Frequently Asked Questions
- How did you learn HTML?
- How can I use graphics from another website?
- Where can I learn more about writing webpages?
- How can I convert images between different graphic types?
- How can I make my graphic image transparent?
- How can you insert more than one blank space between words?
- How can I put a visitor counter on my webpage?
- How do I add feedback or order forms to my webpage?
- How do I create an HTML file?
- How do I put my webpage on the internet so anyone can see it?
- How can people find my webpage?
- How can I add a sound file to my webpage?
- How do I get an image to work as an animation?
- How do I include a scrolling marquee like you have on your home page?
- 1. Thanks for the tutorial. Say, how did you learn HTML?
- Actually, I taught myself HTML by looking at the document source code of various pages
that interested me and then seeing how they did things. You may be able to do that
depending on the browser you use (eg, Netscape or Internet Explorer)--go to
"View" window, and then "Document Source." Then you can decipher how
different things were done. There's only about a dozen different commands/tags to learn
for about 95% of what you might want to do in a webpage with HTML 2.0.
- 2. Some websites have really great graphics. Is there a way
for me to use their graphics?
- Yes, there are ways. Without commenting on the legality of doing this, I will comment on
the "how" of doing this. For example, depending on your browser (Netscape,
Internet Explorer, etc) you can copy and save someone else's graphics from their
webpage--just a point and click will do it. Try it out: go to someone's page, find a
graphic, point and right-click on the graphic (but hold down the clickbar and don't
release it), and--if you use Netscape--up comes a window that says "save this
graphic" or "copy this graphic". Choose "save this graphic" and
it DOES to a file with the same name the author used for his or her graphic but it is
saved on YOUR computer. Then you've got that graphic! Another way is to view the document
source code, find the name of the graphic that the author uses and go visit the webpage
with just that graphic, then save that page. For example, if you view the document source
code of http://www.gorin.com/class/classstruct.html you'll find a graphic of the doggy in
the window, listed in the source code as classbj.gif . Then use your browser to go to the
URL of classbj.gif in the same directory as the document you viewed (in this case, it is
) and up will come a single image of the dog (awww, ain't they cute!). You can then save
the whole file (that is, classbj.gif) using the "file" menu of your browser.
There's other nifty ways to do things, but this will get you started quickly toward
"borrowing with pride".
- 3. Where can I find out more about web page writing?
- The other day I was in a bookstore and checked out the computer section. There were
shelves of books on the subject of the Internet and writing webpages. If you go yourself
and skim a few books, I'm sure you'll find a good one. You might also try searching
elsewhere on the web, too.
- 4. I am trying to add images to my webpage of some photos that
I scanned, but I am not having any luck. When I scan the image I can save it as *.cpt,
*.tiff, or several others, but not *.gif or *.jpg . Is there a way to convert the image
from *.cpt to *.gif, or is there some way to use it as it is?
- I know exactly the problem you are referring to. What you need is a Graphic Converter
program that converts from one type of graphic file to another. I use a Mac computer and
there are plenty of such programs for the Mac. For example, check out http://iawww.epfl.ch/Staff/Yves.Piguet/clip2gif-home/GifBuilder.html
which is for the Mac. If you are using a PC instead of a Mac, then you'll need a different
program. I think http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/alchemy.html
might be something to check out. If neither of these work, then use the search engines
such as http://www.yahoo.com or http://www.altavista.digital.com to locate gif
converter or graphic converter programs. Once you find one that looks good, it is just a
few "clicks" to convert the image from *.tiff or *.pict to *.gif or *.jpg .
- 5. I need to make a transparent background for one of my
gif images. How can I do that?
- A gif image is almost always rectangular. For example, suppose you have an image of your
company logo--the gif image will be rectangular containing your logo within the rectangle
and the rest of the rectangle all one color, say white. So when you display the
rectangular image on your homepage, you may not want the white within the rectangle to
appear on the colored background of your homepage. You can get rid of that white
background within the rectangle by making it "transparent". To do this, you'll
need to get a gif converter program. There are links to such in the answer to question
number 4 above. You can also search the web for a simple "Transparency" program
to download--that's how I found one I use. When you use a gif converter program, there are
choices within that program to allow you to make the background of an image transparent.
To do this you must point your cursor on only one pixel and tell the converter program to
make that pixel transparent AS WELL AS EVERY OTHER PIXEL THAT IS THE EXACT SAME COLOR AS
THAT ONE. So for example, if you select a pure white pixel to be transparent, then all
other pure white pixels will be transparent. But be warned, that may affect your logo, if
any pixels within your logo are also pure white. Here's a site that allows you to convert
your graphic into a transparent one: http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/~leitner/trans/english.html
- 6. You said that whitespace doesn't matter to a browser, so is
there any method to get a browser to show two blank spaces between two words instead of
the standard one blank space between them?
- Yes, the answer lies in the use of Character Entity Sets. The
specific technique to get a single blank space is to include the funny code: in
your html. For example, the phrase:
has the standard one blank space between the two words. But
has two blank spaces between the two words. The second version with the two blank spaces
was coded as:
Note that there is only one use of the funny code, since one blank space happens
automatically due to the regular typing of a blank space between the words, the other
blank comes from the funny code. You can use the &nbsp; code several times in a row
to give you several blank spaces as seen here:
Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.
- 7. I want to put a visitor Counter on my page but have no
earthly idea on how to do this. Can you help?
- Your local internet service provider might have a utility on their computer that you can
use to create a counter. Ask them about it. That's the simplest route. If they don't have
such, you can always use a free webcounter service that is available at http://www.digits.com or at http://www.123counter.com that will help you create
a webcounter that actually sits on their computer. And you can do this with this company
in minutes over the internet. All you have to do is give that company a unique name for
your webcounter and the URL location of your homepage. Then that company will give you
some html code that you put on your homepage. Just access their homepage and they'll guide
you through the process. Then, any time someone hits (that is, accesses) your homepage,
that company will send the "count" to your homepage so that it appears. It's a
free service for most websites; however, because the counter is on their computer instead
of your internet provider's computer, it'll take a lot longer for the counter to appear on
your page when people hit your page, because not only does your webpage have to be
accessed, but that company's webpage counter system has to be accessed, too.
- 8. I am building my website and want to have some feedback forms
such as order forms. How can I do this?
- First, realize that information that is sent across the internet is not usually 100%
secure. Therefore, you need to talk to your local internet provider to see what security
systems and software they have available for you to use so that when people order your
products and give a credit card number, that the order is accomplished as a "secure
transaction". As far as forms go, there is a whole tutorial on forms available at http://www.cwru.edu/help/interHTML/toc.html.
However, it is not a simple issue of just writing some html code. You need to work with
your local internet provider to have them establish protocols for your form to be properly
managed on their server so that the form responses from users is sent automatically to
you. Some providers have software available that is very easy to use and sets up forms
automatically with very little html programming by you. Lastly, you should always make
sure that after a visitor submits a form to you, that you provide a confirmation page that
says that their form has been sent.
- 9. Now that I understand HTML programming, how do I actually
create an HTML file?
- All you need is a basic word processor, such as WordPad or Simpletext. Just open up a
new file in one of those applications and start typing in your HTML code. Saving the
file as an html file correctly can be a bit tricky, though. Here's a way I found
that works although I'm not sure it's the best way. Suppose you want to create a
file called "test.html". First, open the basic editor, and type the HTML
code. Second, SAVE the file, typing the FILENAME as "test.html" and the
FILETYPE as TEXT DOCUMENT. Then click the SAVE button. You can actually view
this file right on your own hard drive without the file being on the internet. Just open
your browser like you normally do to cruise the web, then go under "file" and
click on "open file". Then give the name and location of the file you just
created, and voila!--you'll see it as if it were really on the web! That's how I used to
do most of my webpage development (now I use MS FrontPage).
- 10. How do I put my webpage on the internet so anyone can see it?
- Actually putting any file on the web is something that you'll have to talk about with
your internet service provider (ISP). For a fee, your ISP will set up an account for you,
with e-mail and internet privileges, and disk space on their computer for storing your
webpages so that anyone can access them. Your ISP will also provide you with software that
allows you to upload and download (between your computer and their computer) the webpage
files that you create. In addition, they might help you establish virtual domain names for
your website, such as "http://www.mycompanyname.com", and they'll help you set
up virtual email names like "email@example.com". That website actually
resides on your ISP's computer, and any request to go to that URL will automatically send
it to your ISP's computer.
- 11. Okay, once I write my webpages, then upload them to my
internet service provider's computer, how can people around the world find my webpage?
- Your website has to be registered with a search engine. Actually, there are dozens and
dozens of different search engines (like Webcrawler, AltaVista, Yahoo, to name a few), so
if you want a search engine to be able to find your website, then you have to register
your webpage with that engine. For example, I registered this HTML tutorial with probably
two dozen of the more popular search engines. There are service companies, such as your
own ISP, that will do the registration for you (for a small fee). However, I just spent
the time doing it myself. Most registrations take less than a few minutes--just go to the
search engine's main page, and click on "Add URL", and then fill out one simple
form. But beware: each search engine takes a different length of time until your website
is indexed by them and ready for searching by anyone else in the world. Some search
engines will be ready to allow searches of your webpage in minutes, others may take
several weeks before your webpage is searchable.
- 12. How can I add a sound file to my webpage?
- Sound files can be used in two ways: as a *.wav file that is downloaded all at once when
a web page is visited; or as a streamed audio file that is downloaded in pieces.
Downloading a wav file takes a very long time. In fact, a 10-second sound clip can take
several minutes to download if there's heavy traffic on the internet. But a streamed audio
file begins playing in seconds after the page is visited. RealPlayer is a product that
plays streamed audio and video. And Microsoft has a Multimedia player at their site http://www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/.
It is easy to record sound as a *.wav file using your sound recorder on your computer,
along with a good quality microphone hooked in. At that point you can use the wav file or
convert it to a streamed audio file. The microsoft mediaplayer site has a downloadable
package to do the conversion of wav to streamed files, and it shows you the HTML to use in
your webpage to play the streamed file. To handle the easier *.wav file in a webpage,
there's two choices: Use the file as a "background" which will play the file
automatically when the page is visited, or as a hot link that the user can click on. To
accomplish the sound as a "background", use the following command in the
<HEAD> tag container: <BGSOUND SRC="filename.wav"
loop="1"> . It's that simple. To permit a visitor to click on hot link to get
the sound, here's an example: <A HREF="filename.wav">Click
here for sound.</A>
- 13. How can I get an image to work as an animation?
- Most gifs are static. An animated gif is created as such, and it is saved as a single
file. For example, you can view an animated image file (it's a jpg not a gif) we have at http://www.gorin.com/images/gorincookad.jpg
. It is visible from a normal browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape. You don't
Now creating an animated image file is another matter altogether. You do need special
software to make one. For example, Microsoft Image Composer and dozens of other programs
will create an animated image for you.
- 14. How do I include a scrolling marquee like you have
on your home page?
- I learned html by looking at how other people wrote their websites. It's easy. Within
your browser (Netscape or Explorer), pull down the View window, then click on Source.
It'll show you the html for that webpage. (People are getting smarter on how to hide the
code, but most sites still leave it for all to see this way.) So, go to the source html
code on our page, and look to see how I did it. There's two main elements, one in the
in the <Body> section in html which invokes the scrolling function. Just replace the
thing for the invoked function in the body section.
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Last revision: September 26, 2006