Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Basic HTML in Comments

When writing for or commenting on the internet, sometimes it comes in handy to know a little HTML. HTML stands for “Hyper-Text Mark-up Language”, and it is the code underlying every webpage. Some sites don’t allow HTML in comments, but many—perhaps even most—do.

When making a comment on a site, it is HTML that allows us to underline, italicize, bold, quote, and link—but the actual code is usually hidden from the user by a friendly formatting button. Unfortunately, even on some sites where HTML is allowed, the comment interface doesn’t have the handy little formatting buttons we have all grown so dependent on—but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with a plain, boring, unformatted comment! What follows is a little tutorial in how to spice up your comments with some formatting when those buttons are missing.

The first thing you have to understand is how to make a hypertext “tag”. If HTML is enable in comments, anything between the symbols <> is a tag—an instruction to the web browser to do something—and won’t be displayed. Any tag that you open: <>, must also be closed </> (notice the forward slash here—it closes the open tag). What you put inside the tag determines what it will do.


<i>Your italic text here.</i>

…displays this:
Your italic text here.


<b>Your bold text here.</b>

…displays this:
Your bold text here.


<u>Your underlined text here.</u>

…displays this:
Your underlined text here.


<blockquote>Quoted text here.</blockquote>

…displays this:
Quoted text here.


<a href=””> A shameless plug for Rob’s site.</a>

…gives you this:
A shameless plug for Rob’s site.

I hope some of you find this helpful!


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