Not just for the Internet!Apr 7, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
As a web designer, HTML design is but one of the several skills that makes up my arsenal. What I've discovered over the past year, however, is that HTML isn't just for web sites; it's also great for layout and design projects! There are several factors that make HTML a suitable tool for such projects.
First of all, HTML is extremely portable. HTML is stored in plain text files that can be edited by a whole host of programs. You can use text editors like Notepad, word processors like Microsoft Word, or tools specifically designed to draw up HTML documents quickly like Microsoft FrontPage. Because HTML documents are stored in plain text files, they are typically very small, and thus easy to carry on a floppy disk; even if you are working on an HTML project that is large in size, text files often compress to less than half their size when you use a software compression tool like WinZip, available at winzip.com. In addition, you can view the results of your HTML efforts on just about any computer, because you can use any web browser to preview HTML documents at your leisure without having to upload them to a web server. Never again do you need to worry about whether or not the machine you want to display your work on has the software you need!
Secondly, HTML is, contrary to what some might think, very easy to learn how to use. Much of the HTML that, for example, goes into styling your text, is like enclosing the text you want to format in parentheses. For example, if you want to change the font, simply put '<FONT face="Font Name">' at the start and '</FONT>' at the end. In addition, an HTML technique called "tables" makes layout a cinch, and you can move blocks of text around in your layout with very little work. HTML tools like Microsoft FrontPage (and many other shareware tools available out there) will even handle the building of tables for you, if you decide that it looks too complex to learn right away. Even if you are a beginner, this software makes it a piece of cake!
Next comes the multimedia flexibility. You can include images, audio clips, video clips, shared resources, and even live communications capabilities in your HTML presentation. All you have to do is decide where you want your multimedia resource to appear on the page, include the resource's location (whether it's on disk or on the Internet, the browser displaying your presentation won't know the difference), and you're all set.
Lastly, there are books and web sites dedicated to teaching newcomers the quick-and-dirty side of HTML plastered all over the world. With this abundance of resources, you can pick and choose the author or authors that speak your language, rather than being stuck with a selection of only a handful of dust-covered tomes written by someone who either assumes too much or too little about your computer savvy. In addition, while publishing companies like Sams.net publish books on computer programming skills that are split into 21 days worth of learning, HTML is so simple that the same publishing companies can only split it up into seven days! Chances are you'll be able to skim such a book and use it periodically as a reference guide.
Whatever your reason for considering HTML for your next project, I think you'll find that with a couple practice documents, you'll find that forging ahead into the world of HTML design is far less complicated than it might look.
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