How Web Pages Work

Basic HTML Form

You will use the basic HTML tags on this page all the time -- they do 90% of all the formatting that you see on most Web pages. Once you learn them, you are well on your way to becoming an HTML pro!

  • If you liked the "first.htm" file we discussed on the previous page, you can type HTML into it and create complete Web pages. Remember to place all the information you want displayed on your Web page between the and tags. Experiment with your page by adding new tags and checking out the results.

Let's get started!


Bold, Italics and Underline

Make any piece of text bold by adding the tag: <b> to the beginning of the text, and adding the closing tag: </b> wherever you want the bold attribute to end.

This is <b>bold</b>. This is bold.

To italicize, use these tags in the same manner:

<i>... </i>This is <i>italicized</i>. This is italicized.

To underline, use these tags:

<u>...</u>This is <u>underlined</u>

­Breaks and Paragraphs

Although your typed text may contain carriage returns, tabs and extra spaces, browsers will not see them. You will have to use tags in order to create blank space in your HTML documents.

<br> creates a break between one line and another. You can use several of these tags together to create blank space.

<p> creates an extra space between two lines of text. If you place in a line of text, it will only break the line; if you use <p>, it will both break the line and create an extra space.

<hr> creates a horizontal rule or horizontal line.


There is no formal HTML tag to create a "tab" within a document. Many Web designers create tables or use blank images to create space (tables and images are explained later in this article). One way to indent text is to use the tag <ul>­ ­to make the browser think you are about to create a "list." A list automatically indents text. Close with a </ul> to "end" the indentation. The tags <blockquote> ... </blockquote> will also indent text.

Another alternative is the <pre> tag. This tag is used to display preformatted text -- text displayed as is. Any text between <pre> and </pre> tags will appear in the browser as it appears in the source.