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/ December, 1995 / version 2.0 / version history /

WRITING HTML was created to help teachers create learning resources that access information on the Internet. Therefore, the exercises here involve writing a lesson called Volcano Web. However, this tutorial may be used by anyone who wants to create World Wide Web pages. The lessons cover the basic elements of web pages that can be opened and displayed from any computer.

By the time you have reached the end of this tutorial you will be able to construct a series of linked web pages for any subject that includes formatted text, pictures, and hypertext links to other web pages on the Internet.

Curious? Then peek at the web that you will create in this tutorial (Basic HTML 2.0 version, lessons 1-14; Advanced HTML 3.0, lessons 1-23). For faster performance, you can download an archive of all files used in this tutorial. Most of the lessons can even be done offline.

Why Create World Wide Web Pages?

Because everyone else is? Wrong!

The World Wide Web is a unique tool which allows you to access not only text but also picture, sound, or video information from across the Internet world. For more examples of how the web is used as an instructional tool, see our searchable collection of Teaching and Learning on the WWW


This tutorial covers the steps for writing HTML files and provides illustrative examples for creating web pages. In these lessons you will: In this tutorial, you will be creating a World Wide Web page that is itself a lesson called Volcano Web.

What is HTML?

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the format that tells a web browser how to displays its multimedia documents. The documents themselves are plain text files (ASCII) with special "tags" or codes that a web browser knows how to interpret and display on your screen. With just a simple text editor, you can create your own World Wide Web-based pages or information centers that connect to the Internet. See the MCLI WWW InfoPage for related HTML resources and guides.

Getting Ready...

This tutorial assumes you have a basic knowledge of how to use your web browser menus, buttons, and hypertext links. Since you are reading this page, we can also assume that you are at a computer capable of running a World Wide Web browser program. For more about the World Wide Web, see the WWW Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or any of the many items available from our own WWW InfoPage

You should have access to a word processor or text editor program capable of creating plain text files. Examples are the ones that come standard with system software, i.e. SimpleText for the Macintosh or NotePad for Windows. We strongly urge that you use the most basic text editor while you learn HTML and then later you can explore some of the many HTML "editors" available. If you use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect then you must save your files as plain ASCII text format. You should also be familiar with switching between multiple applications as well as using the mouse to copy and paste selections of text.

If you download the tutorial files, you can do nearly all of the lessons off-line. If so, you want to look for options to set in your web browser or network software so that it does not immediately try to connect to the Internet when you launch the web browser program (i.e. in NetScape Navigator, you can set the preferences to "open browser with blank page").

How the Tutorial Works

We suggest that you proceed through the lessons in the listed order, but at any time you can return to the index to jump to a different lesson. At times you may want to print a page-- It's easy! Just select Print from the File menu of your web browser.

As a convention, all menu names and items will be shown in bold text. All text that you should enter from the keyboard will appear in typewriter style.

Within each lesson, you can click on a link that shows a sample HTML file for that section.

Before You Start...

  1. Use the Hotlist or Bookmark feature of your web browser to mark the lesson index page so you can easily get to other lessons.
  2. We've written instructions generic to any web browser; sometimes the menu names or features may not match the web browser you are using.
  3. This tutorial will show you how to create web pages that can see outward to the world. It will not tell you how to let the world see them; to do this you need to locate an Internet Service Provider that provides web server space.
  4. We cannot highly enough recommend the Yale C/AIM WWW Style Manual and Andy King's Webmaster Reference Library.

While You are Doing...

  1. Refer to the HTML tag summary page as a reference.
  2. If you are having trouble, see if your situation is covered in our Writing HTML FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

When You Are Done...

Once your web pages become available on the World Wide Web, please list them on our Writing HTML Alumni page using our registration form.

Who did this?

Writing HTML was developed by Alan Levine, instructional technologist at the Maricopa Community Colleges. Tom Super provided instructional design support. Many others have given helpful suggestions, corrected typos, and expressed their thanks!


Time to Get Started!

Now, if you are ready, go to the index of lessons or go straight to the first lesson.

Writing HTML
©1995 Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI)
Maricopa County Community College District, Arizona

The Internet Connection at MCLI is Alan Levine --}
Comments to levine@maricopa.edu

URL: http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/tut/