Contrary to what hot-shot web page designers
and pundits at Microsoft might think, we don’t all have T1 connections to the Internet. The
idea that the Internet could be just a seamless
extension of my desktop is ludicrous. If I click on
a shortcut or file that’s on the Internet, I
know it’s on the Internet because it takes so long to
open. Let’s face it, those of us with dial-up access have
a close relationship with the hourglass icon.
I use my web browser for viewing files in addition to web browsing, so I don’t always want
my browser to connect to the Internet when I open
it. Sometimes I want to look at HTML or GIF files on my local hard disk. However, if your
default startup or "Home" page is a page on the
Internet, the browser will try to connect when you open it.
To solve this problem, you can create your own start page that is stored on your local hard
disk. It’s also a great way to try your hand at writing
a web page that no one else really has to see.
Once you see how easy it is to create a home page,
you might be tempted to create your own site.
1 Open WordPad
Everyone has WordPad or Note Pad (or both) on their Windows system. These
programs are small text editing programs you can use
to make simple text files. Hypertext Markup
Language (HTML) is nothing more than a text file. Within
the text file are commands that are contained within
angle brackets (< and >), which are called
tags. These tags are what tell the web
browser how to display the page.
2 Type in Your First HTML tags
Some HTML tags come in pairs, so there is a beginning and an ending tag. The end tag
has a slash before the text. For example, every HTML file starts with an <HTML> tag and
ends with a </HTML> tag. Type these into
WordPad like so:
3 Add Other Required Tags
The next tags are the beginning and ending <HEAD> and <TITLE> tags. The Head
area contains elements that don’t appear in the body
of the page, such as the Title, which appears in
the title bar of the browser. You also must add
beginning and ending <BODY> tags after the <HEAD> area. The closing </BODY> tag
must be before the closing </HTML> tag.
4 Add Content
The area within the two body tags is where you add your content. Browsers ignore
carriage returns in the text file, so you need to tell
the browser where a new line starts either by
using <P> paragraph tags or <BR> line break tags.
For headings, you can use opening <H1> and
closing </H1> heading tags. You can add smaller
headings using higher numbered tags, such as
<H2>, <H3>, and so on.
5 Add Links and Graphics and Save
It’s useful to add links in your home
page, so you can quickly go to your favorite places.
For example, this tag creates a link to the
Schweitzer web site <a HREF="http://www.schweitzer.com/">Schweitzer Mountain Resort</a>. The text
in the quotes is the link and the text between the HREF tag and the </a> is the clickable link
text you see on the screen. To add graphics you
use the image tag. For example, <IMG SRC="audience.jpg"> places a graphic
called audience.jpg on the page. Save the file on
your hard disk with an .HTM extension. To view it, choose File|Open in your browser.
6 Set Up the Browser
Once you have your page set up and you
are happy with it, you need to make it the default
home page in your browser. Depending on the browser
you use, it’s generally one of the "options" settings.
Type the file path and save the new setting. The next
time you open the browser, your custom page appears!