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[Tutorial] What is HTML ?


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HTML stands for "Hypertext Markup Language"; it is a language which allows you to encode the information of your webpage so that it can be interpreted by the browser of your visitors (thus making it possible for them to visualize the content of your website). Many web browsers coexist today (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, ...) and HTML is a common language which makes it possible for everyone to obtain the same visual presentation of a webpage (this is just in theory, since different browsers will unfortunately support various features a little differently).


HTML files end with the extension .html (which might seem obvious, right). They can be visualized by opening them in any browser (for instance Microsoft Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and can be created or modified by any text editor. For instance, let's try to create our first HTML file by using Notepad in Windows:

Create a new text document in notepad. By default, it will be named "New Text Document.txt".

Rename it "page.html" (make sure that the options of your folders are such that you can see the full extension of the files; if such is not the case, you can change this in Windows by visiting the menu: "Tools - Folder Options").

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Your first HTML file was just created !

You can now visualize it by opening it in your favorite web browser, or edit it by reopening it in your text editor. The picture below shows you how this page will look like in your browser: it will indeed be a blank page (since the file was left empty, your browser will interpret it as such).

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If you now wish to edit the content of this webpage, you can open the file page.html in your favorite text editor (here Notepad by default) and you will then be able to add some html code. The following pages of this tutorial will help you understand how.

HTML is a language which allows you to make your content visible to your visitors, no matter which web browser they are using; HTML files can be created and edited from any text editor, and then be visualized in any web browser.

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