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Markup Language Commands


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Markup Language Definition

You can format text for your Web pages using a simple set of Markup-language commands. Each command starts with a "." (period), which must be the first character on a line. The "whitespace" in the input text is ignored; only the Markup commands affect the formatting of the text. The Markup commands are:


Section Headings
Normal Paragraphs
Indented Paragraphs
Text Face
Hyperlinks & Images
Tables
Other Commands
Forms

Section Heading Commands

Section Heading commands label a section heading with colored text (like the above line).

.SH [ align ]

The basic section heading command. The alignment of the text is controlled by the optional align parameter, which must be one of "L", "C", or "R", where:

L = left alignment
C = center alignment
R = aligns right alignment


.SH1 [ align ]

This is identical to the .SH command. It is included for convenience.


.SH2 [ align ]

The second-level section heading command. Use this command to label sub-sections. The optional align is described above. On some sites, this command corresponds to a Style setting in the Page Editor with a different name.


.SH3 [ align ]

The third-level section heading command. Use this command to label sub-sub-sections. The optional align is described above. On some sites, this command corresponds to a Style setting in the Page Editor with a different name.


.SH4 [ align ]

The fourth-level section heading command. The optional align is described above. On some sites, this command corresponds to a Style setting in the Page Editor with a different name.


.SH5 [ align ]

The fifth-level section heading command. The optional align is described above. On some sites, this command corresponds to a Style setting in the Page Editor with a different name.


Normal Paragraph Commands

.PP align

The Normal Paragraph command. The first line isn't indented. The alignment of the text is controlled by the optional align parameter, which must be one of "L", "C", or "R", where:

L = left alignment
C = center alignment
R = aligns right alignment


.PZ align

The "zero-spacing" Paragraph command. This is the same as the .PP Normal Paragraph, but has less space above it.

Indented Paragraph Commands

.IPU

The Bullet List paragraph command. Bullet lists are always indented and left-justified.


.IPN

The Numbered List paragraph command. Numbered lists are always indented and left-justified.

Text Face Commands

These commands change the text face for the specified text within a paragraph.

.B text

This prints text in bold type.


.I text

This prints text in italic type.


.BI text

This prints text in bold italic type.

Hyperlink and Image commands

These commands insert hyperlinks, anchors, images with links, and plain images.

URLs for other pages on this site start with "/", where "/" represents the directory of the home page. URLs for "anchors" on the same page on this site start with "#" followed immediately by the label of the anchor (for example, "#my_tag"). URLs for pages on other sites start with "http://...".

The .LINKIMG and .IMG commands insert graphics full size; images are not scaled. Use the Table Commands to control the placement of images.

.ANCHOR label

This inserts an invisible anchor in the page that can be used in URLs to jump into marked points in the page. (Note that the label does not begin with a "#".)


.LINK URL text

This prints text as a hyperlink to URL. Make sure local links start from the root directory of your server.


.LINKIMG URL [ flow ] file text

This displays the image in the file named file from the /images/ directory along with a hyperlink to URL. Most browsers display the "alternate text" text when the cursor hovers over the image.

The optional flow controls how text flows around the image:

L = text flows to the left of the image (causing it to shift to the right).
R = text flows to the right of the image (causing it to shift to the left).

Without a flow entry, text sits to the side of the image, aligned with its bottom. To align an image without flowing text around it, align the containing paragraph or table cell.


.IMG [ flow ] file text

This displays the image in the file named file, from the /images/ directory without a link. Most browsers display the "alternate text" text when the cursor hovers over the image.

The optional flow controls how text flows around the image:

L = text flows to the left of the image (causing it to shift to the right).
R = text flows to the right of the image (causing it to shift to the left).

Without a flow entry, text sits to the side of the image, aligned with its bottom. To align an image without flowing text around it, align the containing paragraph or table cell.

Enter a mail link by using a "mailto:" URL, such as:

.LINK mailto:name@yourdomain.org Send us email.

You can put the following punctuation:


, . : ; ! ?

at the end of any of the .LINK command:


.LINK URL text

and it won't be included in the text formatting associated with the command.

Table Commands

The table commands can be used to format text into tables. Note that tables must be ended with the .TE command, described below.

.TR align width [ color ]

This starts a new table row and specifies the alignment and width of the first column in the row. The alignment of the text and images in the column is controlled by the align parameter, which must be one of "L", "C", or "R", where:

L = left alignment
C = center alignment
R = aligns right alignment

The width of the column is controlled by the width parameter; the column is set to width percent of the text-region width.

The optional color specifies a color name. Color names can be found here.
Note that tables must be ended with the .TE command, described below.


.TC align width [ color ]

This starts a new table column. The parameters align and width are the same as for .TR, described above.


.TE

This ends a table. It must be used to close tables, or the entire page alignment will break!


.TSS

This optional command marks the start of a Sorted Table. It must appear before the first .TR at the start of a normal table. The table's end must also be marked with the .TSE command (below).


.TSE

This optional command marks the end of a Sorted Table. It must appear after the last .TE at the end of a normal table. The table's start must also be marked with the .TSS command (above).

Please observe the following restrictions on table commands:

  • The .TE command must be used to close tables.
  • The .TC command must follow a .TR command or another .TC command. If it doesn't, it will "reach back" into the previous command and do strange things to its alignment!
  • All of the width entries for each row should add up to 100%. If they don't, the column alignment may be unpredictable.
  • The commands that work inside a table are:


- Section Heading (.SH, .SH1, .SH2, .SH3, .SH4, .SH5),
- Paragraph (.PP, .IPU, .IPN ),
- Text Face (.B, .I, and .BI),
- Hyperlink and Image (.ANCHOR, .LINK, .LINKIMG, and .IMG),
- Break (.BR),

- Horizontal rule (.HR),
- Checkbox (.CKBOX),

Other Commands

.BR

The "Break" command inserts a "newline". Use it to break a paragraph without inserting a vertical space. It will maintain the paragraph's format. Note that a single .BR at the very end of a paragraph have no effect. Use more than one to insert vertical space at the end of a paragraph.


.HR align width [ color ]

Inserts a horizontal rule (like the one above this sentence). The align parameter sets the alignment of the rule, and must be one of "L", "C", or "R", where:

L = left alignment
C = center alignment
R = aligns right alignment

The width of the rule is controlled by the width parameter. The optional color specifies a color name. Color names can be found here.


.CKBOX text

This special command is used to place an HTML checkbox on the special Publications order form page. The text is included in the email (to your organization) as the title of the document that has been ordered, but is not visible on the webpage. It can be entered only when the editor is opened in Markup mode.

Do not use the .CKBOX command on any other pages! It will not work.


.SLIDES index width height speed

This optional command (not available on all sites) is used to place a slide show on a page. It appears in the page editor looking like normal text, but inserts slide show number index on normal pages. A rectangular area is reserved for the slides that is width and height pixels in size. All photos are scaled to fit in this rectangle while maintaining their aspect ratio. The speed parameter specifies how many seconds to display each slide.


.BODYLINK URL

This optional command (not available on all sites) "symbolically links" the text from the body of another page on the site, the source page, into the page in which the command appears. The source page is identified by URL, which starts from the root directory of your server. For pages with multiple text columns, text is copied from the corresponding column on the source page.

If used, this command must be the first and only text in its column. The command appears in the page editor looking like normal text. Outside the page editor, it displays text from URL.

The link checker checks to make sure that the URL page exists, but doesn't verify that the source page has the correct template. The spell checker checks the source page but doesn't recheck it on linked pages.


Forms

This special set of commands is used to create optional forms for surveys. These commands can only be entered when the editor is opened in Markup mode. All of the commands start with "F", for "form".  An optional response email can be sent when the form is submitted.

Forms are divided into two areas: the Identity area, which collects information about the identity of the person filling out the form, and the Question area, which asks the survey questions.

The Identity area typically precedes the Question area, but can alternatively follow it.

The Identity area contains a centered table with labeled boxes for entering single lines of text. The commands used in the Identity area are:

.FT text

This command presents a box for collecting a single line of input text. The text labels the box on its left.


.FTR text

This command presents a box for collecting a required single line of input text. Like the .FT command, the text labels the box on its left.
The "R" in the command indicates that this response is required before the form will be accepted. If the field is not entered and the form is submitted, an error message is generated using the label text and the form is presented again.

The Question area lists the questions and provides form elements for collecting the answers. The questions in the Question area are posed using one of the following two commands:

.FI text

This command identifies individual questions. The text contains the question, which is automatically labeled with a sequential number.


.FIR text

This command identifies required individual questions. Like the .FI command, the text contains the question, which is automatically labeled with a sequential number.
The "R" in the command indicates that this response is required before the form will be accepted. If the field is not entered and the form is submitted, an error message is generated and the form is presented again.

The responses to each .FI or .FIR question in the Question area are collected using the following commands:

.FC text

This command presents a "checkbox" followed by the text. A set of checkboxes can be presented by entering multiple .FC commands after a .FI or .FIR question command.


.FR text

This command presents a "radio button" followed by the text. A set of radio buttons can be presented by entering multiple .FR commands after a .FI or .FIR question command.


.FM text

This command presents a "menu" containing the text. A menu with multiple items can be presented by entering multiple .FM commands after a .FI or .FIR question command. Menu items are an alternative to radio buttons. Menu items take less space on the form but aren't as easy to select as radio buttons. Unlike radio buttons, menu items will not wrap long lines of text. If you are entering long (or short "yes/no") selections, consider using radio buttons instead of menu items.


.FL [ text ]

This command presents a box for collecting a single line of input text, labeled on the left with the optional text. Multiple .FL commands may be part of each .FI or .FIR question command. An .FL command can be used after a set of .FC, .FR, or .FM commands to collect an "Other:" textual response to a question.

Special behaviors accompany .FL commands in a .FIR question: If a .FL command follows .FC, .FR, or .FM commands, responses to any of those preceding commands are sufficient to satisfy the requirement for a response to the question. Otherwise, each .FL command that is part of a .FIR question requires a response.


.FB [ text ]

This command presents a box for collecting a multiple lines of input text, labeled on the left with the optional text. Only one .FB command is allowed for each .FI or .FIR question command. The .FB command can be used after a set of .FC, .FR, or .FM commands to collect an "Other:" textual response to a question.

The entered contents of the form are collected as directed by the following form command:

.FE text

The text specifies the email address to which the entered contents of submitted forms are sent. This command can be placed in the Identity or the Question area. It produces nothing visible on the final page.

Once the form is submitted, a "thank you" message is shown as directed by the following command:

.FG text

The text specifies the "thank you" message to be posted upon submission of the form. The text is shown only after the form is submitted. This command can be placed in the Identity or the Question area.

Once the form is submitted, if an email address is collected on the form, an optional response email can be automatically sent to the submitter. A copy of the response email will also be sent as a "Bcc" to the same address as the submitted forms to allow response emails to be tracked. The following commands set up the response email.  Both must be entered to enable response email:

.FA text

The text identifies the .FTR field on the form that contains an input email address. The text must exactly match the corresponding .FTR's text . If no match is found, the response email will not be sent.  The response email is sent to the address entered on the identified .FTR field.  A "Bcc" of the response email is sent to the same address as the submitted forms for tracking purposes.  This command can be placed in the Identity or the Question area.


.FN text

This command adds a line of text to the body of the response message. To add multiple paragraphs to the response message, use multiple .FN commands. To add a blank line to the response message, enter a .FN command with a space for the text. This command can be placed in the Identity or the Question area.

Please observe the following restrictions on form commands:

  • There can be at most one Identity area and at most one Question area. Each area is defined by the presence of corresponding form commands.
  • The only commands that work inside the Identity and Question areas are the Text Face commands (.B, .I, and .BI), the Hyperlink commands (.LINK and .ANCHOR), the Break command (.BR), and the Comment command (.COM).
  • Section, Paragraph, and Table commands can be used before and after the Identity and Question areas, but not in them.

Examples - This is a Section Heading

This is a .PZ paragraph that follows a Section Heading. Note that the text is placed immediately under the Section Heading without any additional line breaks.

To start a new paragraph with space above it, like this one, use the .PP command.

This is a .SH2 Section Heading.

This is text that follows a .SH2 Section Heading. Note that .PZ text is placed immediately under the Sub-Section Heading without any additional line breaks.

This is a .SH3 Section Heading.

This is .PZ text that follows a .SH3 Section Heading.
This is a SH4 Section Heading.

This is .PZ text that follows a .SH4 Section Heading.

This is a SH5 Section Heading.

This is .PZ text that follows a .SH5 Section Heading.

Examples of Indented Paragraphs

Here is an example of Bullet paragraphs:

  • This is a set of .IPU bullet paragraphs.
  • This is a set of .IPU bullet paragraphs.
  • This is a set of .IPU bullet paragraphs.

Here is a set of numbered paragraphs:

  1. This is a set of .IPN numbered paragraphs.
  2. This is a set of .IPN numbered paragraphs.
  3. This is a set of .IPN numbered paragraphs.

Hyperlink Examples

Here is a link to Google. When you make links to your internal documents, remember to enter the URL starting from the root directory of your server, like in this link to this page.

Example graphic link. The graphic on the left is a link to this page.

Here is a link to an anchor that is placed on this page, just above the Hyperlink Commands section.

Table Examples

This is a centered 100% row with a .HR underneath.


This is a left-justified column that is 50% wide.

This is a left-justified column that is 30% wide.

Right 20%
This is another left-justified column that is 50% wide. This is another left-justified column that is 30% wide. Right 20%

This the same as the table above, but with background color.

This is a left-justified column that is 50% wide. This is a left-justified column that is 30% wide. Right 20%
This is another left-justified column that is 50% wide. This is another left-justified column that is 30% wide. Right 20%

Checkbox Example

This is a checkbox: example.

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