HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is much simpler than other programming languages like Java, Perl, C, or BASIC, and is used to describe how a set of text and images should be displayed on a webpage to the viewer.

This article will guide you through the steps of getting started with basic HTML coding and editing.

You will need

  • Computer with internet connection and web browser
  • Notepad (for Windows platforms) or TextEdit (for Mac platforms) installed.


Using notepad or TextEdit

  1. Launch Notepad or TextEdit.
  2. Both programs will start a blank document; create a new document or open an existing file.
  3. Once you’ve started a file, start editing your text. Notepad and TextEdit have all the basic editing functions of a word processor.
  4. Save your HTML files using .htm or .html as the file extension.

Using markup tags

  1. HTML markup tags consist of a left angle bracket, the name of the tag, and a right angle bracket.
  2. To start a boldface markup tag, type, type the words you want in boldface lettering, and then create an ending tag for the boldface type. An ending tag looks just like the starting tag, except it is preceded by a forward slash character (/). Your bold sentence should look something like this: This text is bold.
  3. Almost every markup tag in HTML requires both a starting tag and an ending tag. However, there are two notable exceptions to the rule. The first is the paragraph marker,
  4. Which does not require an ending tag. Second is the break marker
  5. Which is placed at the end of a sentence to create space between it and the next.

Writing a simple HTML document

  1. The first markup tag in every HTML document is the tag. This allows web browsers to know that everything in the file is HTML text. Open a blank document and type on one line, and then on the next. Everything else typed within the document should fall between those tags.
  2. For the head sections, type the line after, followed by the next line to create a section.
  3. To start the title tag, type between the <HEAD> tags and close it with the following line. Between the title tags, enter a title for your document.
  4. To create the next section, the body, type on the line after, followed by. Most of your text and HTML codes will fall between the tags.
  5. When you’ve completed the above, your document is properly formatted, but it doesn’t have any content. To change that, on a new line between the body tags, begin typing some text.
  6. Save the HTML file.
  7. Using a Web browser, open your new HTML document. Because the file is on your local desktop machine and not on the Web, you’ll need to use the Open File option in your Web browser.


  • Remember that markup tags are NOT case-sensitive. For example, the bold tag can be typed as: or.
  • Do Web research or find reference books for an extensive list of markup tags available in HTML.