Tables on this page
Text on this page
Colors on this page
Links on this page
Picture on this page

   html code


In Netscape Composer 7, turn off the style sheet function:

Under "Edit," Click "Preferences."  Then click "Composer."  Look for "Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Editing"--at the bottom of the list--and make sure there's no check in the little box.


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29 May 05
HTML Editors

Many applications can be used to edit  html pages: for example::

Microsoft Word
Microsoft Note Pad
Microsoft Publsiher
Microsoft PowerPoint
Netscape Composer
many programs specificially designed for editing html
such as,
Note Tab Pro
Coffee Cup
Microsoft Front Page

The World Wide Web has become a vast resource of information brought to us by ever expanding computer technologies which are evolving into a vast morass of interacting computer languages.  Many software packages have been developed to help novices produce beautiful web pages.  But as the richness of possibilities grew, the software developers worked hard to simplify the use of their software while the things that the software does for us grew and grew and grew in complexity.  I personally find that they have simplified the wrong things.

We want to make beautirul web pages that can just get us started.  That can be done with software that helps us locate things with tables, places text on the page with a bit of variety (like different sizes, bolding, italicizing, underlining, superscripting, etc), lets us use colors in our text and backgrounds, puts pictures where we want them, and, of course, put in the links that makes the Web a web.

That's enough, already!  For starters.

Several years ago, Netscape Composer, v. 4.7 was a great application for doing just that.  It did most of the tricky work for you, like write the intricate "tags" for the tables correctly and help you write the color code for just the color you wanted.  Microsoft Publisher 97 was a lot of help, too, especially if you wanted to embed a bunch of "hot-spot" links in a graphic. (Like this.)  Both of these applications would produce web pages that looked pretty much like what you made appear on your computer screen: "wysiwyg" -- what - you - see - is - what - you - get.

But the Internet outgrew Netscape Composer 4.7 and much of the code it produced became "deprecated," as the World Wide Web Consortium likes to call it -- meaning "Phase it out!"  When Netscape got up to the current   Netscape Composer, v. 7,a lot of neat sophistication got built in, but a lot got taken out, too -- to simplify things for the page maker.  Like the color selector, which now gives little hint of the three-dimensional reality of human color perception.

Look at editing in Composer.
Microsoft took a different route.  Publisher 97 produced enormous amounts of extra code which meticulously followed irrelevant details of your page.  I always had to just extract what was useful to me and get rid of the rest.  Newer versions of Publisher, Word, Powerpoint, etc have expanded on this "bloated code" principle for which Microsoft is (in)famous.  Beautiful pages I've made have, when I try to use a Microsoft application for editing them, become monsters of mysterious, impenetrable, entangled code -- one of my 10kB files instantly became a 150kB file which I couldn't figure out and which simply didn't work.

Until a few days ago I recommended Netscape Composer, v 7, after you've turned off the Style Sheet coding and made a few other adjustments of the "Preferences" (It's under "Edit").  After several days of using it for editing these pages, I'm again looking for something to edit html pages -- Composer's bloating of code isn't as mysterious as Microsoft's, but it's simply mindless. (A peek at the code of these pages will show you what I mean.) Use it, but put up with long chains of extraneous tags.

I would appreciate any suggestions of html editors anyone might have, Please email

So, open up this page in such html editing software as you can find, and try various things it offers to do for you.  Then, go to the "Tables" lesson.