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In this chapter

Who Should Buy This Book

How This Book Is Organized

Conventions Used in This Book

Who Should Buy This Book

Each chapter in this book is written to standalone but work in tandem with other chapters in the book. The best way to read the book will be determined by you! You can start at the beginning and work your way through; this is an especially good way for intermediate readers to build and refine skills.

If you want to know about a specific topic, you can jump right to that topic by using the Table of Contents as your guide or checking the Index for topic references. Let's say you are interested in Dynamic HTML. You can go right to Chapter 21, "Working with Dynamic HTML (DHTML)," and get the information you need. Within that chapter, and all chapters in this book, I've taken every opportunity to include cross-references with related materials, so you can follow your needs and preferences to the next topic of interest.

The bookshelves are toppling over with HTML and Web-design books. New software products are shipped every day, proclaiming to be the best way to get a Web site up and running. Colleges are scrambling to add Web development courses to their Computer Science and Graphic Design curricula.

The demand for technical skills and knowledge surrounding the Internet, and especially the Web, has never been greater. Even the pros have to keep their skills well-honed and their eyes on tomorrow's technological prize to stay neck and neck with the packless get ahead.

Whether you, as a reader, are after clear-cut, up-to-date information on HTML and related technologies for professional advancement or you are an enthusiast interested in taking your skills to the next level, this book provides you with both a close-up and a broad-spectrum view of the Web development industry as it is today. Using HTML 4.0 as the foundation, you will quickly find what you need and, more importantly, how to get started using it, right away.

How This Book Is Organized

Special Edition Using HTML 4.0, Sixth Edition, has been reorganized from the Fifth Edition to better serve your needs. The new edition includes 10 parts with a total of 44 chapters, four helpful appendixes, an index, and a CD-ROM with code samples and software.

Part 1: What You Need to Know

The chapters in this section give you a good look at the foundations of HTML 4.0. Intermediate and advanced readers will review HTML's history as well as present concerns facing the HTML programmer in today's fast-paced Web environment. A comprehensive look at available tools helps you make good decisions as to where to put your effort and money in terms of development software. The part finishes up with information on how to manage HTML documents—helping you to avoid common pitfalls and learn to power code HTML 4.0 with speed and accuracy.

Part 2: HTML Basics

While many readers already know the basics, I've included them here both for your review and for the purposes of helping coders refine their practices and position the basics in the context of the HTML 4.0 standard. I cover the syntax of HTML and discuss how to properly structure HTML documents, format text, add lists, link pages, work with images, manage BODY attributes and use FONT tags in transitional HTML 4.0.

Part 3: HTML Layout and Design Fundamentals

In this section, chapters focus on HTML as it relates to layout and design. You'll work with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), style sheet typography, table layouts, frames, and build feedback forms.

Part 4: HTML Technologies

With strong foundations in HTML, it's time to have some fun and use advanced HTML 4.0 and related techniques. In this section, you'll work with JavaScript to add function and beauty to your sites. Element positioning and style sheet scripting are both covered in this section, helping you to gain experience with these excellent if not-quite-ready-for-prime-time methods. You'll work with Dynamic HTML and also become familiar with HTML 4.0's approach to making Web sites accessible to people with special needs and international language concerns. The section wraps up with a look at the future of HTML and related languages including XHTML, XML, and emerging technologies.

Part 5: Web Graphic Design

This part looks at a variety of Web graphic issues, from the simple to the complex. You'll learn about color and how to work with the constraints of the computer screen. A comprehensive look at design tools helps to debunk myths about what is professional, what is not, and how you can get the best mileage out of whatever design tools are available to you. You'll learn about standard Web graphic formats, as well as up-and-coming technology. The part finishes up with several chapters geared toward sophisticated design: creating professional graphics, working with graphic type, and designing specialty graphics such as imagemaps, animations, and advertising banners.

Part 6: Multimedia and Embedded Objects

How to get your site interactive is the focus here: audio, video, streaming media, multimedia, Java applets, virtual reality, and the creation of active content are the focus in this part.

Part 7: Server-Side and Backend Applications

If you're looking for more functionality, the chapters in this section will be very helpful. CGI scripting and preprocessing, Active Server Pages (ASP), and database information are covered.

Part 8: Putting Your Skills to Work

In this part, a look at how Web sites are made helps put planning, design, and deployment concerns into perspective. You'll examine a home page, business and e-commerce sites, learn how to design corporate intranets and extranets, and discover why the online community has become so popular.

Part 9: Publishing, Maintaining, and Promoting Web Sites

So you've got a Web site. How do you get it ready for its life on the Internet? This section looks at preparing your sites for online publishing, how to get your sites up and running on the Internet, and how to market your Web site so it's not lost in a traffic jam on one of the Web's busy information intersections.

Part 10: Appendixes

There are four appendixes in Special Edition Using HTML 4.0, Sixth Edition:

Conventions Used in This Book

Special conventions are used to help you get the most from this book and from Office 2000.

Text Conventions

Various typefaces in this book identify terms and other special objects. These special typefaces include the following:

Type Meaning
Italic New terms or phrases when initially defined. An italic term followed by a page number indicates the page where that term is first defined.
Underline Menu and dialog box options with letters that appear underlined onscreen indicate shortcut keys (hotkeys).
Monospace Information that you type, Web addresses, or onscreen messages.
Initial Caps Menus, dialog box names, dialog box elements, and commands are capitalized.

Key combinations are represented with a plus sign. For example, if the text calls for you to enter Ctrl+S, you would press the Ctrl key and the S key at the same time.

Designing in the Real World

Each chapter of this book contains a project page or case study at the end of the chapter. Use these to enhance your skills with professional applications, examples, tips, and wisdom.

Special Elements

Throughout this book, you'll find Signature Tips, Notes, Cautions, Troubleshooting Notes, Cross References, and Sidebars. These elements provide a variety of information ranging from warnings you shouldn't miss to ancillary information that will enrich your HTML 4.0 experience.

Molly's "Signature" Tips

Tip from

Tips are designed to help you facilitate your workflow, avoid problems, and learn new ways to solve old concerns. Look for tips with my signature throughout the book.



Notes provide extra information on a topic that is related and relevant to the topic, but not specific to the given task at hand.



Watch your step! Avoid pitfalls by keeping an eye on the cautions available in many of this book's lessons.

Troubleshooting Notes

These elements call attention to common issues. When you see a Troubleshooting Note, you can flip to the Troubleshooting section at the end of the chapter to learn how to solve or avoid a problem.

Cross References

Cross references are designed to point you to other locations in this book (or other books in the Que family) that will provide supplemental or supporting information. Cross references appear as follows:

→ To learn more about adding video to your page, see "Adding Video," p. 671


Want to Know More?

Sidebars are designed to provide information that is ancillary to the topic being discussed. Read these if you want to learn more about an application or task.

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