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How to Format Web Text in Notepad

If you use Notepad to build your Web page you can use the HTML capabilities described here to format your Web page text. Formatting your text involves setting up headings, choosing fonts and font sizes, and adding other elements for emphasis. The following list discusses these elements:

  • Headings: There are six levels of headings in HTML, with the tag pairs <h1> and </h1> used for the largest, top-level heading; <h2> and </h2> next, down to <h6> and </h6> for the lowest (very small) level of headings.

  • Font sizes: HTML allows you to specify relative font sizes that are larger or smaller than medium, or standard, size. You can go two sizes smaller or three sizes larger than medium. This formatting works even if users specify a font size or style in their browser setup or in their operating system.

  • Character formatting: You can make text bold or italic using the <b> and </b> tags to start and stop bold and the <i> and </i> tags to start and stop italic. You can also underline text, but users can easily underlined text for an HTML link.

  • Advanced character formatting: You can specify the fonts used in your Web page, as well as font colors. But different fonts are available on Windows and Macintosh computers, so you have to be clever about how you do this.

Follow these steps to enter and format text in Notepad:

  1. Open Notepad. Enter the beginning and ending HTML, HEAD, and BODY tags.

    Make sure to spell the tags correctly and check for matching open and closing tags.

  2. Between the <head> and </head> tags, add the tags <title> and </title>.

  3. Enter an appropriate title, such as New Home Page, then click OK.

  4. Move the cursor to a new line after the opening <body> tag.

  5. Type some text introducing your Web page.

    When someone searches for your Web page, the search engine may display the Web page title and the first few words that appear in the document. So make the first few sentences of text that follow the title an introduction to the entire page or Web site.

  6. Surround the text that you’d like to make a header with the <h1> and </h1> tags.

  7. Identify other text that you want to format.

  8. Surround the text with the tags that support the formatting you want, such as <b> and </b> for bold or <i> and </i> for italic.

    The surrounded text will take on the appropriate formatting.

  9. Save your file with the extension .htm to specify that it’s an HTML file.

  10. Open the file in a Web browser to preview its appearance.

    Carefully check that each tag you use in the HTML file has the desired effect in the actual displayed Web page. HTML ignores tags it doesn’t understand, so if you type <n> instead of <b>, for instance, the only ill effect will be a lack of bolding (the </b> tag you follow it with has no effect); a lack of formatting such as bolding is easy to miss when quickly checking a page, unless you compare your tags with their desired effects.

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