Hints for Learning HTML


Learning HTML isn't all about reading boring tutorials and trying to remember hundreds of tags. Actually there's only about 10 tags you should know by heart and 10 more you can have the editor insert. And here are a few hints how learning HTML can be made easier, quicker and more fun. They have helped yours truly to learn HTML within just a few weeks.

  1. Learn from the editor. For the very first steps on the web, it's OK a WYSIWYG editor such as Netscape Composer or MS FrontPage. Create a simple page and save it to your harddisk. Make changes to the page one at a time and have a look at how the code changed after each one. Most editors offer a "view source" function you can use for this.

  2. Graduate from WYSIWYG editors. As soon as you've understood how HTML works, get yourself a text-oriented editor such as WebEdit, preferably with a preview function. Now you have full control over the actual source code. Observe how your manipulation of it affects the appearance of the page.

  3. Play. Use HTML files stored offline and do with them whatever comes to mind. Test the limits.

  4. Don't ask - try it. There's a Chinese saying "Give a man a fish and he'll have food for a day. Teach him fishing and he'll have food for the rest of his life." Instead of asking other people how you can do this or that, experiment until you've figured it out by yourself.

  5. RTFM. If you can't figure it out with the help of your editor, find an advanced HTML tutorial. Don't read the tutorial on the train (much too boring), but use it like a dictionary while you work.

  6. Steal. Yes, that's right. Whenever you see something interesting while surfing the web, use the "view source" function of your browser to look at the code that produced the effect. Save the file to your harddisk for future reference, and experiment with the piece of code you've found. Unless it's JavaScript, there's no ownership to be respected. :)

Have fun, and always remember the Chinese proverb! Here's a German one that also applies: No achievement without effort.

Golden Rules for Bad HTML
Golden Rules for Good HTML
Hints for learning HTML


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