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Part: 1 Creating Your First Web Page > From Buck-Naked to Beautiful: Dressing U... - Pg. 25

25 Chapter 3. From Buck-Naked to Beautiful: Dressing Up Your Page In This Chapter · HTML tags for formatting characters · How to create impressive-looking headings · Miscellaneous text tags · How to insert special characters in your page · A complete makeover for your web page text In the early, pretext stages of the web page production process, your page is essentially naked. It passes its days exposed to the elements, shivering and teeth-chatteringly cold. Brrr! To put some color in your page's cheeks and prevent it from catching its death, you need to clothe it with the text you want everyone to read, as described in Chapter 2, "Laying the Foundation: The Basic Structure of a Web Page." These new text garments might be warm, but they aren't much to look at. I mean, face it, a plain- text web page just doesn't present your prose in the best light. I'm definitely talking Worst Dressed List here. However, this really doesn't matter for those times when you're just kicking around the web house. At this stage, you're the only one who sees your web page, so you usually don't care how it looks. But what about when it's time to go out on the town? What do you do when you want the rest of the web world to see your creation? Heck, you can't send your web page out into cyberspace looking like that! Before your page has its coming-out party, you need to dress it up in apparel appropriate for the occasion. In short, you need to format your text so it looks its best. This chapter is your web page fashion consultant as it examines the various ways you can use HTML to beautify your words. Sprucing Up Your Text The first of our web page makeover chores is to examine some tags that alter the look of individual words and phrases. The next few sections fill you in on the details. Some Basic Text Formatting Styles The good news about text formatting is that most browsers support only four basic kinds: bold, italic, underline, and monospace. The bad news is that HTML has about a billion different tags that pro- duce these styles. However, I'll take mercy on you and only let you in on the easiest tags to use. Table 3.1 shows the tags that produce each of these formats.