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Web Forms and HTML

Web forms are written in HTML, so to work with them (and customize them), you should have a working knowledge of HTML. They also include Active Server Pages (ASP) elements, but Visual Basic manages them for us, so it's less necessary to know ASP in detail. However, if you want to implement client-side scripting of HTML elements in your Web forms, you also should know a scripting language that the target browser can use, such as JavaScript. A good book for both HTML and JavaScript is the Coriolis HTML Black Book, which not only includes all HTML elements and how to use them, but also has a number of chapters on JavaScript, as well as how to use JavaScript with HTML controls. For reference, I'm including a quick listing of all the HTML tags in HTML 4.01 in Table 14.4.

Table 14.4: HTML 4.01 tags.


Use for:


Comments and server-side includes


Starting an HTML page


Creating a hyperlink or anchor


Displaying abbreviations


Displaying acronyms


Displaying an address


Embedding applets in Web pages


Creating clickable regions in image maps


Creating bold text


Setting the base for hyperlinks


Setting the base font


Overriding the bidirectional character algorithm


Adding background sounds


Creating big text


Making text blink


Indenting quotations


Creating a Web page's body


Inserting line breaks


Creating a customizable button


Creating a table caption


Centering text


Creating a citation


Displaying program code


Defining a column


Grouping and formatting columns


Creating definition list definitions


Displaying text as deleted


Defining new terms


Creating a list (obsolete)


Formatting block text


Creating definition lists


Creating definition list terms


Emphasizing text


Embedding multimedia and plug-ins in a Web page


Grouping form elements


Specifying a font


Creating HTML forms


Creating frames


Creating frames

<h1> through <h6>

Creating Web page headings


Creating a Web page's head


Creating horizontal rules


Starting an HTML page


Creating italic text


Creating inline or floating frames


Creating inline layers


Adding an image to a Web page

<input type=button>

Creating buttons

<input type=checkbox>

Creating checkboxes

<input type=file>

Creating file input for a form

<input type=hidden>

Creating hidden data

<input type=image>

Creating image submit buttons

<input type=password>

Creating password controls

<input type=radio>

Creating radio buttons

<input type=reset>

Creating reset buttons

<input type=submit>

Creating submit buttons

<input type=text>

Creating text fields


Displaying inserted text


Using an index


Displaying text the user is to type


Processing secure transactions


Labeling form elements


Arranging text in layers


Creating a legend for form elements


Creating list items


Setting link information


Creating client-side image maps


Displaying text in a scrolling marquee


Creating a list (obsolete)


Giving more information about your Web page


Creating columns


Avoiding line breaks


Handling browsers that don't handle embedding


Handling browsers that don't handle layers


Handling browsers that don't handle JavaScript


Placing an object into a Web page


Creating ordered lists


Creating a select control item group


Creating a select control item


Creating paragraphs


Specifying a parameter


Displaying preformatted text


Displaying short quotations


Creating ruby text


Creating rubies

<s> And <strike>

Striking text out


Displaying sample program output


Creating a script


Creating a select control


Running server-side JavaScript scripts


Creating small text


Controlling horizontal and vertical spacing


Formatting inline text


Strongly emphasizing text


Using embedded style sheets


Creating subscripts


Creating superscripts


Creating a table


Create a table body when grouping rows


Creating table data


Creating text areas


Create a table foot when grouping rows


Creating table headings


Creating a table head when grouping rows


Giving a Web page a title


Creating a table row


Creating "teletype" text


Underlining text


Creating unordered lists


Displaying program variables and arguments


Allowing word breaks


Accessing XML data with an XML data island

You should be familiar enough with HTML to know, for example, that HTML elements start with an opening tag, <h1> here, and often end with a closing tag, </h1>, such as this example, where I'm creating an h1 heading with the text "Here is a heading!":

<h1>Here is a heading!</h1>

You also should be familiar enough with HTML to know, for example, that this <input> element creates a 40-character long text field with the name "text1", which can take 60 characters maximum, and that this input element has four attributes—type, name, size, and maxlength:

<input type= "text" name = "text1" size = "40" maxlength = "60">

For the sake of reference, I've written and included on the CD-ROM an HTML file (open it in your browser) named htmlref.html, which is a complete HTML element reference. It includes all the HTML 4.01 elements (and additional ones that are browser-specific), all their attributes, what they mean, where you can use them, and in which browsers. Hopefully, that'll be all the reference you need, but if not, check out a good book on the subject, such as the HTML Black Book referred to earlier.

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