HTML Basics

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a language that tells the internet browser how to show the information on a web page. HTML uses tags to specify the formatting of the document, and to show tables and images. Tags almost always come in pairs; the first one comes before the section of the web page that it affects, and the second one comes directly after the section it affects and closes the set of tags.

How do I use HTML?

Most people use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver to edit their web pages. Little or no HTML knowledge is necessary to create or edit web pages with these editors. Missouri S&T Web Support does not offer support for any of these editors or for the editing of any personal HTML pages. Other software, such as Microsoft Word and Notepad offer the ability to create and save HTML files.


Common HTML tags and Usage
TagWhat it doesHow it looks
<html>, </html> This tag marks the selected text as being an HTML document. It is mandatory for the beginning and end of every web page. n/a
<body>, </body This tag marks the main body of the web page. n/a
<p>, </p> This tag marks every individual paragraph. HTML paragraph notation is to place every paragraph on a new line with one empty line in between the paragraphs. This tag does not indent the first line of the paragraph.

This is the first example paragraph of text.

And this is the second paragraph. Neither one is indented.

 <h1>, </h1>
<h2>, </h2>
<h3>, </h3>
<h4>, </h4>
<h5>, </h5>
<h6>, </h6>
These are header tags. Header tags have six levels of emphasis, with h1 being the most emphatic. 

Header 1

Header 2

Header 3

Header 4

Header 5

Header 6
<b>, </b> This tag makes text bold. This text is bold.
<i>, </i> This tag italicizes the text. This test is italicized.
<del>, </del> This tags creates a strikethrough on the selected text. This text has a strikethrough.
<br/> This is the break tag. It is one of the few tags that occurs individually. It is the HTML equivalent of hitting the "enter" or "return" key in a text document. This is line one.
This after the <br /> tag.
<!- -sample text- -> This tag is used to create comments in HTML code. The comments are not visible on the final web page. Replace "sample text" with the desired comments.   n/a
<hr /> This is the horizontal rule tag. It creates a horizontal line that is as long as the page or the length of the table cell it occurs in.
 <a href = "sample link">, </a>  This tag creates a link from the selected text to another web page, or another location on the same page. Place the start tag directly before the text you want to be the link, and place the end tag directly after. This text is a hyperlink. Indicates that you will be directed to an external site by clicking on the link. 
 <sub>, </sub> This tag makes the selected text subscripted. An example of a subscript is a number in a chemical formula (see here).
<sup>, </sup> This tag makes the selected text superscripted. An example of a superscript is a number raised to a power (see here).
<code>, </code> This tag is used to denote computer code or instructions. This is text with the code tag.