Writing Web Pages

Since there are many different ways to create web pages, it is not practical to give instructions for all of them. The instructions below are just to get you started if you decide to use Netscape to create web pages. If you are using an HTML editor, open up the progam and get started. If you are converting files from another program like Word, just use the "save as" or "export" feature. The instructions below are specifically for Netscape Communicator version 4.04; details may differ slightly for other versions.

  1. Install Netscape. Depending upon the version of Netscape the version that includes "Composer" the program for writing web pages is either Gold (version 3.02) or Communicator (version 4.0 or later). If you don't have Netscape on your computer I recommend version 4.7 as the best balance of features and stability at this time.
  2. Open Communicator and then open "Composer", the program for writing web pages [Communicator, Composer].
  3. If you like to read the instructions, click on [Help, Contents], select "Creating Web Pages" from the menu on the left. You may print this document by clicking on the printer icon at the bottom of the screen.
  4. If you like learning by doing, start writing and clicking on buttons. Highlight text to make changes. Hold the cursor over the buttons to find out what each tool does. Click on Help when you are stuck. And don't get frustrated, HTML is not the same as a word processor and you have less control over formatting.
  5. For a very brief overview of using Composer:
    1. Type the text you want
    2. To change formatting, select the text and choose attributes from the toolbar. Use Headings 1 to 6 to specify levels, avoid specifying font type or size. Bold, Italic, and Underline are available. Additional formatting styles are listed in the menu at the top.
    3. To create a link, select text, click on the link icon, and type in the URL (Universal Resource Locator, i.e. http://www.widener.edu) for the link. If you are making a link to a web page at another web site, it is easiest to copy and paste the URL from the location line in the browser. This type of link, which includes the entire address is called an absolute link. If you are making a local link to a file located on your computer, use the browse option after clicking on the link icon. This creates a relative links that only includes the file name. It is important to distinguish between absolute and relative addresses, this is one of the most common points of confusion. For more information about the syntax of a link, see the first article in this series: Developing Web Pages for Teaching, Part I - Introduction
    4. A link can be ANY type of computer file. A spreadsheet, a word document, an adobe acrobat document, a powerpoint presentation, a graphic image, a molecular structure, a spectrum, or anything else you can think of. Netscape Composer expects all these files to be in the same directory. They don't have to be, but it is easiest (for now) if they are in the same directory.
    5. To insert an image, select the image icon in the toolbar and enter the address for the image file. The image must be a gif or jpeg file to display in the browser. For more information, look at the help menu.
    6. To create a table; click on the table icon in the toolbar. For more information look at the help menu.

  6. For more information about features that can be used in web pages see How to make HTML documents.

  7. Test the web page


This page is maintained by
Scott Van Bramer
Department of Chemistry
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013

Please send any comments, corrections, or suggestions to svanbram@science.widener.edu.

This page has been accessed 2773 times since 5/30/97.
Last Updated 5/20/98