

To denote the various elements in an HTML document, you use tags. HTML tags consist of a left angle bracket (<), a tag name, and a right angle bracket (>). Tags are usually paired (e.g., <H1> and </H1>) to start and end the tag instruction. The end tag looks just like the start tag except a slash (/) precedes the text within the brackets. HTML tags are listed below.

Some elements may include an attribute, which is additional information that is included inside the start tag. For example, you can specify the alignment of images (top, middle, or bottom) by including the appropriate attribute with the image source HTML code. Tags that have optional attributes are noted below.

NOTE: HTML is not case sensitive. <title> is equivalent to <TITLE> or <TiTlE>. Not all tags are supported by all World Wide Web browsers. If a browser does not support a tag, it (usually) just ignores it. It is a good practice to check your document Netscape and MS Explorer.

HTML Editors: There are a variety of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editors available. Some of the most widely available are Netscape Gold, MS Word 95/97, and Corel WordPerfect 7.0. These programs allow you to create web pages as easy as creating a standard text document. They are quite useful when entering large amounts of text that require precise formatting. Although most WYSIWYG editors are useful, they are not without their weaknesses. Some editors may not accurately format all HTML codes, so it is important to check your document in an HTML editor such as Netscape, and know the HTML tags required for proper formatting.

Note: Using MS Word 95 as a WYSIWYG HTML editor may require MS Word Internet Assistant, which is available for download at

Putting your files on a Server: If you have access to a Web server at school or work, contact your webmaster (the individual who maintains the server) to see how you can get your files on the Web. If you do not have access to a server at work or school, check to see if your community operates a FreeNet, a community-based network that provides free access to the Internet. Lacking a FreeNet, you may need to contact a local Internet provider that will post your files on a server for a fee. (Check your local newspaper for advertisements or with your Chamber of Commerce for the names of companies.)

Most IBM compatibles will have the program WS FTP as a file transfer system, while Macintosh computers tend to have a program called Fetch which can transfer your files to your server space. You will need to know the name of your server, the directory in which you wish to store the files, your ID, and your password.

For basic HTML tips try the NCSA page at

For HTML 2.0 tags, such as backgrounds, color codes, tables, and dynamic updating, try Netscape’s site at

And for general HTML information, Netscape is the place to go:

This is a sample of a basic HTML source document. The background color is set to white, with the text and link colors set to the standard default colors. For a list of color codes refer to the HTML 2.0 site maintained by Netscape.



<TITLE>Your title goes here</TITLE>


<BODY TEXT="#000000" BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" LINK="#0000EE" VLINK="#551A8B" ALINK="#FF0000">

<CENTER><P><FONT SIZE=+3>Welcome to My First Homepage!</FONT>



<P><IMG SRC="image file name"></P>

<P><B>Bold text</B></P>

<P><I>Italicized text</I></P>

<PRE>Use this tag for preformatted text</PRE>

<P><FONT SIZE=+1>This is a link to <A HREF="">Arizona

State University</A>.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=+1>This is an E-Mail link to <A HREF="mailto:your email address">Your name goes here</A>.</FONT></P>




Lesson Objectives:

Students should be able to create a working HTML document with the following qualities:

Manipulate the properties of the document (background color, text color, etc.).

Manipulation of font size.

Manipulation of font characteristics.

Provide at least one WWW link.

Provide at least one e-mail link.

Demonstrate text formatting (center, preformatted text, etc.).

Insert an image into the document.

Return to English 200.

Created By Bruce Matsunaga

*Some material from the NCSA