Before You Get Started - HTML 4

Creating HTML documents differs from creating word-processor documents in an application like Microsoft Word because you use two applications:

  • You create the Web pages in your text or HTML editor.
  • You view the results in your Web browser.

Even though many HTML editors, such as Dreamweaver and HTML-Kit, provide a browser preview, it’s still important to preview your Web pages inside actual Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, so you can see them as your end users will. It’s a bit unwieldy to edit in one application and switch to another to look at your work, but you’ll be switching like a pro from text editor to browser and back in (almost) no time.

To get started on your first Web page, you need two types of software:

  • A text editor such as Notepad, TextPad, or SimpleText
  • Notepad is the native text editor in Windows. TextPad is a shareware text editor available from www.textpad.com. (TextPad is used to create most of the figures in this chapter.) SimpleText is the native text editor in the Macintosh operating system.
  • A Web browser
  • We recommend that you whip out your good ol’ text editor to make your first page. Here are a couple of reasons why:
  • An advanced HTML editor, such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver, often hides your HTML from you. For your first page, you want to see your HTML in all of its (limited) glory. You can make a smooth transition to a more advanced editor after you’re a little more familiar withHTML markup, syntax, and document structure.
  • Word processors (such as Microsoft Word) usually store a lot of extra file information behind the scenes (for example, formatting instructions to display or print files). You can’t see or change the extra information, but it interferes with your HTML.

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