How to use HTML

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Your auctions can be improved very easily if you take a short while to learn how to do it. eBay now has the html editor for auctions, a welcome addition, so many things are now much easier, but you can still have more control if you learn some basic HTML.

HTML is the "language" used to tell the browser how to display a page, often it is hidden from your view, but if you use the "view source" option on your browser (right click, view source) then you can see the HTML that makes up most web pages. On ebay auctions, when listing them, you can also view the HTML and type in HTML by clicking on the HTML tab on the editor.

Whilst it certainly looks daunting if you have never done it before, this guide will hopefully show you a little HTML, and you can try it in your auction. Dont be put off, like all things, you need to put in some effort to get the best results.

HTLM uses tags, tags tell the browser what to do.

Each tag starts with a < and ends with a >

Tags almost always come in pairs, a start tag, and a end tag.

The start tag is like this

<tag contents>

and the end tag (or closing tag) is like this

</closing tag contents>

it is the / that makes it a closing tag.

See the examples below for some examples, in the first one <B> is the start tag, and </B> is the closing tag. The closing tag is the same as the start tag, but with a /







You can combine HTML tags, so you can have something both bold and underlined for example. The simple rule is you must close the tags in the reverse order that you opended them.

For example, to get a line both bold and italic, you can use

<b><i>the line you want bold and italic</i></b>

Note how the tags match up, like brackets, the <i> and </i> pair up, and the <b> and </b> pair up outside of them. If you mix them up, like below

<b><i>the line you want bold and italic, but this wont work properly</b></i>

then you are not closing the tags correctly, make sure you match them up.


Now you know the basics about tags, lets move on to more examples, the best way to learn is to try these out on, and to practice. Once you get the feel for it, you can always learn more, there are many tutorials available for free on the internet.


You can have "headings", just like in the ebay editor, heading 1, heading 2 etc, to get these effects the HTML tags are very simple.

<h1>your heading</h1>

your heading

<h2>your heading</h2>

your heading

<h3>your heading</h3>

your heading


Simply put a <center> at the start of what you want centered, and a </center> at the end of it. The browser will take care of the rest for you.


To include an image, firstly you need to have the image hosted on the internet, you will need to read up on this yourself for now, as hosting is not within the remit of this guide.

Once you have a image on the internet (its best to host your own, stealing other peoples pictures is not acceptable behaviour, as it is theft of bandwidth, at the least.) the HTML to display it on your website is quite simply

Lets pretend we have a ficticious image called yourpicsname, and its located at


to display it, simply use

<img src="http://examplewebsite.exampledomain/location/yourpicsname.jpg">

You can also force the browser to display the image at a certain size, by using what are called optional attributes. Scary sounding, but easy to use.

A couple of the optional attributes for the IMG tag are height and width....

Lets say you want to force the image to display at 300 by 300 pixels, all you need to do is

<IMG SRC="examplewebsiteexampledomain/location/yourpicsname.jpg" HEIGHT=300 WIDTH=300>

If you want a border around the image, use the optional BORDER attribute, as follows.

<IMG SRC="examplewebsiteexampledomain/location/yourpicsname.jpg" BORDER=1>

(where the number 1 means a border 1 of 1 pixel width, you can change that number for the thickness you require)

As you learn more HTML, you will pick up on which tags have attributes, many do.

The great thing is, you dont need to worry about them, unless you want them!


You can change not only the font used, but the size and colour that is used.

The basic tag is


but on its own its no use, you need to use the optional attributes, below are some examples of what you can use.

<font face="verdana">this would come out in verdana</font>

<font face="wingdings">this would come out in wingdings</font>

You can use many fonts, but remember, just because you have a font on YOUR pc, it is no guarantee that someone will have that same font on there computer! You need to choose a web safe font, some pretty safe examples of which are...

There are more, look at the ones ebay uses in its editor, for a more thorough list, or start learning by researching on a search engine, its a great way to learn.

Once you have your font, you can change its size as follows

<font face="verdana" size=5>this will be verdana, font size 5</font>

The size can be large or small, depending on the number you choose, why not try it out to see what the effects are?

Colour, is simple, as shown below,

<font face="ariel" color="red">this would be in ariel, and show RED</font>

You can choose from many colors, by name, or by a more specific method of actually specifying the numeric value of the colour.

To find out more about colours search for HTML color guide  on google, or any other good search engine. Note HTML spells colour the American way, color.


I have only touched on the surface of HTML, but hopefully you can see its not that hard, and you should be able to pick up new tags easily now. Search for tutorials on the subject to find out more, and dont forget to keep trying them out to see the effects.

HTML is usefull for many things, your own webpages, ebay auctions, many forums, your blogs, countless things on the web.

With the help of some free tuturials, some practice, a bit patience (dont forget you can use view source to see how real pages are done), and a more practice, you can master HTML, and have full control over your auctions.

The more you learn, the more control you will have, remember this guide only scratches the surface of what is possible.


Good luck!



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