Options for HTML Formatting of CPR text
Created by Steve Verhey
(Formerly of the Biology Department at Central Washington University)
Formatting text directly using HTML (hypertext
is not difficult. Because HTML makes up a large part of the technical
foundation for our civilization, it is a useful thing to have a working
knowledge of. Immediately below is a description of simple HTML commands.
If you'd like to skip directly to a description of how to use Microsoft
Word to do HTML formatting, click
here . Just remember, if you get confused with the MS Word approach,
using the commands directly is easier. It is also possible to use web authoring
software such as Netscape Communicator (which you may be using to read
this very web page), or any other similar software. A description
of how to do this is given at the bottom
of this page.
One thing that you may not be aware of is that when looking at any
web page you can choose View>Page Source from the browser menu bar to see
the HTML coding for that page. This works with any web page, including
this one -- try it! When you do, you'll see the actual HTML language that
tells your browser how to format the web page for viewing.
Do it yourself HTML formatting
In order to be displayed correctly by CPR, your text must be formatted
using HTML tags. Basic HTML is quite simple: most formatting
is done using tags in begin-end pairs, one before and one after the text
to be formatted. For example, to make a word <b>bold</b>, you
would type <b> before the target word and </b> after the target word
-- the / marks the end tag. Here is a list of common formatting tags
and their meanings:
b -- bold -- coded <b>bold</b>
u -- underlined -- coded <u>underlined</u>
i -- italicized -- coded <i>italicized</i>
sub -- subscript, as in H2O -- coded H<sub>2</sub>O
sup -- superscript, as in Fe+3 -- coded Fe<sup>+3</sup>
Headings can be made using tags, too:
h1 for Heading 1
all the way to h6, for Heading 6
Remember, each of these tags must be surrounded by pointy brackets: <
>, and the end of the tagged word or phrase signalled by a slash: /. Case
doesn't matter for tags -- either uppercase or lowercase will do.
There are a few tags that need not be used in pairs: <p> for
paragraph (a doublespaced line), <br> for break (a single new line),
and <hr> for horizontal rule, used to divide some sections.
So something coded like this:
<hr> Here's the first sentence.<p> Here's <br> the second sentence.
Would look like this:
Here's the first sentence.
the second sentence.
That's all you really need to know (and a little you don't really need
to know) to format documents using HTML. It's easy and fun!
Be sure to preview your text frequently (click the "preview text" button
in CPR), and especially before submitting it, to make sure it looks right.
If it looks strange, chances are you've got an incorrect HTML tag in there
For more HTML information than you could ever want, see The
15-minute Class: How to Write Web Pages in HTML for an example of the
many web pages on the topic.
Do you want to know how to make a link? The HTML for the link
in the previous paragraph looks like this:
<a href="http://www.gorin.com/class"> The 15-minute Class:
How to Write Web Pages in HTML</a>.
In this case the begin-end tag pair is <a href> and </a>.
All text between the tags is highlighted as the link in the working web
page, and the URL to which the link connects goes after the equals sign
and between quotation marks inside the beginning tag.
HTML formatting with MS
So you've considered learning a little HTML but have decided to use MS
Word (MSW) to do your formatting for you. Before deciding once and
for all to use MSW for this task, be sure to review the third option, described
OK, now you've really decided to go through with this. If so,
this protocol should work:
Write and format your text in the usual way using MSW
Save your document in the usual way (so you'll have a backup copy after
doing the next step)
Choose File>Save As HTML
Give your file a name with a .html suffix, to differentiate it from the
original MSW text version
Choose View>HTML Source, which will open a window containing your text
plus all that confusing HTML stuff
Select all of the text in this new window, copy it, and paste it into the
text entry box in CPR.
Preview your text to make sure it looks the way you want it to look
Save your text in CPR
If this doesn't work, seriously consider do-it-yourself HTML formatting
with Netscape Composer
You may not be aware of this, but if you are using Netscape Communicator
to view this web page, you also have access to web authoring software called
Netscape Composer. There are numerous more efficient and complicated
(not to mention expensive) programs available, but Composer is easy to
use and free, and some say it works better than MS Word. One big
advantage of this approach is the ease with which you can imbed links into
With Netscape up and running (which, as I say, may be right now), choose
A new window that is your blank page opens. You will use this window
like a word processor to enter your text
Note the tool buttons across the top of the window -- you use these to
format your text, and to enter links, if desired.
At any time you can choose View>Page Source to see the HTML coding of your
document. You can also click on the little steering wheel to see
what your document will look like online.
As usual with software that is new to you, play around with the various
buttons and menus until you've got your text looking the way you want it
Periodically as you work, and once you've finished with your text, choose
File>Save. This saves your document in HTML format.
Once you've finished with your text, choose View>Page Source to see the
HTML coding of your document
Select all of the text in the Page Source window, copy it, and paste it
into the text entry box in CPR
Preview your text to make sure it looks the way you want it to
Save your text in CPR