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If you want to produce your own web pages, then this could be the place to start....but a word of mild caution first. Web pages are all designed using HTML code and if you want to have control over how your pages look, then you need to know a little about how this code works. Don't let that put you off, though, because it really isn't too difficult to learn the basics and you'll get your first page up and running fairly quickly.

We aim to take you through some examples to show you how you can get your pages looking good on the Web and, more importantly, how to get them to do something useful for you. Later on we'll look at some JavaScript and Perl scripts to process some simple forms. If all that sounds a bit beyond you just now then don't worry, we'll take it step by step and you can work your way through the examples as we go.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a way of coding the format and layout of documents so that they can be sent over networks - such as the Internet - and be 'understood' by a wide variety of machines that may wish to read them. HTML is a code that can be read on any machine that has a standard browser such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.

You don't need specialised programs to create your web pages - a simple text editor will do. A good web design editor can, however, make the job of producing your pages much easier and is highly recommended. You will, of course, need a browser to view them.

Documents can include graphics, and even sounds and videos, but we need to learn the fundamentals first...

Next Steps...

Web, or hypertext documents can also contain hyperlinks. These links are a powerful and important feature and they allow the user to connect to other parts of the same document, or indeed to other documents entirely. These other documents could be on the same machine or could even be on another machine on the other side of the world but connected by the Internet - this is one reason why part of the Internet is called the World Wide Web.

The best way to use this guide is to work through the examples which start in the next section. As you work through them, you should experiment with different ways of using the tags that will be suggested to you and the details of which can be found in the appendices at the end of this guide.

Don't be tempted to skip sections unless it says so and don't be afraid to experiment; ask questions, try things out for yourself - it's the best way to learn...

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