The myriad testimony and evidence from the Independent Counsel's inquiry
now published on the Web are simply examples of hypertext documents that
reside on the Internet. Hypertext documents contain key words or phrases
that link documents to one another on the Net.
A browser, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, is your window to
the Internet that enables you to view these hypertext documents as formatted
pages, commonly called web pages. A group of related Web pages is called
a Web site. The entire assemblage of hypertext and hypermedia documents
on the Internet is collectively referred as the World Wide Web.
Web pages aren't complicated or mysterious in their basic form. They
are simply text documents written with special codes, called tags, which
enable the document to be viewed on the Internet using browser software.
The language of these special tags is called Hypertext Markup Language,
To apply bold and center formatting to text in a Web page, for example,
the appropriate HTML codes are <B> and <CENTER> To cancel the bold
and center formatting, you would type </B> and </CENTER> Here's the
HTML code for "The Record," formatted as centered and bold: <CENTER><B>TheRecord
</B></CENTER> These basic codes aren't any more difficult to
master than WordPerfect reveal codes.
The good news is, you don't have to be fluent in HTML language, because
there are programs available, called HTML editors that convert word-processing
documents to hypertext documents as you type. Many users don't realize
that HTML editing functions are already built into popular wordprocessing
programs such as Microsoft Word and WordPerfect.
From WordPerfect, you can choose Internet Publisher from the File menu
to guide you through building your own Web page, using similar commands
used to create and format word processing documents. In Microsoft Word,
choose File, New and then select the Web Pages tab to either start a new
web page from scratch or follow the Web Page Wizard for step-by-step help.
The beauty of using the built-in HTML editors in Word and WordPerfect
for beginners is the familiar interface. Simply create a Web document in
either of these applications as you would a regular word-processing document
and the program will automatically convert it to HTML.
So how do existing text documents, such as the Starr report, get moved
to the Web as hypertext so quickly? Once again, WordPerfect and Microsoft
Word provide HTML conversion utilities for existing documents as well as
Any document in Microsoft Word can be instantly converted to an HTML
document with a simple Save As HTML command, from the File menu. Through
the Internet Publisher menu in WordPerfect, you can choose to save any
WordPerfect document as a Web document. The time required to convert these
documents ranges from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the
length of the files.
Certainly there are full-fledged HTML editing programs that are designed
specifically for Web page construction such as HoTMetal, HotDog and Microsoft
FrontPage, but the Web features already built into familiar programs are
a great starting place. All the programs in Microsoft Office, in fact,
have HTML editing functions installed. Excel, PowerPoint and Access all
have Save As HTML features for converting existing documents to HTML for
Once converted, all hypertext documents must be transferred to the Internet
for global viewing. This process, called File Transfer Protocol, or FTP,
moves HTML documents created locally on your PC to a computer that is connected
to the greater Internet.
Just about everyone with an online account today has FTP privileges
as well as space reserved for hosting their HTML documents. AOL members
can publish their home pages to the "Members" Web site at no additional
charge and locally InReach Internet offers 10 MB of web space for its subscriber's
Web pages as well. Most ISPs have similar offers.
Sophisticated Web sites built with interactivity, multimedia, and security
issues are best left to Web design professionals, but simple web pages
can be built utilizing the tools already on your desktop. Once you try
your hand at HTML publishing, you'll realize why the Internet and Web have
grown so quickly in popularity.
Cathi Schuler owns a computer literacy training/consulting company,
Cee Prompt! She is a co-author of computer textbooks and can be reached
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com or by
mail c/o The Record, P.O. Box 900, Stockton, CA 95201. She is on the Internet
at: http://www.ceeprompt.com. Click
here for past