HTML: A Beginner's Guide

HTML: A Beginner's Guide

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by Wendy Willard

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Peel back the Web's opulent exterior and see how HTML makes it all look so great. Author Wendy Willard will help you understand HTML with clear lessons delivered in a proven learning system. In dedicated modules that act as stand-alone lessons, you'll discover how to structure a page, place images, size text, create links, generate Web-safe colors, work with…  See more details below


Peel back the Web's opulent exterior and see how HTML makes it all look so great. Author Wendy Willard will help you understand HTML with clear lessons delivered in a proven learning system. In dedicated modules that act as stand-alone lessons, you'll discover how to structure a page, place images, size text, create links, generate Web-safe colors, work with multimedia, and more. Plus -- by learning to link to other Web pages and email addresses, create Web graphics and multimedia, incorporate JavaScript, and utilize frames and forms, you'll be ready to tackle most Web development projects on a functional level.

Product Details

McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
Essential Skills for First-Time Programmers Ser.
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.38(w) x 9.06(h) x 1.35(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Module 1: Getting Started


  • Understand the Internet as a medium for disseminating information
  • Plan for the audience, goals, structure, content, and navigation of your site
  • Identify the basic differences between the different types of HTML editors
  • Learn from the pros using the VIEW SOURCE command of popular Web browsers

For as long as I have been involved in making Web pages, people have asked me to teach them the process. In the beginning, many people are intimidated at the thought of learning HTML. Fear not. One of the reasons I decided to go to art school was to avoid all math and science classes. So, as I tell my students . . . if I could learn HTML, so can you.

HTML is not rocket science. Quite simply, HTML is a means of telling a Web browser how to display a page. That's why it's called HTML, which is the acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. Like any new skill, HTML takes practice to comprehend what you are doing.

Before we dive into the actual creation of the Web pages, you need to understand a few things about the Internet. I could probably fill an entire book with the material in this first chapter, but the following should provide you with a firm foundation.

Understanding the Medium

When you are asked to write a term paper in school, you don't just sit down and start writing. First, you have to do research and learn how to format the paper. When you decide to write and design a Web page, the process is similar.

The Anatomy of a Web Site

Undoubtedly, you have seen a few Web sites by now. Perhaps, you know someone who is a Web geek, and you have watched him navigate through a Website by chopping off pieces of the Web address. Do you ever wonder what he is doing? He knows a little bit about the anatomy of a Web site and how the underlying structure is laid out.

Ask the Expert

Question: I've heard the phrase "The World Wide Web" used so many times, but I'm a little confused about what it actually means and how it relates to the Internet.

Answer: The World Wade Web (WWW or the Web) is often confused with the Internet. While the Internet was originally created during the Cold War as a way to link sections of the country together during an emergency, the Web didn't really exist until the late 19$0s. At that time, Tim Berners-Lee created a set of technologies that allowed information on the Internet to be linked together through the use of links, or connections, in documents. The language component of these technologies is HTML.

The Web was mostly text based until Marc Andreessen created the first Web browser in 1992, called Mosaic. This paved the way for video, sound, and photos on the Web.

As a large group of interconnected computers all over the world, the Internet comprises not only the Web, but also things like newsgroups (online bulletin boards) and e-mail. Many people think of the Web as the graphical or illustrated part of the Internet...

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Meet the Author

Wendy Willard is a freelance designer, consultant, writer, and educator who has been involved in Web design and development for more than 10 years.

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HTML A Beginner's Guide 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took over an assignment to maintain a company website and found this book to be an excellent resource. Would highly recommend!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wendy Willard's book HTML:A beginners guide is an execellently written book. I'm a self taught computer programmer and for all the material I've ever read, this is the easiest to understand. I knew that in order to get into business, I'd have to go on the Web and wanted to do it with a minimal amount of cost. My time is very limited, a full time job, developing software for my comic books, family....etc. Originally, I had bought the book just to get an understanding of html code and within a week I realized that I could set up my own site without spending a great amount of time having to learn another language...I never realized how easy it was to use html. If there is one major thing that Wendy does in this book is to explain the pitfalls that you might encounter with every step that you use in your site....a tremendous time saver. If you want to develope a website and fully understand what your doing with a minimal amount of work...this is the book to buy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author has written a fine book for beginners. An assignment that was given to me required me to author and publish web pages for one of the largest wireless communications company. The challenge I faced is that I didn't know HTML. Wendy Willard's book put me on the right track and helped me quickly accomplish various projects. I learned HTML in a matter of a week with some fine tuning over time by referencing Wendy's book. The book takes a non-technical approach and maintains a simple progressive track to advance the reader in the subject matter. HTML: A Beginner's Guide is highly recommended for those needing a quick start.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read this book three months ago, I was an HTML novice. I had periodically browsed the bookstores looking for a good introductory HTML book, but I never found one that measured up to my hopes...until I encountered Wendy Willard's new book, HTML: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE. I gave it a quick skim in the bookstore and was immediately impressed by its organization, layout, use of examples, and appropriate level of detail. I read it cover to cover over a long weekend, and I was thrilled! I've read bits and pieces of quite a few technical books, and this book is right up there with the best. Most technical books suffer because they are written by techies, not writers. Well, for someone whose background is in graphic arts, Ms. Willard's expository writing skills are impressive. The book is extremely well organized at all levels--the overall content of the book, the individual chapters, even the individual paragraphs. The style is clear, engaging, fluid, and well balanced. Throughout the book, Ms. Willard maintains a good sense of context, so I never wondered why I was investing my energy in the point at hand. This book helped me to move from a very minimal knowledge of HTML to a high level of comfort with the smallest imaginable investment of time and energy. Quite simply, this may be the best introductory HTML book on the market. (Since reading Ms. Willard's book, I have taken an HTML course and read a couple of other books. These experiences have only corroborated my initial reaction.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was first approached about writing this book, I must admit that my thought was, 'another HTML book -- how many do we need?' I learned HTML by experience when there was only one version of Netscape, and it had been a long time since I¿d even looked at an HTML book. But after I researched the other HTML books on the market, I felt compelled to write a book that gives readers a realistic, easy-to-understand approach to learning HTML, while at the same time offering real-world practice activities and advice on related issues. 'HTML: A Beginner's Guide' is that book, offering you practical tools and knowledge that can easily be applied to a variety of development situations, without the boring rhetoric or lengthy technical fluff. This book tells you what you need to know, when you need to know it. My 'secret weapon' was my NON-technical editor, who reviewed the book during development as a completely novice computer user. She pointed out what didn't make sense, or where things needed more details. I think all technical books should have a review by a non-technical editor, because it makes the book SOOOO much better.