HTML 4 for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide

HTML 4 for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide

4.0 2
by Elizabeth Castro
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the lingua franca of the Web, and like any language, it's constantly evolving. That's why Elizabeth Castro has written HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, Fourth Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide, an update to her blockbuster guide to HTML 4. You'll find all the concise, practical advice—and fun examples—that made the


HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the lingua franca of the Web, and like any language, it's constantly evolving. That's why Elizabeth Castro has written HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, Fourth Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide, an update to her blockbuster guide to HTML 4. You'll find all the concise, practical advice—and fun examples—that made the first edition a worldwide bestseller, plus entirely new coverage of debugging, JavaScript, and using tables for page layout, and an expanded section on Cascading Style Sheets.

Like all the books in the Visual QuickStart series, this one breaks even the most complex tasks into easy-to-follow steps illustrated with hundreds of screenshots and the actual code. The book presumes no prior knowledge of HTML, making it the perfect introduction for beginners. But its tabbed format and info-packed appendixes (on special HTML characters and Web-safe colors, for example) also make it a handy and indispensable reference for those who build Web pages for a living.

Platform: MAC WIN

Editorial Reviews

A tutorial for novices and a reference for experienced users, featuring step-by-step instruction, tips, troubleshooting advice, and a visual approach with screenshots and code examples. This fourth edition contains a new debugging chapter, expanded coverage of cascading style sheets, a new section on attracting visitors to a web page, and a set of CGI scripts for processing forms. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Internet Bookwatch
Elizabeth Castro's HTML For The World Wide Web appears in its 4th edition to provide a fine visual guide to the language. Beginners receive pictures rather than lots of text: all the basics are covered in an easily-accessed format.

Product Details

Publication date:
Visual QuickStart Guide Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.02(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.63(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: Designing Your Web Page

...Designing Your Site

Although you can just jump in and start writing HTML pages right away (seepage 34), it's a good idea to first think about and design your site. That way, you'll give yourself direction and save reorganizing later.

To design your site:

1. Figure out why you're creating this page. What do you want to convey?

2. Think about your audience. How can you tailor your content to appeal to this audience? For example, should you add lots of graphics or is it more important that your page download quickly?

3. How many pages will you need? What sort of structure would you like it to have? Do you want visitors to go through your site in a particular direction, or do you want to make it easy for them to explore in any direction?

4. Sketch out your site on paper.

5. Devise a simple, consistent naming system for your pages, images, and other external files (seepage 26).


  • On the other hand, don't overdo the design phase of your site. At some point, you've got to dig in and start writing.

  • If you're not very familiar with the Web, do some surfing first to get an idea of the possibilities. You might start with Yahoo's Cool Links:

Organizing Files

Before you start to create your files, it's a good idea to figure out where you're going to put them.

To organize your files:

1. Create a central folder or directory to hold all the material that will be available at your Web site. On the Mac, choose File > New Folder in the Finder (Figure 2.2). In Windows, from the Active Desktop, choose File > New > Folder (Figure 2-3).

2. Divide the central folder in a way that reflects the organization of your Web site. You may decide to create a separate folder for HTML documents, one for images, and one for other external files. if you have a large site with many pages, you may wish to divide the site into categories or chapters, placing the images in the individual folders.


  • Use simple, one-word names without symbols or punctuation for your files and folders. Use all lowercase letters so that your URLs are easier to type and thus your pages are easier to reach. For more details on how to create good file names, consult File Names on page 26.

Creating a New Web Page

You don't need any special tools to create a Web page. You can use any word processor, even WordPad or SimpleText, which are included with the basic Windows and Macintosh system software.

To create a new Web page:

1. Open any text editor or word processor.

2. Choose File > New to create a new, blank document (Figure 2-5).

3. Create the HTML content as explained in the rest of this book, starting on page 35.

4. Be sure to save your file as directed on page 40.


  • If you like Microsoft Word, you can use it for writing HTML too. just be sure to save the file correctly (as Text Only and with the htm or html extension). For more details, consult Saving Your Web Page on page 40.

  • If you use PageMill, FrontPage, or some other Web page editor to start your pages, you can still tweak their HTML code. just choose File > Open from your text editor of choice and open the file. Then use the rest of this book to add your own HTML tags by hand and create the HTML page you want.

  • Well, you can use SimpleEdit or WordPad, but if you want to get fancy, try BBEdit for Mac or HomeSite for Windows. Both have powerful search and replace function, automatic HTML tags in color, syntax checkers for debugging problematic pages, and assorted other helpful features. For more details, consult HTML Editors on page 350.

Starting Your Web Page

The very first thing that you should type on your page is the HTML tag. It identifies the contents of your text document as HTML code,

To start your Web page:

1. Type <HTML>.

2. Leave a few spaces for creating the rest of your page (using the rest of this book).

3. Type </HTML>.


  • Perhaps even more important than the HTML tag-which is optional, after allis the file extension (seepage 26). Of course, we humans also benefit from the HTML tag, since it indicates what the rest of the document holds.

  • Create a template with the HTML tags already typed in as a starting point for all your pages.

  • Earlier editions of this book recommended using the !DOCTYPE tag to tell the browser which version of HTML was used for the page. The truth is, however, that although the W3C would like you to use the !DOCTYPE tag, I haven't found a single browser that cares one way or the other. On the other hand, I do get buckets of e-mail from people confused about it. So, I've changed my mind. If you're concerned about following the W3C's specifications to the letter, check out Otherwise, just forget about the !DOCTYPE tag. ...

What People are saying about this

John Robinson
" If you're looking for a book on which to begin your HTML writing adventure, make this the one."--Post Gazette Magazine
Jackie Dove
" For a very reasonable price, HTML 4 for the World Web is the only guide you need to create and publish Web sites."

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Castro is the author of: HTML for the WWW, Second Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide, Netscape 3 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide, Netscape Communicator 4 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide, Netscape Communicator 4 for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide, and HTML 4 for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide.

I began working with the Macintosh in a software development and distribution company called CTA, in Barcelona, Spain. My first project was the translation of an OCR program into English, which was quickly followed by the translation of Aldus PageMaker (version 3!) into Spanish. My department, Publications, was soon translating other programs from Aldus, as well as software from Agfa, Farallon and the Wheels for the Mind magazine for Apple Computer Spain.

In 1990, I founded Página Uno together with Oriol Carbó. One of Página Uno's first projects was the translation of The Macintosh Bible, 3rd edition, into Spanish: La Biblia del Macintosh. It was a great success, thanks to the unerring tone of Arthur Naiman combined with the brilliant translation of José Rafael García Bermejo (affectionately known as Coti) and Oriol Carbó, among others. Página Uno published several more Peachpit books about the Macintosh in Spanish and also began to localize Adobe products like Photoshop, Premiere and Dimensions into Spanish.

In 1993, I left Página Uno (and my beloved Barcelona) and returned to the United States to edit the fifth edition of the Mac Bible. I'm still doing Spanish localization work (most notably for Adobe Systems) and am currentlyworking on a book for Peachpit about Netscape.

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HTML 4 for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, maybe that was three words, but anyway...this book is a really great way to start out. Elizabeth Castro uses plain old english instead of geeky techno-talk. I also like the way she builds one concept on another, from the most basic HTML tags to Formatting with Style Sheets. This book is also a handy reference for more advanced HTML users. Face it, no one can remember everything everytime they need to. So why not buy a guide that's informative and concise (and pretty darn cheap)?