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HTML Essential Training
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Forcing text direction


From:

HTML Essential Training

with Bill Weinman

Video: Forcing text direction

English is a left-to-right language and I need to preface this discussion by saying that I have no experience typing in a right-to-left language. I did learn a little Hebrew when I was a kid, but I wrote that with a pencil and frankly, I don't remember any of it. Let's start by making a working copy of text.html and we'll rename that to text-working.html and open that in the text editor. We have seen this before. It's just a HTML document with some Lorem Ipsum in it, and we'll go ahead and open this in browser, and there is the document in our browser and you see that it's all left-to-right. This is Latin.
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    3. What you need to know about this course
      2m 51s
  2. 22m 0s
    1. What is HTML?
      4m 12s
    2. Examining the structure of an HTML document
      7m 50s
    3. Understanding tags and containers
      6m 4s
    4. Exploring content models in HTML5
      2m 23s
    5. Looking at obsolete elements
      1m 31s
  3. 27m 19s
    1. Understanding whitespace and comments
      3m 53s
    2. Displaying text with paragraphs
      3m 37s
    3. Applying style
      8m 5s
    4. Using block and inline tags
      6m 34s
    5. Displaying characters with references
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 36s
    1. Exploring the front matter of HTML
      2m 9s
    2. Applying CSS to your document
      3m 59s
    3. Adding scripting elements
      4m 54s
    4. Using the meta tag
      3m 34s
    5. Optimizing your page for search engines
      2m 0s
  5. 24m 59s
    1. Controlling line breaks and spaces
      2m 46s
    2. Exploring phrase elements
      1m 44s
    3. Using font markup elements
      1m 5s
    4. Highlighting text with mark
      1m 29s
    5. Adding headings
      1m 38s
    6. Using quotations and quote marks
      3m 2s
    7. Exploring preformatted text
      1m 45s
    8. Formatting lists
      2m 28s
    9. Forcing text direction
      3m 49s
    10. Suggesting word-break opportunities
      2m 29s
    11. Annotating East Asian languages
      2m 44s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Introducing CSS
      55s
    2. Understanding CSS placement
      6m 55s
    3. Exploring CSS syntax
      10m 34s
    4. Understanding CSS units of measure
      3m 3s
    5. Some CSS examples
      7m 48s
  7. 22m 5s
    1. Using images
      4m 13s
    2. Flowing text around an image
      4m 55s
    3. Breaking lines around an image
      3m 3s
    4. Aligning images
      5m 25s
    5. Mapping links in an image
      4m 29s
  8. 22m 28s
    1. Understanding URLs
      2m 41s
    2. Working with hyperlinks
      3m 28s
    3. Using relative URLs
      4m 20s
    4. Specifying a base URL
      2m 19s
    5. Linking within a page
      4m 12s
    6. Using image links
      5m 28s
  9. 17m 2s
    1. Exploring list types
      3m 52s
    2. List elements in depth
      7m 44s
    3. Using text menus with unordered lists
      5m 26s
  10. 15m 30s
    1. Introduction to HTML semantics
      4m 9s
    2. Exploring an example
      4m 56s
    3. Marking up figures and illustrations
      2m 33s
    4. Creating collapsible details
      3m 52s
  11. 11m 18s
    1. Embedding audio
      5m 19s
    2. Embedding video
      5m 59s
  12. 11m 53s
    1. Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute
      4m 53s
    2. Displaying relative values with meter
      2m 57s
    3. Creating dynamic progress indicators
      4m 3s
  13. 4m 49s
    1. Overview of HTML5 microdata
      1m 8s
    2. Exploring an example with microdata
      3m 41s
  14. 7m 3s
    1. Understanding outlines
      52s
    2. A demonstration of outlining
      6m 11s
  15. 13m 1s
    1. Table basics
      7m 29s
    2. Exploring the semantic parts of a table
      2m 32s
    3. Grouping columns
      3m 0s
  16. 9m 55s
    1. Frames overview
      54s
    2. Using traditional frames
      4m 26s
    3. Exploring inline frames using iframe
      2m 7s
    4. Simulating frames with CSS
      2m 28s
  17. 53m 7s
    1. Introducing forms
      10m 24s
    2. Using text elements
      10m 12s
    3. Using checkboxes and radio buttons
      2m 37s
    4. Creating selection lists and dropdown lists
      5m 14s
    5. Submit and button elements
      8m 48s
    6. Using an image as a submit button
      2m 15s
    7. Keeping context with the hidden element
      3m 0s
    8. Setting tab order
      2m 7s
    9. Preloading an autocomplete list using the datalist feature
      5m 26s
    10. Displaying results with output
      3m 4s
  18. 19m 47s
    1. Touring a complete site
      2m 14s
    2. Touring the HTML
      8m 44s
    3. Touring the CSS
      8m 49s
  19. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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HTML Essential Training
5h 34m Beginner Sep 11, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course introduces web designers to the nuts and bolts of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the programming language used to create web pages. Author Bill Weinman explains what HTML is, how it's structured, and presents the major tags and features of the language. Discover how to format text and lists, add images and flow text around them, link to other pages and sites, embed audio and video, and create HTML forms. Additional tutorials cover the new elements in HTML5, the latest version of HTML, and prepare you to start working with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Topics include:
  • What is HTML?
  • Using HTML tags and containers
  • Understanding block vs. inline tags
  • Controlling line breaks and spaces in text
  • Aligning images
  • Linking within a page
  • Using relative links
  • Working with tables
  • Creating progress indicators with HTML5
  • Adding buttons and check boxes to forms
  • Applying CSS
  • Optimizing your pages for search engines
  • Building document outlines
Subjects:
Developer Web Web Foundations Web Development
Software:
HTML
Author:
Bill Weinman

Forcing text direction

English is a left-to-right language and I need to preface this discussion by saying that I have no experience typing in a right-to-left language. I did learn a little Hebrew when I was a kid, but I wrote that with a pencil and frankly, I don't remember any of it. Let's start by making a working copy of text.html and we'll rename that to text-working.html and open that in the text editor. We have seen this before. It's just a HTML document with some Lorem Ipsum in it, and we'll go ahead and open this in browser, and there is the document in our browser and you see that it's all left-to-right. This is Latin.

It's being displayed left- to-right like normal Latin. Now what I am going to do is I am going to take this sentence here, and that's this sentence over here, and I'm going to change that to right-to-left as if it were being written in a right-to-left language. The letters in the text editor still is still left-to-right, but if I were typing this in a text editor, that was designed to work in right-to-left language, those letters would still be sequential in the file and so sequential in the file means in this editor, that they are displayed left-to-right.

So I am going to go ahead and I am going to use the tag which stands for bidirectional override, and I am going to say dir="rtl" for right-to-left. I am going to come down here at the end of the sentence, and I'm going to give it the end tag for . All right, save that and reload in the browser, and now you will notice something interesting. The first word in the sentence is this Aliquam and you'll notice that that is up here on this line, right? And then the rest of the sentence quis nulla turpis is now down here on the next line and even the highlighting is all messed up here with the period.

So if I bring this out wider, you'll see that now that whole sentence is all right-to-left like that, but as I let the browser wrap it, it wraps it like it would a sentence that was written in a right-to-left language with the first word on the line above and the subsequent words on the line below all in what we would look at as being a reversed order. And this is actually the behavior that we would expect if we really think about it, because if I was writing this in Hebrew or in Arabic or in another right-to-left language, that would be the way that it would get typeset, right? So let's come down here to the next paragraph and do something different with this

tag.

On the

tag, I am just going to say dir="rtl" and we'll go ahead and we'll reload this, so see at first glance, it just looks like it just flushed it right and it didn't really change anything, all the words are still left-to-right. But we'll notice this period that's supposed to be over here, is now over here at the left. So it is trying to do some logical reordering. So if I combine that with the , and I will close that tag down here and then reload, you see that now it's starting to make a little bit more sense.

The language is now right-to-left and the punctuation is also right-to-left. So what the dir="rtl" and the tag do, is they work within the Unicode algorithm and within the language algorithm, and in combination with the browser, they tried to make this work intelligently. Obviously, if we were writing in an actual right-to-left to language, it would all make a whole lot more sense. So HTML has these tools for displaying right-to-left languages and as you can see they're pretty easy to use.

Support for these features varies among browsers, and if you really need to understand how to work this in a particular language, I strongly suggest that you open up a page that's written in that language already and you select View Source and see how it's done in your target language.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about HTML Essential Training.


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Q: The horizontal nab bar built in Chapter 8 doesn't work correctly in Internet Explorer 8. Do you have a solution?
A: Internet Explorer 8 does not support HTML5 and the NAV element.

The nab bar can work in IE 8 if you change the nav element to div, and update the CSS accordingly. You will also need to move the "display: inline" from the "ul.menu li a" rule to the "ul.menu li" rule.
 
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