Computers/Internet: Gif Girl: HTML Text and You
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January 15, 1998
HTML Text:
the basic tags

To begin with, here's a quick overview of the most basic, vanilla HTML tags you can use to augment your HTML text. Here they be:

<H1> — <H6> header tags

Use these tags for headlines, or any other text you want to really stand out. They work like this:

Here's My Big Bold Title

code: <H1>Here's My Big Bold Title</H1>

In keeping with the completely un-intuitive nature of many HTML tags, the text gets bigger and bolder as the header number gets smaller (i.e., <H1> is the biggest and <H6> is the smallest). Be aware that header tags add a full paragraph break after the title, so you don't have to add another one unless you want a lot of space. And make sure to close the header tag as Gif Girl did above, or all your text will end up super-humongous!

<BIG> and <SMALL> to change font size

It doesn't give you as much control as actually specifying the font size does, but the <BIG> and <SMALL> tags do an OK job of making words or phrases bigger or smaller, like so:

Here's My Big Title
code: <BIG>Here's My Big Title</BIG>

Here's My Small Title
code: <SMALL>Here's My Small Title</SMALL>

You may ask, "Big or small compared to what?" Good question, and here's the answer: There's a thing called BASEFONT which will control the default font size of your HTML text on the whole page, if you so choose. So the <BIG> and <SMALL> tags make your text big or small in relation to whatever you've set the BASEFONT to be. Read more about all this in the section on font size.

<B> for bold

This one's pretty obvious. Gif Girl uses it to make HTML text stand out in any number of instances. You can use it for headlines by coupling it with a font size increase. Want to make your links appear bolder than life? Place the bold tag around your link tags. The possibilities are endless! Here's how it looks:

Here's My Bold Text
code: <B>Here's My Bold Text</B>

As with almost all HTML tags, it's vital that you close your bold tag, or all text following the opening bold tag will be bold, and you don't want that.

<I> for italics

Gif Girl has a moral dilemma with this one, since she doesn't want to deprive her fellow Web designers of knowledge, but — particularly at small font sizes — italics can be very hard to read, and just plain ugly! (Which is why you don't see italics much on Tripod.) Still, here's an example:

Here's My Italicized Text
code: <I>Here's My Italicized Text</I>

<SUP> and <SUB> for superscript and subscript text

It's rarely used, but for you science and math geeks out there, you can specify superscript and subscripts like so:

Here's a Wordwith a superscript
code: <SUP>Here's My Superscript</SUP>

Here's a Wordwith a subscript
code: <SUB>Here's My Subscript</SUB>

next > >

1. the basic tags
2. size
3. color
4. font face

When Gif Girl isn't out saving the world from dithered graphics and illegible Web pages, she helps keep Tripod's pages running fast and furious.

Send Gif Girl your comments, ideas, suggestions, and — of course — your solutions for saving the world from bad Web page design. She'd love to hear from you.

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