What is HTML?

What is HTML anyway? Well, HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language, and it is the hidden code that is used to create the look and layout of all the documents on the web.

Everything on the web page you are looking at right now is the result of hidden instructions, called tags, that tell a web browser how to display words, pictures, colors, and more.

A web browser is simply a program that lets you view web pages. Many people use these web browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape.

HTML tags or instructions are hidden, but they are not hard to find. You can easily see the HTML code for this web page. Let's see what this web page's HTML code looks like.

Oh, and keep an eye out for these two symbols: < and >. These are known as "less than" (<) and "greater than" (>) signs, or chevrons. They are part of the instructions which your web browser reads and obeys to create a web page.

Look up at the top of your internet window. Find the word View and click it with your mouse. Then click on Source or Page Source.

Can't see the word View? Press and hold down the Alt key on your keyboard. If you still don't see it, try this. Look for a yellow star at the top of your internet window. Use your mouse's right-click button to click on it. A menu will appear. Choose Menu Bar. Now look for View again.

If you still can't see the word View, that's fine. Just click the button below. In a matter of seconds you will see all the hidden HTML tags for displaying the text and images you see here on this web page.

Whew! That's a lot, isn't it? Did you notice all those "less than" (<) and "greater than" (>) signs? Those are part of the HTML tags.

It looks tough, but don't worry. Learning to write HTML is not hard to do.

Now, let's get started learning the tools and rules of writing tags. right arrow

This resource originally created by Deborah Dunk.
Revised and edited by Michael Galloway in 2005 & in 2006.