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introduction
< software >
tags
basic page
text
layout
pictures
background
text color
hyperlinks
quick recap
tag overview
publishing
promotion
epilogue
      To create web pages you need some software. Everything you need is available as freeware or shareware, to be found on the internet. You can find all the software mentioned below at my downloads page. TUCOWS, the wonderful site of Scott Swedorsky, has a very nice collection of this internet software and lots more.

Editor
    The first thing you need is an editor, a program to write and edit HTML. Preferably a text editor, the best way to go is to entirely write the code yourself. You should understand the consequences of each and every bit of HTML. You may also consider using a text oriented HTML editor. In that case don't use the HTML functions. Use them only after you understand the basics of HTML, learnt in this tutorial.
    A regular word processor cannot be used. No matter how good yours is to write text with. These editors make files which cannot be read with a browser, and often it's quite complicated to change this. Also don't be seduced into using a WYSIWYG editor. These often give only meagre results, are monstrous and slow. The HTML code they produce is veritable garbage.
    For now forget about all those wonderful editors and just use a simple text editor. Windows has one built in: Notepad. This one is a bit sparse, I prefer something like UltraEdit. These let you edit more files at the same time, and easily switch between them. When you are working on a Macintosh, use BBedit. Should you want to use an HTML editor I would recommend Stone's Webwriter.

Browsers
    The next thing you need is a (web) browser. Browsing literally means grazing, eating grass or foliage (by animals). Figuratively it means skimming a book or a newspaper. Here it is looking and turning over the pages on the internet. You probably already have such a program, else you would not be able to read this page.
    Most used nowadays is Microsoft Internet Explorer. A lot of people still use Netscape too. Another nice one is the Nordic Opera, a fast and compact browser without unnecessary frills. You can forget about all other contenders as far as I'm concerned. It would probably be wisest to download and install both Navigator and Explorer, to test your pages in both of them.

FTP software
    The next you can't live without is a tool to put your pages on the web. You'll need an FTP client. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, or moving files from one place to another and vice versa. You log on to your provider's server. Then you can put your files on the server and take the obsolete ones off again. The most used is WS_FTP. Cute-FTP is very popular also, but I don't really like it. I currently use Windows commander most. When using a Macintosh, I would suggest Fetch.

File manager
    You'll probably be juggling around a lot of files. So you'll need a good file manager. I don't know about you, but I really don't like Microsoft's Windows Explorer. Quite clumsy in my opinion. I like Windows Commander better. If you are a cheapskate, there are several similar freeware file managers. Mostly less good, but free, and they still do a much better job than Microsoft.
    To save space and time on the web, most software comes in compressed files. Sometimes a self-extracting file or an installer. But a lot of software also comes in zip-files. You'll need an un-zipper or archive decompressor to work with these. Windows commander can do this, letting you approach zip files just like you do with directories. If you don't have this, there are a lot of programs, of which Winzip is probably used most.

Reference
    Finally you could benifit a lot from a good HTML reference. The best is written by Stephen le Hunte, the HTML Reference Library. The Web Design Group has a set of comprehensive references on HTML. Their HTML 4.0 reference was compiled to a Windows help file by yours truly. The W3C has the official standards on line, but they a bit dry.
    You cannot learn making web pages only reading about it. You can read a thousand books on love, but you'll never know what it is until you have actually experienced it yourself. HTML is, like love, best learnt by doing. Just try anything and see what it does to your page. Don't be afraid of mistakes, just learn from them. Get the necessary software first. You can find it at my software resources page.

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