HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is the "code" that enhances communication on the world wide web. By adding certain commands, also called tags, to the text, browsers can be told how to display that text in a document or on a web page. For posting on the boards, the number of tags that are typically used is fairly limited. Text can be made bold, italicized, or underlined. Font tags can change the size, color, or appearance of the text.
The browser treats anything in < > brackets as an HTML tag and anything not in < > brackets as text which will be displayed on the page.
HTML tags are placed in the body of the text, opening in the position where you want them to take effect, then closing where you want that effect to end. Please note that when closing tags are omitted, the browser continues to make the specified changes to the text. On the message boards this can show up as a page where all of the text that follows that open tag is rendered in bold or in italics or in a huge, colorful font! A closing font tag can be added later, but in some browsers the changes to the text will persist, so it's best to take care to close tags properly from the start.
The tags that we typically use on the boards work in pairs -- first the opening tag (such as <b> for "start displaying text in bold") then later, after the text you want to affect, a corresponding closing tag (such as </b> for "stop displaying text in bold"). Closing tags are always the main tag name preceded by /.
Tags can be used in combination to simultaneously apply different effects to the text (for example bold and italic), but it's a good idea to pay attention to the order in which you opened the tags when typing the closing tags. The first tag that you should close is the last tag that you opened, and the last one closed should be the first one that was opened. This is sometimes referred to as nesting the tags, or you can think about the paired tags as mirror images of each other. The bottom line is that the tags need to be closed in the reverse of the order that they were opened. See the examples below.
The following are a few basic HTML tags that can be useful when posting on the boards. Please remember that when judiciously applied, formatting will make your message look good. An excess of fancy effects will make it annoying and difficult to read.
How do I apply special effects to my text?
Making text bold:
This is <B>bold</B>
This is bold
Making text italic:
This is <I>italics</I>
This is italics
This is <U>underlined</U>a
This is underlined
Making text bold and italic:
This is <B><I>bold and italics</I></B>
This is bold and italics
Please note the order in which the tags were opened and then closed. They mirror each other.
Making text bold and underlined:
This is <B><U>bold and underlined</U></B>
This is bold and underlined
Again, the last tag that was opened is the first one that is closed.
These examples also serve to illustrate any other combination of special effects.
How do I change my font size?
The element is <FONT SIZE=value>. Valid values range from 1-7 and the default font size is 3.
This is <FONT SIZE=1>BJR's sword</FONT>
This is BJR's sword
This is <FONT SIZE=2>a sgian dhu</FONT>
This is a sgian dhu
This is <FONT SIZE=3>a dirk</FONT>
This is a dirk
This is <FONT SIZE=4>a smallsword</FONT>
This is a smallsword
This is <FONT SIZE=5>a broadsword</FONT>
This is a broadsword
This is <FONT SIZE=6>a claymore</FONT>
This is a claymore
This is <FONT SIZE=7>Jamie's sword</FONT>
This is Jamie's sword
The value given to size can optionally have a '+' or '-' character in front of it to specify that it is relative to the document basefont (if the size specified takes the font size above 7 or below 1, then values of 7 and 1 would be used).
This will make the font <FONT SIZE=+2> two sizes larger than the default font</FONT>
This will make the font two sizes larger than the default font
This will make the font <FONT SIZE=-1>one size smaller than the default font</FONT>
This will make the font one size smaller than the default font
How do I type in different colors?
Jamie's eyes are <FONT COLOR=BLUE>blue</FONT>!
Jamie's eyes are blue!
Color names you may use are:
Can I make multiple font changes?
As with the bold and italic tags above, font tags may also be used in combination. By default, browsers will close the font tags in reverse of the order that they were opened. So, if size was first applied to text and then color, when the closing tags are read by the browser, the color will automatically be closed first and then the size. You cannot specify the order.
Please keep in mind that every font tag that is opened should have a closing tag. Some find it helpful to type both the opening and closing tags from the start and then insert the text in between; that way it is less likely that closing tags will be omitted accidentally.
Another option would be to combine your font changes in a single font tag. For example:
This is <FONT SIZE=5 COLOR=SILVER>a silver broadsword</FONT>
This is a silver broadsword
Since only one font tag was opened, only one needed to be closed. It may not always work out that the font changes that you want to make can be combined, but this can be a handy shortcut as it keeps things simple.
How do I make a link?
This is a link to a web page:
<a href="http://www.lallybroch.com">Ladies of Lallybroch</a>
Ladies of Lallybroch
You can also do a link to a picture, or any other kind of file, provided you've got its address:
<a href="http://www.lallybroch.com/LOL/images/liam.jpg">Can you tell who typed this FAQ?</a>
Can you tell who typed this FAQ?
Type the address you're linking to after the href=enclosed in quote marks. Do not forget to include http:// for a web address. Any text that you type after the > bracket and before the </a> will become the "clickable" text displayed on the page.
The URL is always typed between quote marks, so a word of advice here: If you type your message in Word, for posterior copying and pasting, please note that your Word is probably set to change your "straight" quote marks into "smart" quote marks. It's hard to actually notice it while typing, but your link will not work if the URL is typed between smart quote marks. If you do this, after pasting your message on the posting window, don't forget to replace the quote marks in your link.
How do I include a picture in my message?
This way the picture will appear in your message:
The picture must be somewhere on the internet. You cannot link to a picture in your own computer. Other people will not be able to see it.
However, we ask that you please post only SMALL pictures on the boards. Big pictures end up slowing down the boards while they load. And then they just need to be deleted by a board moderator. You can also post a picture inside a reply rather than on the main pages of the boards. Thank you.
How do I change the font in my text?
<FONT FACE="Comic Sans MS">This is the Comic Sans MS font.</FONT>
This is the Comic Sans MS font.
Note that you must type the exact name of the font and that only the persons who have this same font installed in their systems will be able to see it. All others will just see the browser's default font.
How do I indent text?
For each space that you want to indent type the following characters (no " " and no < > are needed):
For instance, this will indent the following sentence with 5 spaces:
I love you, Jamie!
I love you, Jamie! (indented)
I love you, Jamie! (not indented)
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