Greg Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988



Creating an HTLM File to Prepare Web Page for Text Files
Greg Gore


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Many web pages are essentially uploaded text files of articles, news stories, and other information. One way to prepare such a web page is to create an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) file using a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad or WordPad in Windows or SimpleText on Mac computers.

Basic HTML is a simple coding structure and with just a few basic instructions, you can prepare an attractive web page. HTML code is really just a series of “tags” or instructions enclosed by left and right arrows, < >. Generally, tags have a beginning action code, for example, <body> and an ending code </body>. Note that the ending code is preceded by the forward slash, “/”. The minimal codes you will need to prepare HTML code for a text article are: <html> and </html> for the beginning and the end of the file; <body> and </body>; <title> and </title>; <h1> and </h1> for a heading (headings range in size from h1 to h6); and, <p> and </p> for paragraphs. 

As an aid to help you get started quickly, copy the following code in your text editor and save it as an html file. (In Notepad, for example, save the file as “intro.html” and be sure to use “All Files (*.*)” for the “Save as Type” response.):


<title>Web Page Intro</title>
<center><h1>Introduction to HTML</h1></center>
<h2>Heading size 2</h2>
<h3>Heading size 3</h3>
<p>A paragraph.</p>
<p>Another paragraph.</p>

Now that you have prepared and saved the file, use your web browser to view and print the web page. If you are using Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can also view the HTML code for this page or any other web page by selecting “View” and then “Page Source.” Of course, you can view and print the HTML code for a web page by opening the file in Notepad, WordPad, or SimpleText.

The code for the sample exercise above is an abbreviated form of an excellent one-page introduction to HTML that is available on the Internet at The page is authored by Chuck Peters, a CCIL (Chester County Interlink) volunteer. Chuck has been systems administrator of CCIL for over five years. In addition, he was the technical consultant for the recently published “Everyday Linux” ( and is currently co-authoring a book on open source software. He can be reached at or

Chuck has performed a masterful job of providing a wealth of information on his intro page. If you look at the code for Chuck’s page, you will learn how to link to other web pages, how to prepare a bulleted list, and how to add emphasis to web pages. Chuck’s page also lists very useful links to several other guides and tutorials on HTML.

A second way to prepare a web page is to use Microsoft Word, Netscape Composer, or another program that automatically converts a document to HTML. A drawback to this method is that the HTML code created in the conversion process is overly complicated for simple text documents. If you use this method of creating web pages, you might want to check out two utility programs that clean up and simply HTML files. Chuck Peters has a link to the “HTML Tidy” program on his page. Microsoft Office 2000 users can download the “Office 2000 HTML Filter 2.0” program at

An advantage of learning to write HTML code yourself is that you will able to adapt ideas for your web page design by viewing the HTML source code of web pages that are appealing to you. Whenever you are “surfing the net” and find an interesting page, view and copy the source code. You will quickly learn how to add interesting colors, backgrounds and other features to your own page.


The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (

This column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on June 20, 2001. Greg Gore can be reached at

© 2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.