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Chapter 2. Laying the Foundation: The Ba... > How to Do Paragraphs - Pg. 22

Laying the Foundation: The Basic Structure of a Web Page 22 · You might think you can line things up and create some interesting effects by stringing together two or more spaces. Ha! Web browsers chew up all those extra spaces and spit them out into the nether regions of cyberspace. Why? Well, the philosophy of the web is that you can use only HTML tags to lay out a document. So, a run of multiple spaces (or white space, as it's called) is ignored. (There are a couple of tricks you can use to get around this, however. I tell you about them in the next chapter.) · Tabs also fall under the rubric of white space. You can enter tabs all day long, but the browser ignores them completely. · Another thing that browsers like to ignore is the carriage return. It might sound reasonable to the likes of you and me that pressing Enter starts a new paragraph, but that's not so in the HTML world. I talk more about this in the next section. · If HTML documents are just plain text, does that mean you're out of luck if you need to use characters such as ©, TM, ¶? Luckily, no, you're not. HTML has special codes for these kinds of characters, and I talk about them in the next chapter. Page Pitfalls Note, too, that the angle bracket characters < and > can't be displayed directly in HTML pages because the browser uses them to identify tags. Again, if you need to use them, I show you some special codes in the next chapter that get the job done. · Word processor users, it bears repeating here that it's not worth your bother to format your text