activity 5.2


Open NotePad (or any text editor but not a word processor) and copy-n-paste the following text into your blank file:

<!DOCTYPEHTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" ""> <html> <head> <title>A short history of Mark-up and the WWW: Part 1</title> </head> <body> A short history of Mark-up and the WWW In the beginning... The Internet and email have both been around for some time now. The initial Internet was actually developed by the US military as a means of communication that was impossible to break! It was thought that if there were thousands of communication points (rather than just a few transmitters) then it would be possible to transmit a message even when many communication points had been destroyed. No-one imagined that the Internet would become a house-hold tool for many people throughout the world! The World-Wide-Web Until 1989, the Internet was primarily used by computer geeks who knew all the required tools and commands. But everything changed when Tim Berners-Lee of the CERN nuclear research facility near Geneva, Switzerland, introduced Hypertext documents. Hypertext documents made it very simple to follow links to related information, regardless of which country the information is stored in - all that was required was a single click of the mouse! Yet these links also had an implication for the way people would read the information... </body> </html>


  1. In Notepad (or your text editor), save the file with the name webhistory.html to a folder on your computer. If you are using Notepad, make sure you set the file type to All Files instead of the default Text documents, otherwise Notepad will add a .txt extension to your file.
  2. MinimiseNotePad just to move it out of the way, but don't close it as we'll be making some modifications shortly.
  3. Navigate to the folder where you saved the file and double-click on your new file (this should display the file in your web browser). You may need to right-click and choose "open with" and then choose the name of your browser.

How does your new HTML file display in your web browser? What do you notice? That's right! Your web browser ignores all the new-lines and extra spaces in your document! We need to add mark-up to our document to help our web browser understand which bits are headings, which bits are paragraphs, which bits should be emphasised, etc.

Come back to your webhistory.html file in NotePad where we can edit your file. We're going to have a go at using some simple HTML tags to mark-up our HTML document - remember, we're adding meaning without changing the actual content (the words).

To identify a piece of text in your document as a the most important heading (a level-1 heading), enclose it in tags like this:

<h1>A short history of Mark-up and the WWW: Part 1</h1>

Once you've saved your changes in Notepad, reload 'webhistory.html' in your browser (if you've already got it open in a browser, you can just click on the refresh button to re-load the page with your changes). Can you see the effect of your markup?

See if you can find some other headings in the text and mark those up as well! (You should use <h2>...</h2> as these headings will be sub-headings of the first one). And you can also specify which bits of text are paragraphs using<p>...</p>, paragraph tags!)

While you're at it, try the following tags:

  • <em>...</em> to add emphasis to some words (displayed as italics in your browser)
  • <strong>...</strong> to add weight to some words (displayed as bold in your browser)

If you've got someone sitting nearby, make sure you show them the final result in your browser! For your last challenge, see if you can describe what was different between marking-up the word-processing document versus marking-up the HTML document? (If there's no-one around, have a go at explaining it to yourself!)