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 Boardhost: Basic Message Board HTML Code Guide  
Welcome to our HTML reference page. What we hope to accomplish with this document is to give you a quick tutorial to basic HTML. We will first discuss the basics of HTML tags, as they are the building blocks of all HTML coding. Then we will go over some basic text formatting. Next, we will cover hot links to other web pages. Inserting graphics and sounds will come next. Lastly, we will cover a couple of special effects.

First and foremost, you MUST be sure your board supports HTML in posts. From your administration area, click the "Edit Board Settings" link and scroll down to "Optional Features." Be sure there is a check mark in the box next to "Allow HTML." If you don't, none of the following will work.

The < and > symbols are known as 'lesser than' and 'greater than' symbols, respectively. In HTML, we call them "tags." Tags tell the computer how you want the information between the opening tag and the closing tag displayed on-screen.

When you open a tag, you MUST close the tag (with very rare exception--see below), or your formatting will apply to everything beyond the opening tag.

Tags, in use, look like this (note--you won't see them displayed in your posted message, but they must be typed in when you write your post. They're shown here for clarity): <B> tells the computer to display text between the tags in boldface. <B> is the bold tag, and </B> closes the bold tag. And you must use the ' / ' symbol *before* the letter in the closing tag. Anything else won't format correctly.

Some common codes for you to use...remember to put < and > around the letter to begin that command, and </> around the letter to tell the HTML to stop applying the command.

<B> This would appear in bold type. </B>

<I>This would appear in italic type. </I>

<U>This would appear underlined.</U>

To post a link to another web site, use this code: <A HREF="">Name of webpage here</A>

**A quick dissection. 'A' means 'anchor'--as in, I want to stick something here. HREF is the URL reference. MAKE SURE you put http:// in front of the webpage address. If you put in "" it'll try to find a file named "" on the current domain. And </A> is the close tag.

To post an image, use this code: <IMG SRC="">

To find the full URL of a photo already posted to the web if you're using a PC, right-click on the photo, select "Properties," and then copy the entire URL, including the HTTP:// part.

To find the full URL of a photo already posted to the web if you're using a Macintosh, left click and you'll get a pull-down menu. Click on page info and you'll get a new window that includes photo information. Copy the entire URL, including the HTTP:// part.

Note that some services, such as Qwikpages, will not allow you to link a photo stored on their server to another server. If you try, you'll see even if your HTML is perfect.

**IMG means image, SRC means source. And make sure you put the full address (URL) including HTTP:// for the picture, otherwise it won't display correctly. You don't need to close this tag.

To add a sound file to your post, use this code: <A HREF="">Click here to play sound</a>

What about paragraphs and line breaks?

To separate a paragraph, use <P> in front of the first word of the paragraph, and </P> after the last word of the paragraph. The <P> tag tells the browser to insert a blank line before the start of the paragraph, and the </P> tag tells the browser you're done. And, with the paragraph tag, it doesn't really matter if you forget the </P> at the end... it's just better coding if you put it in.

Line breaks are done with a <BR> tag. If you wanted to put a word on each line, with no spaces in between the lines, you'd use <BR> after each line, like this.

Line 1<BR>
Line 2<BR>
Line 3<BR>

And it'd show up exactly as it looks there, with a word and number on each line with no spaces in between.


<A HREF="">Name of web site</A> = insert clickable link to another web site

<IMG SRC=""> = insert photo

<P>New paragraph</P>

A couple of "special effects":

<MARQUEE>Scrolling marquee</MARQUEE>--warning, this tag is Internet Explorer only... if you're a Netscape user, it won't scroll, it will look like plain, static text. Some people find this annoying. Use sparingly.

<BLINK>Blinking message</BLINK>--This tage is Netscape specific, so it won't blink for IE users, it will look like normal text. All people find this annoying. Never use.

Links for further HTML information:

HTML Primer: Basic HTML Tags

Beginning HTML from HTML Goodies

Beginner's Guide--downloadable as a ZIP file or in PDF format.

Written and contributed by Starla and Moderator Wolf, with help from spooky_rk and tdn

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