BEFORE YOU BEGIN
2 Use HTML Tags
6 About Proper HTML Coding
130 Write the Title and Description
157 Jazz Up Text and Headlines with HTML
156 About Writing Effective Ad Copy
159 About Including HTML on eBay Auction Pages
You can use HTML in more ways to jazz up your auctions. You can use different fonts, add color , and add special effects such as lines across the page. Follow the same basic HTML rules about tags defined in 157 Jazz Up Text and Headlines with HTML and follow these instructions:
Change the Typeface
The text that appears on eBay is standard Times Roman font. You can make your auction listing more unique by changing the font. To change the font, use the following command:
<FONT FACE=" fontname ">text goes here</FONT>
In this command, fontname is the name of the font you want to use. If you wanted to use the Helvetica font, the command would look like this:
<FONT FACE="Helvetica">text goes here</FONT>
You should use only common fonts that are found on most people's computers. In other words, try to use the normal fonts that came on your computer, and stay away from extra fonts you've bought or that came with other programs. Arial and Helvetica, in addition to Times Roman, are always good bets. The following table lists fonts typically found on Windows computers; the next table lists fonts typically found on Macintoshes.
If you've used a font not on the recommended list, a visitor to your auction page can still see the text in her browser. If her computer has the font you specified, it displays it. If it doesn't have that font, it uses the closest approximation of the font on her computer to display the text.
158. Colorize and Change Fonts and Add Effects with HTML
Fonts Typically Found on Windows Computers
Change the Font Size
You can change the size of the font in much the same way as you can change the size of the title of the headline (see 157 Jazz Up Text and Headlines with HTML ). As with a headline, you don't specify an exact size for the text. Instead, you specify a relative size, with the most practical being from (the smallest) to 6 (the biggest). To change the size of the text, use the following command:
<FONT SIZE="2">text goes here</FONT>
The sample figure shows the range of sizes available to you in the Times New Roman font.
You can combine changing the font with changing the font size to display a variety of fonts in different sizes. If you want to display the largest text available (size 6) in the Helvetica font, use the following command:
<FONT FACE="Helvetica" size=6>text goes here</FONT>
There's no real reason to use small font sizes when creating your auction. You want everything clear and readable, and using small fonts will only frustrate potential bidders.
Change the Font Color
To really jazz up your auction page, you can use colored text. You can add color to headlines or body text. In fact, you can add color to any text on the page. Here's the command for changing the color of text:
<FONT COLOR="blue">This is blue text.</FONT>
You can name up to 140 colors in this way. The list is too long to include here, but you can specify many common colors including blue, green, red, yellow, gold, orange, pink, purple, and violet . Many uncommon colors are available as well, such as tomato, PaleGoldenRod, and MidnightBlue.
This site offers a complete list of HTML font color names and hex color codes you can use.
You can also specify a color by issuing the command <FONT COLOR="# colorcode ">text goes here</FONTfont> , where colorcode is a hex code (a combination of six letters and numbers ) that specifies a specific color. The code for blue is 0000FF , so the following command would make text blue:
<FONT COLOR="#0000FF">text goes here</FONT> .
Add a Horizontal Line to the Page
If you want to separate sections of your text, you can draw a horizontal line, called a rule , across the page. To do so, insert the <HR> tag. The <HR> tag doesn't use a closing tag. It places a line break above and below the rule and inserts the proper amount of white space. The rule itself is an embossed , shaded line that goes across the entire width of the browser.
Link to Other Web Pages
HTML allows you to link to other pages so someone can click a link in your auction page and immediately go to another web page. You can use this HTML link feature to link to all your other auctions, increasing visibility for them all. If you have a business on the Web where you sell items similar to the one you're selling at the auction, you can link to your business web page as well. You also can link to pages that offer more information about the item you have for sale. In fact, the ways you can use this feature are endless.
Here's the code you use for linking to other pages:
<A HREF= " URL ">Here's a link</Aa>
In this code, URL is the location of the web page to which you're linking, such as http://www.myhomepage.com/moreauctions.html.
Say you're linking from the auction page to your own home page and the URL (web location) of your page is http://www.myisp.net/users/mypage.html. Here's the command you'd issue to create the link to your home page:
<A HREF= " http://www.myisp.net/users/mypage.html ">Click here to get to my home page</A>
When you use this command, only the Click here to get to my home page text actually shows up on your auction page on the Web. The text shows up as an underlined link, the same as any other link you're used to seeing.
When you use the A REF= HTML tag, you must include the http:// portion of the URL in the address.
Use Effective Design
After you learn how to use HTML, you'll probably want to go crazy using different fonts, text sizes, and text colors. You might be tempted to start changing them willy-nilly on your auction page so your auction looks like a patched-together ransom note. Be advised: Use different fonts, colors, and sizes sparingly. When you mix too many elements on a single page, the text becomes confusing and difficult to read and might chase potential bidders away. Use all your HTML options judiciously to draw attention to your auction's important points.