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HTML Introduction

Example

<html>
<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>

<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>


Try it yourself »


What is HTML?

HTML is a language for describing web pages.

  • HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language
  • HTML is not a programming language, it is a markup language
  • A markup language is a set of markup tags

HTML uses markup tags to describe web pages

HTML Tags

HTML markup tags are usually called HTML tags

  • HTML tags are keywords surrounded by angle brackets like <html>
  • HTML tags normally come in pairs like <b> and </b>
  • The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag

Start and end tags are also called opening tags and closing tags

HTML Documents = Web Pages

  • HTML documents describe web pages
  • HTML documents contain HTML tags and plain text
  • HTML documents are also called web pages

The purpose of a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) is to read HTML documents and display them as web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page:

<html>
<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>

<p>My first paragraph</p>

</body>
</html>

Example Explained

  • The text between <html> and </html> describes the web page
  • The text between <body> and </body> is the visible page content
  • The text between <h1> and </h1> is displayed as a heading
  • The text between <p> and </p> is displayed as a paragraph 

HTML - Getting Started

What You Need

You don't need any tools to learn HTML at W3Schools.

  • You don't need any HTML editor
  • You don't need a web server
  • You don't need a web site

Editing HTML

In this tutorial we use a plain text editor (like Notepad) to edit HTML. We believe this is the best way to learn HTML.

However, professional web developers often prefer HTML editors like FrontPage or Dreamweaver, instead of writing plain text.


Create Your Own Test Web

If you just want to learn HTML, skip the rest of this chapter.

If you want to create a test web on your own computer, just copy the 3 files below to your desktop.

(Right click on each link, and select "save target as" or "save link as")

mainpage.htm

page1.htm

page2.htm

After you have copied the files, you can double-click on the file called "mainpage.htm" and see your first web site in action.


Use Your Test Web For Learning

We suggest you experiment with everything you learn at W3Schools by editing your web files with a text editor (like Notepad).

Note: If your test web contains HTML markup tags you have not learned, don't panic. You will learn all about it in the next chapters.


HTM or HTML Extension?

When you save an HTML file, you can use either the .htm or the .html extension. We use .htm in our examples. It is a habit from the past, when the software only allowed three letters in file extensions.

With new software it is perfectly safe to use .html.

HTML Basic - 4 Examples

HTML Headings

HTML headings are defined with the <h1> to <h6> tags.

Example

<h1>This is a heading</h1>
<h2>This is a heading</h2>
<h3>This is a heading</h3>


Try it yourself »


HTML Paragraphs

HTML paragraphs are defined with the <p> tag.

Example

<p>This is a paragraph</p>
<p>This is another paragraph</p>


Try it yourself »

HTML Links

HTML links are defined with the <a> tag.

Example

<a href="http://www.w3schools.com">This is a link</a>


Try it yourself »

Note: The link address is provided as an attribute.

(You will learn about attributes in a later chapter of this tutorial)


HTML Images

HTML images are defined with the <img> tag.

Example

<img src="w3schools.jpg" width="104" height="142" />


Try it yourself »

Note: The name and the size of the image are provided as attributes.

(You will learn about attributes in a later chapter of this tutorial)

HTML Elements

HTML documents are defined by HTML elements.


HTML Elements

An HTML element is everything from the start tag to the end tag:

Start tag *

Element content

End tag *

<p>

This is a paragraph

</p>

<a href="default.htm" >

This is a link

</a>

<br />

 

 

* The start tag is often called the opening tag. The end tag is often called the closing tag.


HTML Element Syntax

  • An HTML element starts with a start tag / opening tag
  • An HTML element ends with an end tag / closing tag
  • The element content is everything between the start and the end tag
  • Some HTML elements have empty content
  • Empty elements are closed in the start tag
  • Most HTML elements can have attributes

(You will learn about element attributes in the next chapter of this tutorial)


Nested HTML Elements

Most HTML elements can be nested (can contain other HTML elements).

HTML documents consist of nested HTML elements.


HTML Document Example

<html>

<body>
<p>This is my first paragraph</p>
</body>

</html>

The example above contains 3 HTML elements.


Example Explained

The <p> element:

<p>This is my first paragraph</p>

The <p> element defines a paragraph in the HTML document
The element has a start tag <p> and an end tag </p>
The element content is: This is my first paragraph

The <body> element:

<body>
<p>This is my first paragraph</p>
</body>

The <body> element defines the body of the HTML document
The element has a start tag <body> and an end tag </body>
The element content is another HTML element (a paragraph)

The <html> element:

<html>

<body>
<p>This is my first paragraph</p>
</body>

</html>

The <html> element defines the whole HTML document.
The element has a start tag <html> and an end tag </html>
The element content is another HTML element (the body)


Don't Forget the End Tag

Most browsers will display HTML correctly even if you forget the end tag:

<p>This is a paragraph
<p>This is a paragraph

The example above will work in most browsers, but don't rely on it. Forgetting the end tag can produce unexpected results or errors.

Note: Future version of HTML will not allow you to skip end tags.


Empty HTML Elements

HTML elements without content are called empty elements. Empty elements can be closed in the start tag.

<br> is an empty element without a closing tag (it defines a line break).

In XHTML, XML, and future versions of HTML, all elements must be closed.

Adding a slash to the start tag, like <br />, is the proper way of closing empty elements, accepted by HTML, XHTML and XML.

Even if <br> works in all browsers, writing <br /> instead is more future proof.


HTML Tip: Use Lowercase Tags

HTML tags are not case sensitive: <P> means the same as <p>. Plenty of web sites use uppercase HTML tags in their pages.

W3Schools use lowercase tags because the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommends lowercase in HTML 4, and demands lowercase tags in future versions of (X)HTML.

HTML Attributes


Attributes provide additional information about HTML elements.


HTML Attributes

  • HTML elements can have attributes
  • Attributes provide additional information about the element
  • Attributes are always specified in the start tag
  • Attributes come in name/value pairs like: name="value"

Attribute Example

HTML links are defined with the <a> tag. The link address is provided as an attribute:

Example

<a href="http://www.w3schools.com">This is a link</a>


Try it yourself »

(You will learn about links in a later chapter of this tutorial)


Always Quote Attribute Values

Attribute values should always be enclosed in quotes.

Double style quotes are the most common, but single style quotes are also allowed.

In some rare situations, like when the attribute value itself contains quotes, it is necessary to use single quotes:

name='John "ShotGun" Nelson'


HTML Tip: Use Lowercase Attributes

Attribute names and attribute values are case-insensitive.

However, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommends lowercase attributes/attribute values in their HTML 4 recommendation

Newer versions of (X)HTML will demand lowercase attributes.


HTML Attributes Reference

A full list of legal attributes for each HTML element is listed in our:

Complete HTML Reference

Below is a list of some attributes that are standard for most HTML elements:

Attribute

Value

Description

class

class_rule or style_rule

The class of the element

id

id_name

A unique id for the element

style

style_definition

An inline style definition

title

tooltip_text 

A text to display in a tool tip

For more information about standard attributes:

HTML Headings

« Previous

Next Chapter »


Headings are important in HTML documents.


HTML Headings

Headings are defined with the <h1> to <h6> tags.

<h1> defines the largest heading. <h6> defines the smallest heading.

Example

<h1>This is a heading</h1>
<h2>This is a heading</h2>
<h3>This is a heading</h3>


Try it yourself »

Note: Browsers automatically add an empty line before and after headings.


Headings Are Important

Use HTML headings for headings only. Don't use headings to make text BIG or bold.

Search engines use your headings to index the structure and content of your web pages.

Since users may skim your pages by its headings, it is important to use headings to show the document structure.

H1 headings should be used as main headings, followed by H2 headings, then less important H3 headings, and so on.


HTML Rules (Lines)

The <hr /> tag is used to create an horizontal rule (line).

Example

<p>This is a paragraph</p>
<hr />
<p>This is a paragraph</p>
<hr />
<p>This is a paragraph</p>


Try it yourself »

 


HTML Comments

Comments can be inserted in the HTML code to make it more readable and understandable. Comments are ignored by the browser and are not displayed.

Comments are written like this:

Example

<!-- This is a comment -->


Try it yourself »

Note: There is an exclamation point after the opening bracket, but not before the closing bracket.


HTML Tip - How to View HTML Source

Have you ever seen a Web page and wondered "Hey! How did they do that?"

To find out, click the VIEW option in your browser's toolbar and select SOURCE or PAGE SOURCE. This will open a window that shows you the HTML code of the page.

HTML Headings

« Previous

Next Chapter »


Headings are important in HTML documents.


HTML Headings

Headings are defined with the <h1> to <h6> tags.

<h1> defines the largest heading. <h6> defines the smallest heading.

Example

<h1>This is a heading</h1>
<h2>This is a heading</h2>
<h3>This is a heading</h3>


Try it yourself »

Note: Browsers automatically add an empty line before and after headings.


Headings Are Important

Use HTML headings for headings only. Don't use headings to make text BIG or bold.

Search engines use your headings to index the structure and content of your web pages.

Since users may skim your pages by its headings, it is important to use headings to show the document structure.

H1 headings should be used as main headings, followed by H2 headings, then less important H3 headings, and so on.


HTML Rules (Lines)

The <hr /> tag is used to create an horizontal rule (line).

Example

<p>This is a paragraph</p>
<hr />
<p>This is a paragraph</p>
<hr />
<p>This is a paragraph</p>


Try it yourself »

 


HTML Comments

Comments can be inserted in the HTML code to make it more readable and understandable. Comments are ignored by the browser and are not displayed.

Comments are written like this:

Example

<!-- This is a comment -->


Try it yourself »

Note: There is an exclamation point after the opening bracket, but not before the closing bracket.


HTML Tip - How to View HTML Source

Have you ever seen a Web page and wondered "Hey! How did they do that?"

To find out, click the VIEW option in your browser's toolbar and select SOURCE or PAGE SOURCE. This will open a window that shows you the HTML code of the page.

HTML Paragraphs

« Previous

Next Chapter »


HTML documents are divided into paragraphs.


HTML Paragraphs

Paragraphs are defined with the <p> tag.

Example

<p>This is a paragraph</p>
<p>This is another paragraph</p>


Try it yourself »

Note: Browsers automatically adds an empty line before and after paragraphs.


Don't Forget the End Tag

Most browsers will display HTML correctly even if you forget the end tag:

Example

<p>This is a paragraph
<p>This is another paragraph


Try it yourself »

The example above will work in most browsers, but don't rely on it. Forgetting the end tag can produce unexpected results or errors.

Note: Future version of HTML will not allow you to skip end tags.


HTML Line Breaks

Use the <br /> tag if you want a line break (a new line) without starting a new paragraph:

Example

<p>This is<br />a para<br />graph with line breaks</p>


Try it yourself »

The <br /> element is an empty HTML element. It has no end tag.


<br> or <br />

In XHTML, XML, and future versions of HTML, HTML elements with no end tag (closing tag) are not allowed.

Even if <br> works in all browsers, writing <br /> instead is more future proof.


HTML Output - Useful Tips

You cannot be sure how HTML will be displayed. Large or small screens, and resized windows will create different results.

With HTML, you cannot change the output by adding extra spaces or extra lines in your HTML code.

The browser will remove extra spaces and extra lines when the page is displayed. Any number of lines count as one space, and any number of spaces count as one space.

HTML Tag Reference

W3Schools' tag reference contains additional information about HTML elements and their attributes.

Tag

Description

<p>

Defines a paragraph

<br />

Inserts a single line break

 

HTML Text Formatting

« Previous

Next Chapter »

 

HTML Text Formatting

This text is bold

This text is big

This text is italic

This is computer output

This is subscript and superscript


Try it yourself »


HTML Formatting Tags

HTML uses tags like <b> and <i> for formatting output, like bold or italic text.

These HTML tags are called formatting tags.

Refer to the bottom of this page for a complete reference.

Text Formatting Tags

Tag

Description

<b>

Defines bold text

<big>

Defines big text

<em>

Defines emphasized text 

<i>

Defines italic text

<small>

Defines small text

<strong>

Defines strong text

<sub>

Defines subscripted text

<sup>

Defines superscripted text

<ins>

Defines inserted text

<del>

Defines deleted text

<s>

Deprecated. Use <del> instead

<strike>

Deprecated. Use <del> instead

<u>

Deprecated. Use styles instead

"Computer Output" Tags

Tag

Description

<code>

Defines computer code text

<kbd>

Defines keyboard text 

<samp>

Defines sample computer code

<tt>

Defines teletype text

<var>

Defines a variable

<pre>

Defines preformatted text

<listing>

Deprecated. Use <pre> instead

<plaintext>

Deprecated. Use <pre> instead

<xmp>

Deprecated. Use <pre> instead

Citations, Quotations, and Definition Tags

Tag

Description

<abbr>

Defines an abbreviation

<acronym>

Defines an acronym

<address>

Defines an address element

<bdo>

Defines the text direction

<blockquote>

Defines a long quotation

<q>

Defines a short quotation

<cite>

Defines a citation

<dfn>

Defines a definition term

HTML Styles

« Previous

Next Chapter »


The style attribute is a new HTML attribute. It introduces CSS to HTML.


Look! Styles and colors

This text is in Verdana and red

This text is in Times and blue

This text is 30 pixels high

Try it yourself


The HTML Style Attribute

The purpose of the style attribute is:

To provide a common way to style all HTML elements.

Styles was introduced with HTML 4, as the new and preferred way to style HTML elements. With HTML styles, styles can be added to HTML elements directly by using the style attribute, or indirectly by in separate style sheets (CSS files).

You can learn everything about styles and CSS in our CSS tutorial.

In our HTML tutorial we use the style attribute to introduce you to HTML styles.


HTML Style Examples

style="background-color:yellow"

style="font-size:10px"

style="font-family:Times"

style="text-align:center"


Deprecated Tags and Attributes

In HTML 4, some tags and attributes are defined as deprecated. Deprecated means that they will not be supported in future versions of HTML and XHTML.

The message is clear: Avoid the use of deprecated tags and attributes.

These tags and attributes should be avoided:

Tags

Description

<center>

Defines centered content

<font> and <basefont>

Defines HTML fonts

<s> and <strikeout>

Defines strikeout text

<u>

Defines underlined text

 

 

Attributes

Description

align

Defines the alignment of text

bgcolor

Defines the background color

color

Defines the text color

For all the above: Use styles instead.


Style Examples:


Background Color

<body style="background-color:yellow">

The style attribute defines a style for the <body> element.

Try it yourself: Background color

The new style attribute makes the "old" bgcolor attribute obsolete.

Try it yourself: Background the old way


Font Family, Color and Size

<p style="font-family:courier new; color:red; font-size:20px">

The style attribute defines a style for the <p> element.

Try it yourself: Font Example

The new style attribute makes the old <font> tag obsolete.

Try it yourself: Fonts the old way


Text Alignment

<h1 style="text-align:center">

The style attribute defines a style for the <h1> element.

Try it yourself: Centered heading

The new style attribute makes the old "align" attribute obsolete.

HTML Styles

« Previous

Next Chapter »


The style attribute is a new HTML attribute. It introduces CSS to HTML.


Look! Styles and colors

This text is in Verdana and red

This text is in Times and blue

This text is 30 pixels high

Try it yourself


The HTML Style Attribute

The purpose of the style attribute is:

To provide a common way to style all HTML elements.

Styles was introduced with HTML 4, as the new and preferred way to style HTML elements. With HTML styles, styles can be added to HTML elements directly by using the style attribute, or indirectly by in separate style sheets (CSS files).

You can learn everything about styles and CSS in our CSS tutorial.

In our HTML tutorial we use the style attribute to introduce you to HTML styles.


HTML Style Examples

style="background-color:yellow"

style="font-size:10px"

style="font-family:Times"

style="text-align:center"


Deprecated Tags and Attributes

In HTML 4, some tags and attributes are defined as deprecated. Deprecated means that they will not be supported in future versions of HTML and XHTML.

The message is clear: Avoid the use of deprecated tags and attributes.

These tags and attributes should be avoided:

Tags

Description

<center>

Defines centered content

<font> and <basefont>

Defines HTML fonts

<s> and <strikeout>

Defines strikeout text

<u>

Defines underlined text

 

 

Attributes

Description

align

Defines the alignment of text

bgcolor

Defines the background color

color

Defines the text color

For all the above: Use styles instead.


Style Examples:


Background Color

<body style="background-color:yellow">

The style attribute defines a style for the <body> element.

Try it yourself: Background color

The new style attribute makes the "old" bgcolor attribute obsolete.

Try it yourself: Background the old way


Font Family, Color and Size

<p style="font-family:courier new; color:red; font-size:20px">

The style attribute defines a style for the <p> element.

Try it yourself: Font Example

The new style attribute makes the old <font> tag obsolete.

Try it yourself: Fonts the old way


Text Alignment

<h1 style="text-align:center">

The style attribute defines a style for the <h1> element.

HTML Images

« Previous

Next Chapter »

 

Example

Norwegian Mountain Trip


Try it yourself »


Try it Yourself - Examples

Insert images
This example demonstrates how to display images in your Web page.

Insert images from different locations
This example demonstrates how to display images from another folder or another server in your Web page.

(You can find more examples at the bottom of this page)


The Image Tag and the Src Attribute

In HTML, images are defined with the <img> tag. 

The <img> tag is empty, which means that it contains attributes only and it has no closing tag.

To display an image on a page, you need to use the src attribute. Src stands for "source". The value of the src attribute is the URL of the image you want to display on your page.

The syntax of defining an image:

<img src="url" />

The URL points to the location where the image is stored. An image named "boat.gif" located in the directory "images" on "www.w3schools.com" has the URL: http://www.w3schools.com/images/boat.gif.

The browser puts the image where the image tag occurs in the document. If you put an image tag between two paragraphs, the browser shows the first paragraph, then the image, and then the second paragraph.


The Alt Attribute

The alt attribute is used to define an "alternate text" for an image. The value of the alt attribute is an author-defined text:

<img src="boat.gif" alt="Big Boat" />

The "alt" attribute tells the reader what he or she is missing on a page if the browser can't load images. The browser will then display the alternate text instead of the image. It is a good practice to include the "alt" attribute for each image on a page, to improve the display and usefulness of your document for people who have text-only browsers.


Basic Notes - Useful Tips

If an HTML file contains ten images - eleven files are required to display the page right. Loading images take time, so my best advice is: Use images carefully.


More Examples

Background image
This example demonstrates how to add a background image to an HTML page.

Aligning images
This example demonstrates how to align an image within the text.

Let the image float
This example demonstrates how to let an image float to the left or right of a paragraph.

Adjust images to different sizes
This example demonstrates how to adjust images to different sizes.

Display an alternate text for an image
This example demonstrates how to display an alternate text for an image. The "alt" attribute tells the reader what he or she is missing on a page if the browser can't load images. It is a good practice to include the "alt" attribute for each image on a page.

Make a hyperlink of an image
This example demonstrates how to use an image as a link.

Create an image map
This example demonstrates how to create an image map, with clickable regions. Each of the regions is a hyperlink.

Turn an image into an image map
This example demonstrates how to turn an image into an image map. You will see that if you move the mouse over the image, the coordinates will be displayed on the status bar.


Image Tags

Tag

Description

<img>

Defines an image

<map>

Defines an image map

<area>

Defines a clickable area inside an image map

HTML Tables

« Previous

Next Chapter »

 

HTML Tables

Apples

44%

Bananas

23%

Oranges

13%

Other

10%


Try it Yourself - Examples

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