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17. Don't Blink, Don't Marquee!

Are you trying to attract attention to your web pages? Rely on compelling content rather than cheap attention grabbers...


After this lesson you will (hopefully):


When Netscape first unveiled their web browser they added a unique tag that would ostensibly draw attention to an important word or phrase -- by causing it to flash on and off in the web page. Rather than working through the international W3 consortium and developing an accepted standard for this features, they just added the functionality to their web browser.

The dreaded blink tag:


is a sign that well-travelled web surfers take as "avoid this page -- the person that wrote it just learned HTML from a bubble gum wrapper."

Short of an extremely urgent reason to use it, avoid using this tag. Besides being obnoxious, it does not work on all web browsers! If you are viewing this page in NetScape, the colored text example below will "blink" visible. If you are viewing this page with Internet Explorer, you will not see any blinking text! (too bad, eh?).

sample web page
This is   the HOttEST place ON THE Web

If you are viewing this page with Internet Explorer, this animated GIF shows what NetScape viewers see (they get double blinked on this page, aren't they special?):

Blinking Text

But not to be outdone, Microsoft created its own special, non-standard tag to work only in Internet Explorer


which takes the text inside and displays it like a ticker tape (one letter added at a time) across the page. So if you are viewing this page in Internet Explorer, you would see this text march across the screen:

sample web page
This is   the HOttEST place ON THE Web

but if you are using a NetScape browser, nothing moves in the example above, so this animated GIF shows what Internet Explorer viewers see (they get double marqueed on this page, all is fair, eh?):

Blinking Text

And who knows what you will see if you are using yet another web browser?

Unless you are building the sleaze row of web pages, avoid HTML tags like <blink>...</blink> and <marquee>...</marquee> that only work on specific browsers.

Stay with the standard HTML endorsed by the W3 Constortium.

Yes, this is our editorial stance. Go ahead and argue.

Coming Next....

Let's get out of this drab, monotonous, black text and L I V E N it up a little! You know, take it to the nth degree!

GO TO.... | Lesson Index | previous: "Backgrounds" | next: "Spiffing Up text" |

Writing HTML: Lesson 17: Don't Blink
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