You can use your internet browser to view the HTML source code of most web pages. This means that if you see a page you like, you can look at the underlying code and copy the designer's technique. Copying someone else's tried and true methods is not plagiarism – it is just a good way to improve your skills.
If you are using the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, simply navigate to a page that you are interested in. Now, at the top of your browser window, you should see a menu bar with a set of commands, similar to the following:
File Edit View Tools Help
Click on the View command, and a vertical menu should drop down from it, with the number of choices, looking something like this:
Now, click on the Source command, and a copy of Microsoft Notepad should pop up containing all the text of the page.
Because Notepad does not have an auto-wrap feature, you may see some very long lines of HTML code. Also, depending upon the web page you choose to look at, you may see some good clean easy to read HTML Code, or you may see a real mess.
In any case, you will discover that most web pages have two main sections, the head and the body. If you locate the body of the page you will see that it has most of the HTML tags that beginners are typically interested in; for example table tags, paragraph tags, and text formatting tags.
However, as you get more advanced you will discover that web pages are often dependent for their formatting on other external pages called "CSS Style Pages". If you want to look at one of these pages, it may be necessary to reconstruct its web address from information in the primary page you are looking at. This will be a topic of a future article.
Finally, if you are using another browser (Mozilla Firefox for example), the commands to view page source are slightly different. Click on the View menu, then select Page Source. Firefox displays the page source in a proprietary non-Notepad window.
copyright 2006 Sam Mela