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Basic Tags
Home >> HelpDesk >> HTML: The Language of the Internet >> Basic Tags

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Basic Tags

Now that you know a few tags for formatting text it's time to learn some other basic tags so that you can start to create some more interesting HTML documents.

Bold, Underline, and Italic

There are a few different tags which can accomplish bold, underline, and italic text. The difference between the methods is that some are Logical styles while others are Physical styles, the difference will be explained below.

There are two ways to create bolded text, the first way is by using the <strong> </strong> element:

<strong>this text is in bold</strong>

The other way is by using the <b> </b> element, which stands for bold:

<b>this text is in bold</b>

Note that in lynx the text is not displayed as bold but is instead displayed as underlined.

There are also two ways to create italic text. The first way is by using the <em> </em> element, which stands for emphasis:

<em>this text is in italic</em>

The other way is by using the <i> </i> element, which stands for italic:

<i>this text is in italic</i>

Like bold text, lynx displays both methods of italic text as underlined.

There is one way to create underlined text, by using the <u> </u> element, which stands for underline:

<u>this text is underlined</u>

Logical and Physical Styles

There are two different ways to do character formatting in HTML, one is logical style, the other is physical style. The concept behind HTML is that the HTML document only describes how the text behaves but that the individual browsers determine how the page actually looks. What this means is that the browser can be set to display the tags the way that the user wants them to be displayed, this is what a logical style does. <strong> and <em> are both examples of logical styles. If you look at what the tags stand for this makes a bit more sense, they stand for strong and emphasis. Nowhere in the tag does it really say how that tag should be displayed, strong could be set to be displayed as red for instance.

Sometimes though you want a character to be displayed a certain way and not give the browser any choice about it. This is what a physical style is. <b>, <i>, and <u> are all physical styles. Again, this is clear when you look at what they stand for; bold, italic, and underline. Here the tag does specifically say how the text should be displayed.

The question of which tags you should use is largely a personal one and it will also depend on how you want the page to work. Just remember that lynx can't handle different types of text so they always get displayed as underlined. When viewed in a graphical browser then you do see the text displayed like the tag says it should be.

Horizontal Rule

The horizontal rule is a horizontal line across the screen:


and is created with the <hr> tag. It can be very useful for dividing sections of a document. The example shown is centered and is of a width of 60%, making the appearance of the line less heavy and overbearing and is created with the following tag:

<hr align="center" width="60%">

 


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