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Chapter 1. The Web and HTML > Markup Languages

Markup Languages

HTML is a markup language. A markup language is a method of indicating within a document the roles that the document’s pieces are to play. Its focus is on the structure of a document rather than its appearance. For example, you can indicate that one piece of text is a paragraph, another is a top-level heading, and another is a lower-level heading. You indicate these by placing codes, called tags, into the document. HTML has around 30 commonly used tags, which are reviewed later in this chapter. You could, for example, use a tag that says, in effect, “Make this piece of text a heading.”

In contrast, desktop-publishing (DTP) programs emphasize the presentation of a document rather than its structure. Authors can select font families, text colors, and margin widths and thereby accurately control what the final product – which normally ends up on paper – looks like.


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