Home Page Construction Set / ERIC'S TIPS FOR WEB AUTHORS


  1. HTML is not case-sensitive. That means you don't have to capitalize the tags. Don't waste your time, because an HTML browser doesn't care--it could be <STRONG>, <strong>, <StRoNg>, <Strong>, etc.--it matters not. I used to spend a lot of time making sure my tags were uppercase--talk about misused energy! Whether you choose to put your tags in all uppercase or not is a matter of personal preference. Just be consistent in how you capitalize your tags.

  2. Do not use the <BLINK> tag. It is irritating and the same effect can be accomplished in other ways. I suppose there are circumstances when <BLINK> is appropriate, but the situation would have to be very dire.

  3. Do NOT use a </> tag as a generic end tag. This tends to "break" some browsers, plus it makes reading your source much more difficult. Spend a few seconds more and properly terminate your tags.

  4. Avoid using a ridiculously small font size (Netscape). Often used with disclaimers and copyright notices, <FONT SIZE=1> requires a magnifying glass to read. If you can read this and you're using Netscape, you're too close.

  5. Stay away from the (Netscape) registered trademark and copyright character entities. One feature of HTML is the ability to represent characters not typically found on a keyboard (such as Æ, é, ñ, etc.). These characters are found in the ISO Latin 1 character set. Netscape has introduced two new "character entities," which represent the symbols for registered trademark (R) and copyright (C).

    While &reg; and &copy; will render correctly on Netscape & Mosaic browsers (® and ©), they will appear as &reg; and &copy; on other browsers. This means, for example, a copyright notice using the new character entity may appear as, "Copyright &copy; 1996."

    Instead of using the Netscape-introduced entities, use the 174th and 169th characters of the ISO Latin 1 set. These characters correspond to the (R) and (C) symbols and should display properly on browsers using ISO Latin 1 (even some text browsers!). Place &#174; in your source for a registered trademark symbol or &#169; for a copyright symbol. These ampersand sequences will cause those symbols to render correctly on the largest number of browsers.

    Alternately, you can omit the symbols and use the following text-only syntax.

    Copyright <year> <owner>.
    Example: Copyright 1996 Eric Sasaki
    <product name> is a Registered Trademark of <owner> .
    Example: AcmeX is a Registered Trademark of Acme, Inc.

  6. Stop using the <CENTER> tag. You can now center (or right-justify) text and other elements using the ALIGN=CENTER (or ALIGN=RIGHT) attribute in conjunction with your tags. While this doesn't work on all browsers, it is more standard way of aligning elements than using <CENTER>. Here are some examples of ALIGN in use:
    • <P ALIGN=CENTER>This text will be centered</P>
    • <DIV ALIGN=RIGHT>All elements between the tags will be right-justified.</DIV>
    • <H1 ALIGN=CENTER>You can center your headlines too!</H1>

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Last Modified: January 23, 1996
/ Eric Sasaki
esasaki@nyx.net (feedback welcome)

All original content Copyright © 1994-96 Eric Sasaki. All rights reserved.