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Chapter Five

Basic Text Formatting

After any length of time on the Internet, you’ll notice that a webpage is made up of more than just plain words on a screen. There are headlines, paragraphs, graphics, colors and much more. It’s a lively place to be.

Our next tags--headline, paragraph, line break and horizontal rule--will help us make our current page a lot more exciting. Let’s learn how.

Paragraphs and Breaks <p>…</p>

Every time you want to begin a new paragraph, you use the paragraph tag. This is a container one, so you have to remember to have a beginning and an ending. Do you remember what an ending tag looks like? Here’s the tag with an opening and an closing:


To add a single line of space, you use the break tag:


This is an empty tag and stands alone. You can use the <br> tag to insert one or more blank lines.

Horizontal Rule
To create a horizontal line on your page you use the empty tag:


Headline tag

One way to create bold copy in HTML is by using the headline tag. There are six levels of headlines, ranging from <h1>…</h1> to <h6>…</h6>. Here is an example of the code for all the headline sizes:

<h1>Level 1 Headline</h1>
<h2>Level 2 Headline</h2>
<h3>Level 3 Headline</h3>
<h4>Level 4 Headline</h4>
<h5>Level 5 Headline</h5>
<h6>Level 6 Headline</h6>

And here is how each level looks in a browser:

To begin using our new code, we are going to create a story about Muffins, the cat. Here is the text below, which we will mark-up with HTML code.

Muffins, the early years

Hi. My name is Muffins. I am a mighty cat. I was adopted by my family when I was only three weeks old.

My new mommy is a human. They are funny creatures.

Notice we have a headline, and two paragraphs. Just for fun, I’m going to include a horizontal rule just under the headline. Now let’s put some code around the text.

Step 1 

Load your text editor and enter the following.

<!DOCTYPE html>






<h1>Muffins, the early years</h1>


<p>Hi. My name is Muffins. I am a mighty

cat. I was adopted by my family when I was

only three weeks old.</p>

<p>My new mommy is a human. They are

funny creatures. </p>



It should look like this in Notepad:

Step 2

Save the document as: muffins.html. Again, remember to save your file in the HTML folder. (See Managing Files for help)

Step 3

Go to the file and open  it. What do you see? Is it something like this? If not, go back and check your code.


You created a page with a headline, a horizontal rule and two paragraphs. Way to Go!!

Go to Chapter 6: Lists

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Learning HTML for Kids
© 1999-2015 by Jill Jeffers Goodell 

Table of Contents 

Basic Text Formatting



Horizontal Line


Line Break