This page helps you to get started using HTML mode. On this page are listed the sections of the manual you should read first to get acquainted with the basic features. Read the pages referred to in the various paragraphs.
First open a new window and save it with a name ending by .html. Alpha now switches to HTML mode and inserts three new menus in the menu bar. The first one is called the CSS menu and contains functions for editing Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The second one is called the HTML menu and the last one the HTML Utilities menu. When you are editing HTML documents, make sure you are in HTML mode. Alpha automatically switches to HTML mode when you open a document with any of the suffixes ".html", ".htm" or ".shtml". You can also manually change mode with the mode menu in the status bar in the lower right corner of the screen.
Giving attributes to HTML elements
You can obviously insert new tags in an HTML document simply by typing them, but Alpha can help you to do it more efficiently. Alpha can let you give values to the attributes of an HTML element in two different ways. Either you can use traditional dialog windows, or you can let Alpha ask you to type the attribute values in the status bar. Try both ways to see which you like best. You find all HTML elements in the various submenus of the HTML menu.
How to use template stops
If you now have inserted a couple of HTML tags you should have noticed the black bullets (•). They are called template stops and are supposed to help you navigate in the document. The tab key lets you jump to the next bullet and automatically deletes it.
It's easy to insert a pair of tags around some text. First select the text. Then choose an HTML element from a menu and the tags are inserted around the selection.
Sometimes it's more convenient to simply type the code rather than using a dialog window. To help you there is a clever word completion mechanism. Type a few letters, hit ctrl-tab and Alpha tries to complete what you have typed as much as possible. This has two advantages: it saves you key strokes and it makes sure you don't misspell anything.
Writing HTML code is not only a matter of inserting tags in a document. You often want to delete tags or modify them. Many of the items in the Editing submenu of the HTML Utilities menu makes it easier to modify the code.
Command-double-clicking is useful for many things. For example, command-double-clicking on a link opens that file, command-double-clicking on an opening tag lets you change the attributes.
Configuring HTML mode
If you have read the sections referred to above you should have got a feeling about the basic concepts of this HTML environment. The next thing you should do before you go on is to give Alpha some information about your home page. This information is needed to use HTML mode in the best way.
Deciding which attributes to be asked
Most HTML elements have very many attributes. Therefore you can configure which attributes to be asked about for the various elements. This is not something you have to do immediately while you're still learning to use HTML mode, but it is strongly recommended that you do that before beginning to use it seriously.
There are still many things to learn, but I let you explore the rest of HTML mode by yourself. Most parts of the manual are independent and you can therefore read the pages basically in any order you like.
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