What Is HTML Format?


HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) documents are comprised of HTML elements, which are made up of tags, attributes and content. These three components are what tell a web browser how to display a web page to the visitor, including what fonts to use, colors, images, hyperlinks and formatting. WYSIWYG HTML editors format text using these elements without requiring that the user type the HTML format themselves, while HTML text editors require the user know HTML code.

The first element, the tag, comes in pairs and is the basic command given to the web browser on how to display the document. The opening tag begins with a < sign and ends with a > sign, while the closing tag opens with , closing out the command. For example, if a web site developer would like to underline the title of an article, the HTML format to do so would be The Title. By using this format, the title on the web page would appear The Title . More than one set of tags can be used to format a line of text in multiple ways. For example, to italicize and bold text, a developer would type The Title. This would show up on the webpage as The Title. Website builders can also use simple tags such as these to create headings and format paragraphs.

The second element is the attributes, which further clarify to the web browser how to display the web page. They are written inside the opening tag and typically come in a name-value pair that is separated by an = sign. Attributes specify the value of a tag such as the size or color of a font. When detailing the size of a font, HTML is set up to recognize seven different sizes with “1” being the smallest and “7” being the largest. In order to specify the size of a line of text, a developer will type The Title. The word “size” in this line of text is the name, and the number “3” is the value, which the developer can change depending on the size the text needs to be. Attributes can also determine the color of a line of text, whether a hyperlink or image is present, and what style font to use.

The final element is the content of the webpage itself. This can be the body of text, the image or hyperlink source, or the format of the entire page. The content is what people visiting the website see on their browser. Put simply, the content in the following line of HTML format The Title is “The Title”. These three elements make up HTML format and can be created using HTML editors and HTML templates.

The following links provide how-to information on formatting HTML.