HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. This language is used primarily to create pages to be displayed by a WWW browser. HTML is made up of a series of commands that define how the text will be displayed on screen. Similar to a word processor, HTML has code and commands that you use to make text bold or italicized. You can center text, create tables, and insert pictures and graphs. The most powerful feature of HTML is the ability to create hypertext links.
A hypertext link is a word, phrase, or picture from which the user can "jump" to a new address, which is specified in the HTML code. Unlike turning pages of a book and finding information in a linear fashion, using these links allows you to access information by "jumping" to the source immediately.
Most hypertext links in text are colored and underlined. You can recognize a link by moving your cursor over it; the cursor will change visually--for instance, from an arrow to a pointing finger. Clicking on a link will cause the browser to display the new page.
This term is used throughout this documentation to specify a hypertext link that refers to a specific page of the Handbook. A reference link is a link which has been inserted into a word processing document and which refers to a page of the Handbook. For example, a reference link within your document may look like this: >## Paragraphs ##. When you run View Handbook Link, the software looks for the HTML file that matches ## Paragraphs ## and uses your browser to open the Handbook to the page that begins the discussion of paragraphs.
WWW is derived from Internet terminology and refers to the World Wide Web. A browser is simply an interface which allows you to access information in hypertext. Browsers are designed to be easy to use regardless of the user's computer knowledge and background. Because of its ease of use, the browser is a very logical interface through which to access the electronic version of the Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing.