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Special Procedures and Additional Information

  1. Colours
  2. Sound
  3. Columns
  4. Special Characters
  5. Counters

  1. Colours
  2. You can specify colours using the
    <body> and <font color> commands. For example,

    <body bgcolor="ffffd8" text="000000" link="0000ff" vlink="ff0000" alink="00a000">
    is used for this page, ie. a cream background, black text, blue unvisted links, red visited links and green active links.

    <font color="00a000">green</font>
    will produce green text (but currently only in Netscape 2).

    In all cases, the colours are described using a six digit red-green-blue (RGB) hexidecimal code.
    This is slightly easier than it sounds.
    The first two digits represent the red portion of the colour, the second two for green and the last two for red. The valid range for each colour is from 00 (dark) to FF (light). For instance, here are some common colours in hex form:

              Colour       R G B
              Red:         ff0000
              Green:       00ff00
              Blue:        0000ff
              Magenta:     ff00ff
              Purple:      9900dd
              Light Gray:  bbbbbb
    
    If there is a colour, in a graphic say, and you wish to know its RGB constituents you can use a package such as the excellent Paintshop Pro to determine the split. The colour fractions will be given in decimal rather than hexidecimal. This means the colours will range from 0 to 255 rather than 00 to FF; use a scientific calculator to convert or check out my hex to decimal conversion chart which should also help you to count in hexidecimal if you're not sure how to.

    With Netscape 2 and hopefully soon other browsers, you can describe colours in terms of a name, ie. "red" instead of "FF0000". A complete colour chart is available, telling you available colour names and their associated hex code.


  3. Sound
  4. You give users access to sound files in exactly the same way as giving them a link to another page. It is common to provide a hot graphic to indicate the availability of a sound file. You can use this method to offer any kind of file. Feel free to steal the button I've created in the example below.


    <a href="SOUNDS/BLAKMEAT.WAV">
    <img src="GRAPHICS/SOUND.GIF" border=off width=36 height=28 alt="sound button">
    "I think it's time for you boys..." [64K]</A>

    sound button "I think it's time for you boys..." [64K]

    It is also possible to trigger a sound file to automatically play when a page is loaded. This is done by use of the <meta> element. Include the following line of code in the <head> section of your document.

    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; url=sounds/flesh.wav">

    Replace sounds/flesh.wav with the address of your own sound file. Click here for an example. For those with the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, this procedure is simplified with use of the <bgsound> element.


  5. Columns
  6. You can create the effect of newspaper-type columns by making your whole page into a table. For two columns of text, use the following code as a basis:
    <TABLE WIDTH=100%>
    <TR><TD WIDTH=50%>
    Left hand column text in here.
    <TD WIDTH=50%>
    Right hand column text in here.
    </TABLE>
    
    Remember, the left hand column will not wrap into the right hand column as with normal word processors; you must specify the columns' text separately.

    An alternative method is to use the command <pre>. This uses a fixed-width font to display the text, and also shows all space-characters typed in the HTML code; thus facilitating the alignment of text.


  7. Special Characters
  8. Special characters, such as ampersand (&), less-than (<) and copyright (©) can be displayed in your document using special code. The code for special symbols is always held between an ampersand (&) and a semi-colon (;). For instance, to display the symbol <, you need to write the code &lt;. A full list of available symbols is available here.

    Meanwhile, here are some examples.

    Incidentally, a non-breaking space can be quite useful as it enables you to insert a space-character anywhere and as many times as you want. Bare in mind that there are better ways than this for spacing and aligning text.


  9. Counters
  10. Customizable counters are available free from WebCounter. If you want historical statistics and a whole host of other stuff relating to use of your web pages, check out WebAudit.