HTML Toolkit

Your library is ready for a Web site. You’ve heard that it’s not too hard to do, and all the other librarians you talk to seem to have already taken the plunge. Now that you’ve made the decision to dive in, you might be wondering how to actually get started. You know what programs and services you want to highlight on your Web site. You may know that you’ll need to learn HTML, Hypertext Markup Language. But where do you really begin?
We’ve developed HTML TOOLKIT specifically to help librarians plan, develop, create, publicize, and manage a Web site. In this Toolkit, you’ll find checklists related to planning and maintaining the pages you create. You’ll also find templates to help you learn HTML and information on getting the word out about your site.
When you see , that’s your chance to access one of the HTML TOOLKIT templates. The code on these pages is for you to copy and use on your own pages. Make sure to view the source code to read comments about the code used and see how the page works. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
Throughout Toolkit you’ll also find addresses of library Web pages that demonstrate the tips and techniques discussed. We encourage you to take a look at these and learn from the libraries that are already on the Web. Many of them offer a valuable look at how libraries are using the Web in exciting new ways, and we hope they’ll be a source of information as well as inspiration.
Some Concepts Defined

It may seem like everyone you know has a home page on the Web. Even TV commercials feature Web addresses. People give out their URL, compare browsers, and debate the merits of various HTML tags. But what do all these terms really mean?
Before you sit down and start to plan your library’s Web site, you will need to understand some of the terminology that you’ll come across. To construct a Web site you need these building blocks to get started – a knowldege of how a Web address is constructed, a knowledged of basic HTML, and an awareness of how your browser works. We provide you with these blocks throughout Toolkit.
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is the page markup language you need to know in order to create pages for the Web. This language, which is made up of tags such as <B> for bold text, is read and displayed by your Web browsing software (Lynx, Netscape Navigator, or Microsoft Internet Explorer). HTML, with its many different tags, includes information on how the software should display your page’s text and pictures.
You will probably decide to create one page that acts as an entrance to your site or as a Table of Contents
Your home page can connect visitors to resources you have developed as well as to resources that others (educational institutions, companies, organizations, etc.) have created. These connections are called links. With the click of a mouse, they link visitors to other pages on the Web.
When you write pages using HTML, you are actually creating files. You can create HTML files in simple word processing programs like Notepad (Windows) or Simple Text (Macintosh). When you’ve added all the tags you need to make your page look the way you’d like it to, you save your file with the ending .html. That file becomes one page on the Web.
Once you have created your pages using HTML, you need to put them on the Web where people can look at them. All the HTML files, images, sounds, and other things you’ve prepared for your site will need to be placed on a Web server, a computer that “serves up” pages to Web users. This server may be run within your library by a systems administrator or may be at a remote location (for example, in the offices of the company that provides your Internet access). Before you begin working on your site, you should find out where the server is and who can help you place your files there.
This is where the browser and the URL come in. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address which reflects what you have named your files and where they “live” on a Web server. For example, the URL for EBSCO’s main page is It’s the address of the computer which holds the files that make up the EBSCO Web site. Later in Toolkit we’ll talk more about how you get an address and what the various parts of the address actually mean.
In order for people to look at your Web site (and in order for you to test it to see how it looks) a Web browser is needed. A Web browser is a piece of software that will read and interpret your HTML code, showing it as a finished page with images and other materials that you included. The most common browsers used in libraries today are Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Lynx. With Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, it is possible to view both words and pictures at a Web site. Lynx is a text-only browser, so its users see only a page’s words, not the images.
Before you write the HTML code for your pages, it is important to determine what you want visitors to know about your library from its Web presence. Different types of libraries have developed sites to provide patrons and the community at large with a variety of information. For example:

The Hawaii Medical Library, provides visitors to the site with information on the library’s mission, goals, and policies, a description of Hawaiian healing plants, information on classes at the Medical Library, and forms for requesting books and periodicals from the library.

The Wheaton Public Library, in Wheaton, IL, maintains a reference question of the month and provides e-mail access to the reference staff. They also offer information about library programs and services, bibliographies produced by staff, and a collection of newspaper articles written by Wheaton librarians.
Bowdoin College Library includes Internet guides related to areas of study at the college as well as access to titles reserved for college courses and to the library’s catalog.
The Library Without Walls at the Mt. Laurel Hartford School in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, provides access to Internet resources arranged within the Dewey Decimal system structure.

Everything from the history of the library to its policies and procedures, from the online library catalog to reference and ILL services, there are a variety of options for site content. Providing all of these possible choices might be difficult, time consuming, or inappropriate and will depend on your library’s policies and mission. Developing a focused idea of what to present is crucial to a successful site. To help you determine the purpose and content of your site, consider these questions:

What do you want to accomplish?

Knowing what you want to accomplish with your library’s site will help you determine what the content will include. For example, do you simply want to provide people with a way to find out about the programs and services you provide? Would you like to offer users access to information and resources via their computer? Try to determine whether your goal is publicity, outreach, Web-based service, education, or a combination of factors.
What audience would you like to reach?
Who is your ideal user? Who do you want to use the site? For example, are you planning to target non-library users or those who are already familiar with your library’s resources? Are you aiming to reach a particular age group or income level? All of these questions will affect how you present yourself on the Web.
What type of Internet connection does the audience tend to have?
What do you know about how members of the target audience usually connect to the Net? For example, are most of these users using modem connections or do they tend to have high-speed access? If your audience will be connecting at a lower speed, you will want to think twice about adding things that will increase downloading time (such as large graphics, sound, or video).
What existing services would you like to incorporate into the site?

What would you like to highlight about your current programs and services on your Web site? For example, if your intended audience is parents of preschool children, you might want to include storyhour information and registration. If your audience is undergraduate students, you might want to include forms for reserving materials or pathfinders related to specific courses of study.
What new services would you like to provide on the site?
Are there special services you can offer your audience via your Web site? For example, if you haven’t been able to provide a full spectrum of foreign language materials for your non-English speaking patrons, you might want to provide links to resources in their native languages.
Who is going to be responsible for creating the Web documents?
Will members of your staff be writing the code for you pages or will you hire someone to put the site together? Regardless of who is chosen to do this work, it is important to make sure that these people are aware of the purpose and audience of the site and that they have the technical support they need.
Who is going to be responsible for maintaining the site?
Once you have developed your Web site, your work has only begun. Visitors will not return if your site is stagnant. Someone will need to take on the responsibility for checking to see that links are still working, adding new information, and so on.
How often do you plan on updating the site?

It’s helpful to determine in advance the amount of time that you ll be able to devote to your site’s upkeep. Creating a regular schedule for maintenance and new content will ensure that the site is kept fresh. By letting visitors know how often the site will be updated (weekly, monthly, etc.), you increase the chance that they will return for the latest information about your library’s programs and services.
If you plan to provide opportunities for visitors to ask reference questions or provide feedback, which staff members will be responsible for fielding these questions?

When patrons approach your library’s reference desk, they expect prompt and courteous service. Similarly, visitors to your Web site who submit questions or requests for information will expect the same high quality interactions. Determine how much time you’ll need to answer questions and what the process will be for responding, and then communicate this information to visitors so they know when to expect a response.

There might be other questions you have in mind that are specific to your library and setting. When you have answered all these questions, you are ready to start planning and developing the content of your Web site. This process includes preparing storyboards or a site plan, writing any text, considering navigation methods, finding images, scripts, or other material, and coding the pages.
It is important to determine ahead of time how all the pieces of your site are going to fit together. There’s no faster way to lose visitors than by making it difficult for them to find the information they want. Just as libraries need appropriate signage, Web sites should provide signposts and pathways for visitors. Many site designers create storyboards or flow charts for their site to help ensure a usable design. These offer a visual representation of how the pieces of your Web site fit together, and can help predict problem areas in advance.
Writing the text for the site is a task which should be considered in advance since it may require the preparation of original content, editing time, or adaptation for a specific audience. The amount of information you include on each page and the style in which it is written should relate to the audience and purpose which you have carved out for your site.
When you have your storyboards and a rough idea of the text, consider what images, scripts, or other materials you’d like to include on the site. You may have some photos of the library, but you’ll need to get those into an electronic format by scanning them. You may also need permissions for some images, such as book covers or photos of patrons. The same holds true for sound or video. If you’re planning to have interactive elements, such as a reference form or an animated learning game for children, you’ll need to consider whether you have the scripts and resources necessary to add these features.
Once you’ve taken the time to plan your site’s structure, organization, and features, you’re ready to start writing the HTML files that will become your site’s pages.
Getting down to HTML

This section of the Toolkit includes descriptions of tags you might use for your Web pages, URLs of sites that use the tags being discussed, and templates so you can try your hand at writing HTML.
As explained earlier, HTML is a page markup language used to create Web files that are read and displayed by a browser. You can create files in a text editor such as Notepad (Windows), Simple Text (Macintosh), or the DOS editor, or you can purchase software specially designed to help you create HTML files. For information on some of these programs, see Appendix B of the Toolkit.
Each file you create will become a page of your site. You decide what your files are called, but they need to end with the extension .html or .htm. For example, most home pages on the Web are named index.html because that is the first file Web server computers look for when someone requests a Web address such as The file index.html may link to other files that you name, such as programs.html or hours.html.
It’s a good idea to keep filenames in lowercase letters and if you are using Windows 3.x, you’ll also want to avoid filenames longer than eight characters. When you save files, they need to be saved as text files in ASCII or DOS format.
HTML files are made up of a series of tags that are inserted into the document. These tags tell the browser how to display a piece of text or an image. For example, if you wanted to make some text appear bold, you would use the following tag:
<B>This is bold text.</B>
In this example, the words “This is bold text” will appear in bold face. The first tag, <B>, turns the bold face on, while the second tag with its backslash, </B>, turns it off. Many HTML tags work this way, sandwiching text that is to be altered between a start and an end tag.
All HTML tags must be written inside brackets, but not all tags need an end tag (such as </B>). For example, you may want to simply insert a line break into your document, the way you would hit a carriage return on a typewriter. This can be done with the <BR> tag, and needs no </BR>. It would look like this:

This is the first line of text.<BR>
This is the second line of text.
When you write your pages, your carriage returns will not show up on your finished page unless you use <BR> or its equivalent. If you hit the return key in your word processing software, it knows to start a new line in the letter or report you’re writing. With HTML, you have to insert line breaks manually using <BR>. As you write your code, you may still want to add carriage returns every so often, even though they won’t appear on your finished page. This will make it much easier to read and correct your work later.
One of the best ways to learn HTML is to surf the Web. Using Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can view the HTML behind the pages you see on screen. To do this, select View Source from your browser’s top menu. The window that appears will show the HTML file used to create the page you had on screen. You may notice that some people write their tags all in uppercase letters while others use lowercase. Both methods work equally well, as long as you make sure any filenames that you include in your code are typed the way they were created — uppercase, numerals, slashes, and all.
The Basic Tags

Every HTML document begins with the same set of tags. These are:
<HTML> This tells browsers that this is a Web file written in Hypertext Markup Language. The “off” switch, or end tag, is </HTML> and should be the last tag in your file. Everything else you include in your file will be sandwiched between these two tags.
<HEAD> Inside the <HEAD> tag you add information about your document, such as indexing terms to be used by search engines or information about the page’s title. This information does not appear on the finished page, but is important nonetheless. </HEAD> is the end tag.
<TITLE> The <TITLE> tag is always sandwiched inside the <HEAD> tag (see examples). Like the <HEAD> tag, what you include in the <TITLE> tag will not appear on the actual page. Your document’s title will appear in the thin line at the very top of most Web browsers, though, and it will be used by search engines so you should try to make it brief and descriptive. (For example, if you look at the EBSCO home page at, you will see that the title of the page is “EBSCO Publishing Home Page.”) The end tag is </TITLE>.
<BODY> After closing the <HEAD> tag by typing </HEAD>, you are now ready for the most important part of the file: the part that will actually appear on the finished page. Everything you want to actually appear on your page should be sandwiched inside the <BODY> tag and its end tag. The </BODY> end tag is always one of the last tags in your file, and should appear just before the </HTML> end tag.
Note: You won’t see anything on the page except for the title in the bar at the top of the page. View the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
Inside the brackets of the <BODY> tag, you can also include extra information about how you want your page to look. Maybe you want every page to have a bright red background, with yellow text and orange links. You can change these colors by including properties in the <BODY> tag. Some of these properties are:
<BODY BGCOLOR=”#000000″> This property, BGCOLOR, specifies what the background color of the page will be. The numbers after it tell the browser which color to select. You can find easy lists of these color numbers, called hexadecimal colors, to include in your page. For more information about hexadecimal colors, see Lynda Weinman’s Web site.
<BODY TEXT=”#336699″ LINK=”#999999″ VLINK=”#666666″ ALINK=”#999999″> These text and link properties specify how your page will look, again using hexadecimal colors. TEXT is used to change the color of the main text on the page. LINK alters the color of any hotlinks to other pages. VLINK specifies what color you’d like visited links to be once users have already clicked on them. ALINK, or active link, is the color of the link as the user clicks on it.
<BODY BACKGROUND=”image.gif”> You can use the BACKGROUND property to specify that an image be used as a background, rather than just having a plain colored background. For example, you may want to have a picture of an antique book or of some people using your library, and be able to place your text on top of it to get an interesting effect. Images that you use as background will tile, which means that they will repeat as many times as necessary until they fill the entire screen. Be careful to test the readability of your pages if you are using a background image.
You can combine these properties within the <BODY> tag to get interesting effects:
<BODY BACKGROUND=”books.gif” TEXT=”#000000″ LINK=”#330000″ VLINK=”#660000″ ALINK=”#330000″>

Note: You won’t see anything on the page except for the title in the bar at the top of the page. View the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
Adding and Altering Text

Now you are ready to start adding text and images to your page. We’ll start with the text. You have a few different options for determining the size of the text and how it will be displayed in the browser.
<H1> This is a header tag, which will display specified words in large, bold print. </H1> is the end tag. Changing the number 1 in this tag to another number (between 1 and 6) will change the size of the text. <H6> is a very small bold header. <H3> is an average sized bold header.
<B> Text that is sandwiched between this tag and its end tag will appear in bold face. You can also use an older tag, <STRONG> to achieve the same effect.
<I> Any text that appears between this tag and its end tag, </I>, will be in italic. You can also use an older tag, <EM>, to achieve the same effect.
<CENTER> Using this tag, you can center text, images, tables, and other elements on a page. The end tag is </CENTER>.
You may also want to add space between lines of text or after images. The tags below can be used for line spacing.
<BR> With the <BR> tag, you can include a line break in your text, which will start a new line. This is very useful if you’re doing things like addresses, which you probably don’t want to string together on one line. This tag has no end tag.
<P> The <P> tag inserts a full blank line of paragraph spacing. It is equal to two <BR> tags and like the <BR> tag, it needs no end tag.

Note: Don’t forget to view the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
There are also a number of options for changing the appearance of fonts used on the page. You can alter a font’s size or color, or change the font style altogether. Be careful to test your pages on both Macintosh and Windows computers if you use the font tag, since this can occasionally cause problems for some users.
<FONT> This tag determines the size, color, and face of text that is sandwiched inside it. It has a number of properties listed below, and requires an end tag.
<FONT SIZE=3> Changing the font size can allow you to better serve older patrons, kids, or others who may prefer a large font. It can also be used for small print for copyright statements or other legalese. The normal, default size is 3. Very tiny, almost unreadable text might be SIZE=1, while SIZE=4 would be comfortable reading for kids or older adults.
<FONT COLOR=#000000> Remembering the hexadecimal colors mentioned earlier in this document, you can change the color of a word or whole block of text by using the FONT COLOR attribute. The default text color is black, or #000000. While the best idea is to use hexadecimal colors, since older browsers more frequently support them, you can also use color names. As is the case with hexadecimal colors, you have a set list of colors to choose from. When you use color names, replace the hexadecimal number with a color name, such as COLOR=red. For a list of hexadecimal colors and names, see Lynda Weinman’s site.
<FONT FACE=”Arial, Helvetica”> You can specify a particular font using FONT FACE, though this will only work if the user has this font installed on their computer. If they don’t have the first font you specify, their computer will try the second one. If the second or others you specify are also not on the user’s system, text appears in the default font (Times Roman). Users of older browsers may also not be able to see fonts specified with the FACE attribute, so be careful where you use it.
You can combine all of these attributes into one <FONT> tag like this:
<FONT FACE=”Arial, Helvetica, Swiss” COLOR=#006600 SIZE=2>This text will be small and green.</FONT>
Using Lists

There are several different ways to create lists on a Web page. An ordered list is used to present items in a list in numerical order. An unordered list places a bullet next to each item on the list, without numbering them. A definition list allows you to create a lists for dictionary or glossary entries, with one line for a term and an indented line for the definition.
<OL> This tag is used to begin an ordered list. Within the <OL> tag and its end tag, <LI> tags are used wherever you’d like item numbers to appear. The </OL> end tag is included after all list items have been added.
<LI> This stands for list item and should appear wherever you’d like item numbers or bullets to appear. This tag can be used inside ordered or unordered lists and needs no end tag.
Take a look at this sample list for book renewal procedures:

Have the book you want to renew in front of you
Call the library’s renewal hotline
Type in the barcode number of the book you are renewing
Note the new due date
Hang up the phone
Note: Don’t forget to view the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
<UL> This tag begins an unordered list. Within the <UL> tag and its end tag, <LI> tags are used wherever you’d like item numbers to appear. The </UL> end tag is included after all list items have been added.
<LI> This stands for list item and should appear wherever you’d like item numbers or bullets to appear. This tag can be used inside ordered or unordered lists and needs no end tag.
Here is sample for a list of library children’s services:

Preschool Storyhours
Book Discussion Groups
Internet Classes
Note: Don’t forget to view the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
<DL> This tag begins a definition list. The </DL> end tag is included after all list items have been added.
<DT> Each time you add a term that will be defined, use this tag. Like the <LI> tag, this tag needs no end tag.
<DD> After each <DT> tag, you’ll need to add the <DD> tag before you type a definition. <DD> indents the line that has the definition text. There is no end tag for <DD>.
This is what a definition list would look like for descriptions of youth programs:

Preschool Storyhours
The Children’s Department holds storyhours for 3-5 year olds three times a week. These programs include stories, songs, and other activities related to books.
Book Discussion Groups
Fourth to sixth graders are invited to our monthly book discussion program. Books are chosen by participants. Refreshments served

Note: Don’t forget to view the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page
Adding Images

Images are what makes the Web exciting to so many people. When you are planning what images to include on your site, you’ll want to consider issues such as:

Where will you get your images?
Images are available in a variety of places. You can find them on the Internet, in books, and on CD-ROMs. Remember that although these images might be easy to get a hold of, copyright restrictions still apply to many of them.


How many images will you use, and how large will they be?
The slower a visitor’s Internet connection, the longer it will take images to load on the page. For this reason, it’s wise to limit the number of images on your page and to keep them relatively small. For more information on reducing image file sizes, see Creating Small Fast Loading Graphics for Web Pages.

Most graphical browsers (such as Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer) recognize two main image file types: GIF and JPEG. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is the best format to use for cartoons, line drawings, and other artwork. GIF files end with the extension .gif. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is best for photos. JPEG files end with the extension .jpg or.jpeg.
<IMG SRC=”image.gif”> Using this tag inserts an image into the page. The image filename must be in quotes. The image tag does not need an end tag. The <IMG SRC> tag has a number of properties you can add.
<IMG SRC=”book.jpg” HEIGHT=200 WIDTH=80> Width and height properties are measured in pixels. The graphics program you use to edit your images (such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop) will tell you their size in pixels. It’s a good idea to include WIDTH and HEIGHT properties since it allows browsers to load images more quickly. You can also use these properties to resize an image.
<IMG SRC=”book.jpg” BORDER=2> To add a border (usually a black line) around your image, add the BORDER attribute and a number in pixels. To make sure your image has no border if you’re using an image as a hotlink, use BORDER=0.
<IMG SRC=”book.jpg” ALIGN=left> The ALIGN attribute tells the browser how text should wrap, or align, around an image. ALIGN=left places the image at the left margin and wraps the text around it, and ALIGN=right does the same on the right margin. You can also use top, bottom, or center with the ALIGN attribute, though these don’t alter the position of the image on the page. Top starts a line of text on the right side of an image at the top; center starts it on the right in the middle; and bottom starts it on the right at the bottom. These three options are useful for aligning captions but will not align a whole paragraph of text.
<IMG SRC=”book.jpg” ALT=”image of a book”> The ALT tag provides text for those visitors who are using a text based browser such as Lynx. The text specified in the ALT tag (in the example above, “image of a book”) will appear instead of images for people who don’t have a graphical browser.

Note: Don’t forget to view the source to see the code that makes this page work. Use your browser’s “back” feature to return to this page.
Adding Text & Image Links

Images may make the Web exciting, but the ability to link pages together is the what makes the technology truly useful. You can link text and images on your pages so that visitors can quickly and easily connect to other sites. When you link to another site on the Web, you create an external link. When you link to a document within your own site, you create an internal link. The tag for each of these is the same; however, if you are linking to an external site it is important to include the full address you are linking to.
<A HREF=”“> The A HREF tag is called an anchor tag and specifies what site or file is being linked to. The A HREF tag is followed by the text or image that will be the link for visitors to click on. The end tag is </A>.
To create a link from your site to the HTML TOOLKIT main page, you would type: <A HREF=” TOOLKIT</A>. This is an external link, so you include the full address starting with http://.
To create a link from one of your site’s pages to another of your pages (for example, a page about your library’s services) you might type: <A HREF=”services.html”> Find out about our services</A>. If the file called “services.html” is located in the same directory (or folder) as the rest of the pages on the site, you only need to provide the name of the file. If the page is located in another directory, you will need to provide the full address or path.
To make an image a link, you include an image tag inside the anchor tag: <A HREF=” SRC=”book.jpg” BORDER=0></A>. In this case, the image of a book, book.jpg, will be a link to the HTML TOOLKIT. Adding BORDER=0 will remove the image border that appears around a linked image.
To create a link for people to send an e-mail message from your page, use the anchor tag along with the e-mail address of the person who will receive the message: <A HREF=””>Contact LEO</A>. By clicking on the words “Contact LEO,” visitors will be able to send an e-mail message directly from their browser if their browser is configured to handle such a function.
Publishing Your Site

The tags above provide you with the beginning elements needed to create a library Web site. Once you have created the pages for your site, you will need to publish them so others can access and use the pages. To do this, you will need access to a Web server computer that is connected to the Internet. Often companies that provide access to the Internet (Internet Service Providers) also provide space on their computers so that subscribers can put up Web pages.
When you have space on a server, you may also want to choose a name for your space (such as that reflects the name of your organization. This is known as your domain name. The domain name for EBSCO publishing is, so the URL that people use to access EBSCO’s home page is
In order for people to see your site, you’ll need to transfer the files you created to the server. If the server is in your library, this could be a simple as handing over a disk to a technical services person. If you have space on a remote server, you’ll need to transfer the files using FTP software. There are a number of FTP programs you can use, including Fetch for the Macintosh and WS-FTP for the PC.
If you name the main home page file index.html, your server will automatically know which page is the first page of your site. You also save visitors the extra time of typing the filename, since the first file a server will look for is index.html. For example, to access the home page for EBSCO Publishing, a visitor only needs to type in even though the full address is actually
Publicizing Your Site

Once you have created and published your Web site, you’ll need to let people know that it is available. One way to do this is by publicizing it by traditional means, such as through brochures or an article in the local newspaper. You’ll also need to make sure you publicize it on the Web. You can do this by submitting it to search engines and directories, which will allow Internet users to find your site when they perform a search. You can submit your site to each search engine separately or you can visit sites such as Submit It and submit to a number of search engines at once.
You may also want to post a message about your Web site to library-oriented listservs and newsgroups. Visit Tile.Net or Liszt for information on subscribing to and posting on library-oriented listservs.

Appendix A
HTML Glossary
browser – A piece of software which allows a computer to access and display Web documents.
client – When you browse the Web, your computer acts as a client computer, requesting files from a server computer.
domain name – The name of the computer, such as, on which a Web page is stored (typically the name of the entity that developed the page).
download – Transferring files from a remote computer to your computer
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – Allows users to transfer files from one computer to another computer.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) – One of the formats for displaying images on the Web. GIF is best for artwork and cartoons.
home page – A Web document which provides information and/or links about a particular organization or subject. Typically the first page of a web site.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – The code which is used to create and display documents for the Web.
HTTP – (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) – The set of rules governing communication between computers on the Web.
Hypertext/Hypermedia – “Hot” links, usually underlined, in a Web document. These links allow users to jump to another file or page on the Web by clicking on a word or image.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) – A Web image format which is best for photos.
Lynx – A text-based Web browser. This program allows those who use Internet accounts without graphic capabilities to view Web documents.
Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE)- Microsoft’s Web browser. This piece of software allows users to view pictures, hear sounds, and play video clips via the Web.
Netscape Navigator – A graphical Web browser. Allows users to view pictures, hear sounds, and play video clips via the WWW.
server – The computer where the web site’s files live. It “serves” pages to users.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) – The common “language” or set of rules that computers use in order to communicate over the Internet.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – A Web address, beginning with either http://, gopher://, ftp://, or telnet://.
Web site – A collection of Web pages or files.
World Wide Web (WWW) – The Internet protocol which allows users to find information via hyperlinks.

Using HTML Editors
One of the debates that has been ongoing among Web designers revolves around using HTML editors and converters (software for writing Web files) in developing pages. Currently, there are many editors and convertors available. HTML editors can be downloaded from the Internet and convertors often come bundled with other software. Are these tools right for you? Consider some of these questions:
1) How much do you want to know about HTML?
If you are interested in learning a lot about HTML, you may not want to use an HTML editor. Since editors provide you with the tags to insert into a HTML document, it is very easy to develop pages without ever gaining an understanding of how the markup language works. If you will be creating new Web pages only very seldom, you may decide you want to use an editor rather than learning the details of HTML.
2) Do you have a large amount of material you need converted for the Web?
Manually converting documents to HTML can be time consuming. If you have a large number of word processed files you need to convert to code, you may want to consider using a converter.
A convertor will insert HTML tags into word processed and desktop publishing documents so that with a small amount of additional editing and coding, you will have something ready to mount on the Web.
What you should look for in an HTML editor or convertor:
Which tags are supported?
Which HTML version is supported (the latest is 3.2)?
How are tags accessible (through pull-down menus, dialog boxes, toolbars, etc.)?
Does the editor provide detailed help files for all of its components?
Does the editor support tables, forms, and CGI scripting?
Does the editor have spell checking capabilities?
How easy is it to create links to documents on the Web?
How easy is it to create links within your own document?
How easy is it to insert images into the HTML document?
Does the editor have a find-and-replace feature, and does this feature allow you to make changes for all of the pages within a site?
Does the editor have a preview feature to allow offline testing of the HTML document?

Linda W. Braun
Jennifer Fleming
LEO: Librarians and Educators Online

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