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Structuring Tools

If you do not have access to dedicated software to mark up text, it is possible to fashion your own tools using editor software such as NoteTab for MS operating systems. Fookes Software of Switzerland provides a free version, NoteTab Light, which you can download at www.notetab.com. Users can then fashion their own specialized tools, or "libraries", within NoteTab. After you have installed NoteTab, download a sample library by right-clicking on the hyperlink to this file. Select "Save target as ..." Save it to the following directory on your computer: NoteTab Light\Libraries\. Now load a file in NoteTab to be marked up, click on the DeedMark library from the libraries bar, select the text snippet to be tagged and double-click on the appropriate "clip". The result: instant tagging as you go. You'll find it easy to modify such a library for your own purposes.

Bookmarklets

One of the smartest ways to test a site is to make your web browser expose weaknesses in the mark-up. The tiny scripts that do just that are variously known as bookmarklets or favelets. You'll find Traumwind's selection of very useful ones at http://traumwind.tierpfad.de/blog/?detail=2002-02-20_15-07. These were adapted from a suite brought to the Web by Meryl Evans. Meryl.Net's CSS Test Files can be downloaded for use offline from http://www.meryl.net/articles/archives/001013.php.

Another collection, this time to show different screen sizes and to feed your web pages to validators, is available from Tantek Çelik at http://www.tantek.com/favelets/

CSS Resources

Excellent guidance on which fonts are likely to be available in most users' browsers comes from Brett Merkey at http://web.tampabay.rr.com/bmerkey/examples/fonts-in-MS-products.htm

And if you ever wondered what kind of styling is hardwired into the major browsers, take a look at these two base stylesheets for HMTL 4. The first comes from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3.org) at http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/sample.html. The other is Todd Fahrner's Base Stylesheet at http://style.cleverchimp.com/corestyle/base.html.