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Simple HTML Formatting

In HTML mode, the format is controlled by "tags" embedded within the message itself. These are special keywords that your browser uses to recognize when, for example, a word should be in italics, or when a new paragraph is starting. In HTML, tags are always enclosed in angle brackets, < >. Frequently, tags come in pairs that surround the text that is to be affected by them. For example, bold text is surrounded by <B> and </B>. Usually, the closing tag is the same as the opening one, but with a slash, as in this case.

Here are some tags for doing simple formatting:

One nice thing about HTML is that there are so many examples of it around. Simply find a web page that does what you want, and use your browser's view source menu item to see the HTML that makes the page appear as it does.

Some tags can be given additional information within the opening tag that further controls the results of the tag. For example, you can use <HR WIDTH="50%"> to make a horizontal rule that is only 50% of the width of the page rather than all the way across it.

Since HTML uses < and > to indicate tags, if you want to include an actual angle-bracket in your message, you need another way to do this. This is accomplished using HTML entities. For example, use &lt; to obtain < and &gt; to obtain >. Because HTML entities start with an ampersand (&), if you want to include one in your HTML message, you must use &amp;. There are HTML entities for entering other special characters such as accented letters; these are discussed in the section on Special Characters.

Note, however, that since mathematics is processed separately from (and prior to) the HTML in your message, you can use <, > and & within \( \) and \[ \] as usual (that is, without the need to convert to the HTML entities). So \(x > 3\) will produce even in HTML mode.

The tags discussed here are only a small number of the ones available in HTML. There are several additional important ones, in particular, the ones that deal with linking to other files and images. These are discussed in the next section, on Images and Links. Note that some tags have been diasslowed, mainly the ones that indicate global structure (like <BODY>), which are already part of the document in which your message will be included.

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Created: 21 Sep 2003
Last modified: Sep 22, 2003 8:04:44 AM
Comments to: dpvc@union.edu
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