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1. Introduction

HTML stands for "HyperText Markup Language" which is used in most pages of the World Wide Web (www). These "Web pages", or "HTML documents", are text files that can be edited by any text editor such as Windows' Notepad. However, unlike plain text, they contain additional formatting markup, mainly in the form of angle brackets called "tags". The markup language tells Web browsers which parts of the text should be in separate paragraphs, which words should be in bold, and other formattings.

Let's start with a simple HTML document.


HTML is easy.

Click on "View" to see how it is displayed in your browser. The result will be displayed on a new frame which covers the original frame that you are viewing. The button X at the upper left of the new frame is for you to close the new frame and return to the original frame.

In the Web page displayed on the new frame, you will not see any of these tags (with angle brackets). However, they control the formatting of the Web page. You can try to edit the above HTML document and click "View" to see the result. First, delete <b> and </b> around the word "easy", then click "View". The word "easy" should no longer be in bold. For the second test, delete </p> after "Yes." and <p> before "HTML". The two paragraphs should become only one.

Most tags are in pairs between which the tags take effect. For example, <b> and </b> make the text between them bold. The one (e.g., <b>) without a slash is called a start tag or opening tag; another one (e.g., </b>) with a slash is called an end tag or closing tag.

According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an HTML document should start with document type declaration, which is simply <!DOCTYPE html> for HTML5.