More About HTML Tags

It is time to learn a little more about HTML tags, now that you have learned the basic tags that every website needs in order to get started. You will find that most of the beginner tutorials are surrounding tags. This is crucial because that is essentially what HTML is all about. It is about tags, while this may seem easy to most people, once you really start digging deep into the world of elements and attributes, you will see that there is a lot to learn, so let's get started.

Once you're comfortable with the basic tags in the last lesson, you're ready to start making your pages look nice.

Start with creating space on a page. White space is incredibly important to good web page design, though most people overlook it. Without white space, your words and movies and images all run together, and are hard for viewers to decipher. If you learn to separate things out well, you'll be able to make much more viewable web pages.

  • <BR />
  • <P></P>
  • <HR>

<BR /> is known as a line break. It forces your text to start a new line, but does not break up the paragraph it is already inside. There are several HTML tags that will also insert a break, but this is the one to use most of the time. This is one of the few HTML tags that doesn't need a closing tag.

Even though you may see other people do this, and even though some programs will do this when you save a file as HTML, do NOT ever use <BR /><BR /> to start a new paragraph. In certain cases, using two line breaks instead of a paragraph can mess up the formatting on your document from that point forward.

If you look at HTML code in other pages, you may notice that the <BR /> code is often written as simply <BR> and works just fine. That's because in all versions of HTML up to the present, <BR> is an acceptable code. To make your code comply with future versions of HTML, however, you'll need to use <BR />. The current <BR> code is being deprecated, or phased out, by the W3C authorities.

<P> starts a new paragraph, and defaults to putting a space between paragraphs. You must also end a paragraph with the paragraph end tag,</P>. Later, you'll learn how to use CSS to change the default formatting for a paragraph, but for now you're stuck with spaces and other default formats.

In older versions of HTML, this code could be used by itself, and if you forget to include a closing tag, your browser will still end your paragraph appropriately, but with new versions of HTML the closing tag is required. It's better to get into the habit of closing your paragraphs, as future browsers may not make an allowance for this.

<HR> stands for Horizontal Rule. This gives you a line across your page dividing it from one given margin to the other. The horizontal rule is set to give a slight 3-D effect; there are attributes you can set inside the tag that will change its appearance in width, color, or depth.

Try This:

Open the web page you created in the last exercise, and insert some text in the <BODY>. Make sure you bracket paragraphs with <P></P>. Use a horizontal rule to separate your paragraphs, and use a <BR> somewhere to set something else off. Save as a .htm or .html file.

See, you are already learning what it takes to make a great website by learning more about HTML tags. In the next tutorial, we will have some fun with your text. In the next step, you will learn about different headers, emphasizing your text, and so much more. You are well on your way to learning everything you need to know about HTML and creating an attractive website that appeals to your visitors and customers.