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HTML for Find A Grave

by Dorsey Barnes Drane (#47384117)
Last updated: 18 Jun 2014 22:27:44 PDT
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It's a specific standardized way to embed cues within normal text, cues that tell how the text is to be displayed. (Microsoft Word documents are a similar, but different way of embedding display cues within a document.) Internet browsers read HTML documents and display them according to the cues within them.  Web pages on the Internet that use html cues have the suffix .html or .htm. In HTML, these formatting cues are called tags.

Find A Grave uses html pages like most web sites.  It allows users to create their own Find A Grave pages, or portions of Find A Grave pages.  For instance, a user can create a new memorial page, but it must conform exactly to Find A Grave's constraints. And a user may add a photo with an html caption to a photo page.  But all the text that a user presents to Find A Grave is scanned by them and they remove any tags that they don't want. For complex tags, they may allow the majority of a tag but remove a component that they want to disallow.

To prepare text for Find A Grave, first create the text as you want it. Break it into paragraphs and have it capitalized as you wish. Proofread it and spell check it. (It's harder to proofread and spell check text once you've added html tags.) Remember that Find A Grave removes things it doesn't want. Specifically:
Then insert the html tags you want.  Here is the subset of tags that Find A Grave accepts:
Italics
Insert <i> before the first character you want to be italicized, and </i> after the last character you want to be italicized. For instance
<i>some text</i> will be displayed as "some text". If you leave off or botch the closing </i> tag, all the subsequent text will be italicized too.
Bold
Insert <b> before the first character you want to be in boldface, and </b> after the last character you want to be bold. For instance
<b>some text</b> will be displayed as "some text". If you leave off or botch the closing </b> tag, all the subsequent text will be boldface too.
Bold & Italics
Insert <b><i> before the first character you want to be bold italics, and </i></b> after the last character you want that way. Notice that the closing tags are in reverse order.  That is, the italics are nested within the bold text. For instance, <b><i>both effects</i> one effect</b> is displayed as "both effects one effect". The nesting can be in any order. For instance, <i><b>both effects</b> one effect</i> is displayed as "both effects one effect".
Links
Someone gave me the next two lines of instructions. If they are sufficient for you, then maybe you can skip my discussion after them:
      <a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=XXXXXXX">Name</a>
Simply cut/paste the above into the bio section.  Replace the XXXXXXX with the Find a Grave memorial number.  Replace Name with the text you want to display on the memorial.

Links define some text in your document that is associated with some other document (or a different place in the current document.) Find A Grave only supports linking to other documents. The format for a link is
<a href="URL for other document">text for the link</a>
For instance, this link is to my Find A Grave profile page:
<a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=47384117">My Find A Grave Page</a>
When a browser displays that link, it will only show the text "My Find A Grave Page", and the text will be underlined, like this: My Find A Grave Page, and the text will be displayed in a different color to indicate it is a link, like this: My Find A Grave Page.
Horizontal Line
You can simulate a horizontal line by typing 37 underscore characters ("_"), like this:
_____________________________________
Or just copy and paste that one.  Most browsers run the underscores together so that they look like one solid line.  You can make a shorter line by typing fewer characters. Browsers adjust the width of the text display to accommodate lines entered this way.  I think 37 is a good width. Longer lines distort the page from the normal Find A Grave appearance.

A few cautions:

Finally, please give me feedback about any corrections that this page needs. You can leave a message for me at my Find A Grave contributor page.