What is HTML?

To convey information about a document's structure or presentation, markup information is added to the document. Markup languages are widely used in everyday computing. For instance, word processors use codes that indicate the structure and presentation of a document. The word processors write, behind the scenes, the necessary markup to produce a document that you see on the screen. HTML, however, is not a behind-the-scenes markup language.

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This markup language is used to create web documents. A web document is viewed in a web browser, like the one you are using to read this document.

Just like in a word processor you can specify the appearance of text, you can write HTML code to specify how the text or content of a web page should look. For instance, in a word processor, you could choose to use Times Roman for font type and make some text bold or italic. Similarly, in HTML code you could specify what type of font to use or whether it should be bold or not. In the former, you could make the selection using a mouse; however, for the letter, you would have to write instructions or HTML code.

As you learn HTML, you will discover that different browsers may display the same web page differently. Why? Simply put, there is a portability issue with the kinds of computers like Windows, UNIX, and Macintosh. Thus depending on the type of computer and/or browser you are using will determine how the web page is displayed. To overcome this portability issue, a web page author could use style sheets to make page compatible with more computers.

Versions of HTML

The set of rules under which HTML operates is known as syntax. The syntax or the rules for creating webpages is developed by World Wide Consortium (or W3C). Access the versions of HTML page for more information.