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Trouble Shooting Techniques

HTML is not the easiest thing to do correctly. It is easy to make a minor mistake which can screw up your entire displayed page. The techniques listed below will help you find and fix common everyday coding errors.

Check Your Tags

This is the most common reason that a page does not look right. As we covered in the Basic Coding Tips section, you must 'nest' your tags correctly or chaos can ensue!

Consider this example:

<B>This is an example of <I>badly nested</B> HTML tags.</I>

Your tags should be nested properly as shown here:

<TAG1><TAG2><TAG3> [text or object here] </TAG3></TAG2></TAG1>

Wacky things will also occur if you have an Opening Tag and no corresponding Closing Tag to go with it. Double check that all of your Opening Tags have the correct Closing Tag.

Validate Your Code

When you put a document on a Web server, be sure to check the formatting and each link. Have someone else proofread your work before you consider a page finished.

You can run your coded files through one of several on-line HTML validation services that will tell you if your code conforms to accepted HTML. If you are not sure your coding conforms to HTML specifications, this can be a useful teaching tool.

Dummy Images

When an image tag points to an image that does not exist or cannot find, a 'dummy image' is substituted by your browser. When this happens during your final review of your pages, make sure that the image does in fact exist, that the coding points to the right folder, and that the filename is typed in correctly. (Image names are generally case-sensitive)

Cross Browser Compatibility

Different web browsers display HTML elements differently. Remember that not all codes used in HTML files are interpreted the same way by all browsers. Any code a browser does not understand is usually ignored though.

You could spend a lot of time making your file "look perfect" using your usual browser. If you check that file using another browser, it will probably display differently. Hence these words of advice: code your files using correct HTML. Leave the interpreting to the browsers and hope for the best.

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