HTML fonts come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The important thing to remember when choosing a font for your page is that not everybody will have that particular font on their hard drive, which means that their computer will show them your page using their default font, which is usually Arial or Times New Roman.

So, no matter what font you choose, also check your page, using the arial font, to be sure that everything will still appear correctly to users who don't have the font that you are going to use.

Now, onto more interesting things....how do you use fonts?

Following the <Body> tag, you insert your <font> tag. It will look like this:

<Body bgcolor="blue" text="black" link="yellow" vlink="red" alink="green">
<font face="arial">

Now, just like the body tag, the font tag must also have a closing. For instance, your body tags are: <Body></Body> Therefore, your font tags are: <font></font> . You should place your closing font tag right before your closing body tag.

The font tag can be used to determine the face, size, and color of your fonts. Face is the type or name of the font you are using, size determines how large or small the font is, and of course color determines the color.

<font face="Comic Sans MS" size="+2" color="green">

This would be the result of the above tag.

You can also determine a second choice for your font, for those visitors that don't have the font you want to use. I suggest setting your second choice to arial or times new roman. The tag would look like this:

<font face="Comic Sans MS, Arial">

There are thousands of fonts to choose from...arial, comic sans, lucida handwriting, century gothic...the list goes on forever.

The size of your font can range from 1 to 7, -1 to -3, and +1 to +4. Just try out the different choices to find what you are looking for.

There are six more tags that can determine the size of your font, but these are not used inside the font tag. They are just used before the text that you wish to size. These tags are h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6. The largest of these fonts is h1 and the smallest is h6. These are heading tags. They are generally used at the beginning of the page, like to announce the name of the page, or to welcome visitors. These also require closing tags.

The following tag:

<h1>Welcome To My Page</h1>

will produce:

Welcome To My Page

Use the heading tags to make text in certain parts of your page larger or smaller than your regular text, which is defined in the font tag.

You should know that you do not have to decide on the size of your font. The default is 3. This means that if you do not specify a size, your text will automatically be size 3.

You can download free fonts from Microsoft. Simply save them into your "fonts" folder on your hard drive, then go to your control panel, fonts, and "add new fonts". It will lead you through the installation from there.

Now, it gets a little harder. There are special characters that cannot be used as they are usually used in your HTML document. These would include, but are not limited to: quotation marks, ampersand, less than, greater than, cent sign, Copyright, Registered trademark. With these special characters, you should consult your character map...which is located under your programs menu. Go to start, programs, accessories, character map. Use the alt key, plus the number of the special character you wish to use. Many HTML editors can also put these special characters in place for you, such as HomeSite, which has a special characters wizard.

You should spend some time trying out different fonts, sizes, colors, and special characters. Getting the hang of these HTML features will be of great use to you!