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What is HTML?

Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML, is primarily a programing code that is used to create web pages on the internet. Your web browser interprets the code which allows you to view web sites.

The good news is that WebTv's e-mail program supports html and allows you to use it to add music, images, and backgrounds. You can also use it to change the size, style, and color of your text and even have it scroll across the page! It's all done with tags.

What is a Tag?

A tag is a command which is placed in between a pair of arrow brackets, like this: <command>. They, in essence, instruct your web browser to follow the command that is written within them. Most commands consist of an opening and ending tag. They tell your browser when to start and when to stop the desired action. Both are identical except the ending tag has a slash (/) in front of the command, like this: </command>.

Most important of all, is the opening <HTML> tag. It must be the very first thing that you write in your e-mail. It instructs your browser to interpret the html code that follows. Make sure that you don't type anything before it, not even a single space, or the code won't work and will be rendered as text. The ending </HTML> tag should be the last thing you write.

Here's a simple example to illustrate the use of a tag. Let's say that you want to underline a couple of words in your sentence. The command for underline is (makes sense) "U". And let's say the sentence is Please write back soon! And let's say the words you want to underline are write back. And let's say I stop saying let's say!

Anyway, you would simply place the opening tag <U> in front of the word write, and the ending tag </U> after the word back. Like this:

Please <u>write back</u> soon!

It will look like this: Please write back soon!

Some of the more common tags and their uses are listed below:
Note, not all commands require ending tags. The examples in the green cells do not.

<B> used to write in bold text
<BODY> used to put a background in your e-mail
<BR> used to start a new line
<CENTER> used to center your text or image
<EMBED> used to put sound files in your e-mail
<FONT> used to change text size, color, and effect
<I> used to write in italics
<IMG> used to put images in your e-mail
<MARQUEE> used to scroll your text
<P> used to start a new paragraph
<U> used to underline your text

Some of the tags in the above table support the use of attributes or secondary commands, as I like to call them, to create an additional effect. Others, will not be effective unless an attribute is specified.

For example, the <FONT> tag is useless if used alone. It must be used with the color, size, or effect attributes in order for it to be effective.

Attributes are written within the tag after the primary command, followed by the (=) sign, and then the value of the effect. Like this:

<FONT size="4" color="red" effect="relief">

In this example, the attributes are size, color, and effect while the values are "4", "red", and "relief". Notice you put only one space between the primary command and each attribute.

Can I use more than one tag?

Yes you can! You can use multiple tags to create the desired effect.
Let's say (here we go again) that you want the the words write back from the above sentence in italics, with large text, and in green. Green?!

Anyway, here's how to do it:

<FONT color=green size=5><I>write back</I></font>

It will look like this: Please write back soon!

Does the order matter?

With the exception of the MARQUEE* tag, the order of the opening tags does'nt matter. The order of the ending tags does. Refer to the above example. Here's how multiple tags should be used:

(tag 1)(tag 2)(tag 3)TEXT(tag 3)(tag 2)(tag 1)

*Please refer to the section on the Marquee tag.

Practice it here!