HTML and CSS Reference
Do design your pages so that they
work in most browsers.
Do focus on clear, well-structured
content that's easy to read and
Don't design your pages based on
what they look like on your computer
system and on your browser.
Throughout this topic, I'll show you examples of HTML code and what they look like
How Markup Works
HTML is a markup language . Writing in a markup language means that you start with
the text of your page and add special tags around words and paragraphs. The tags indi-
cate the different parts of the page and produce different effects in the browser. You learn
more about tags and how they're used in the next section.
HTML has a defined set of tags you can use. You can't make up your own tags to create
new styles or features. And just to make sure that things are confusing, various browsers
support different sets of tags. To further understand this, take a brief look at the history
A Brief History of HTML Tags
HTML 2.0 was the original standard for HTML (a written specification for it is devel-
oped and maintained by the W3C) and the set of tags that all browsers must support.
Most of the tags in that original specification are still supported. In the next few lessons,
you primarily learn to use tags that were first introduced in HTML 2.0.
The HTML 3.2 specification was developed in early 1996. Several software vendors,
including IBM, Microsoft, Netscape Communications Corporation, Novell, SoftQuad,
Spyglass, and Sun Microsystems, joined with the W3C to develop this specification.
Some of the primary additions to HTML 3.2 included features such as tables, applets,
and text flow around images.
The enhancements introduced in HTML 3.2 are covered later in
this topic. You learn more about tables in Lesson 10, “Building
Tables.” Lesson 12, “Integrating Multimedia: Sound, Video, and
More,” tells you how to use Java applets.