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Practice Using the Treehouse Tools

Format Text and Adding Media with the Treehouse HTML Editor

Use this page to practice the ways in which you can use the Treehouse Editor. The focus of this page is to help you get started using the Treehouse HTML editor.

When you are using the Treehouse HTML editor you can format text in a variety of ways. Be aware that like all HTML editors, there are some quirks, many that we can't foresee, so you need to be aware that sometimes the text might not look like what you intended. Hopefully this doesn't occur too often. One of the best ways to fix quirks in the editor is to open up the HTML window and fix problems in the code. Of course, this means that you will need to get acquainted with HTML.

To practice using the editor, try copying the text below into the HTML editor text box, and then following the steps below. When you are done, click the link at the bottom of the page to see what your page could look like with the formatting that you have applied.

To select the text, click in front of the words START COPYING, then drag your cursor until you see END COPYING. Then choose file, copy or use the key board short cut, apple-C for a Mac, or control-C for Windows.

Text to Copy


Joshua Tree National Park is a place full of life. Within the desert landscape of the park live many beautiful and elusive creatures. In the year that I lived there, I saw that as the seasons changed, so did the the animals, plants, birds and reptiles that populated the rocky outcrops and sandy valleys.


Summer is hot and dry, but occasionally summer monsoons hit and old Barker Dam fills up and becomes a temporary lake. When that happens many organisms come to life! The most miraculous and surprising development of the weeks of water were the thousands of red spotted toads that hatched and began to hop about in all the nooks and corners of the newly formed lake and puddles in the desert around it. Equally as miraculous were the birds, such as a white crane, that came to partake of the cool water. At night the dam is closed to visitors so that Bighorn Sheep can drink in peace in the evenings.

One afternoon as we climbed on the rocks, two mojave rattlesnakes appeared. One coiled and rattled, the other darted toward us unafraid.


In a year of monsoon the riot of life that explodes after the water has come is an amazing sight. The red spotted toads grew larger, the coyotes gorged on ripe prickly pears, and the yellow chinchweed carpeted the desert sands. Even columbines grew in sandy washes. Less welcome was the profusion of ragweed which caused everyone around a lot of sneezing and wheezing! Also a nuisance were the introduced bullfrogs that are known to decimate population of native species.

...In the afternoons Antelope ground squirrels scurry around the rocks, but a bitter wind often blows. As the sun sets, the dry grass glitters in the sun. Winter is coming!


Joshua Tree National Park encompasses two deserts, the Colorado and the Sonoran. Taking a trip to the south end of the park, and warmer weather, one can see flora of the Sonoran Desert, like ocotillo, and brittlebush, still blooming. Back in the Colorado, and in the realm of the Joshua Tree, everyone hopes for snow. It is theorized that Joshua Trees may branch off after a frost.

Winter migrants arrive, I site the white-crowned sparrow and dark-eyed junco that have come to visit. The ravens circle often, too many ravens now populate the park and threaten the existence of other winged creatures, as well as tortoises.


Spring is the time of wildflowers in Joshua Tree. Yellow, pink, white, yellow and red extend over the sand in a profusion of color that is hard to believe after the months of beige and brown. Hurrah for spring! Spring in the desert feels like paradise. You can visit http://www.nps.gov/jotr/activities/blooms/update/update.html The Joshua Tree site to see what is in bloom.

Organisms of the Park

Here is a list of organisms that I was able to see during a year spent wandering the park:

birds red tail hawk crane mockingbird verdin, cactus wren Le Conte’s thrasher white-crowned sparrow dark-eyed junco ravens snakes mojave rattlesnake western diamondback king snake mammals bighorn sheep antelope ground squirrels red fox coyote arachnids tarantula scorpions desert tortoise red spotted toads a bullfrog lizards johsua trees ragweed cacti cholla cactus old man cacuts wildflowers chinchweed, colombines desert marigold desert mallow desert chicory


Instructions for Formatting Text and Adding Media

Use the Treehouse Editor to:

  1. Give the page a title
  2. Choose a group or groups to attach this page to
  3. Add a link to this site

Use the HTML editor to:

  1. Make Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Organisms of the Park section headers. Choose the H3 header tag. (to remove header tags, change the text to "paragraph"
  2. Make the text in each section large (to remove size choose "normal")
  3. Choose some text to accentuate with color (to remove color click the remove formatting button)
  4. Make a list out of the list of organisms written in the last section of the page. Use the indent button to make some nested lists. For example, you can create groups such as wildflowers or birds, then list the different types in an indented list underneath.
  5. Try using the bold button to bold some text.
  6. Use the add images button in the treehouse HTML editor to find some images to put into this treehouse. A hint: look up the word "Joshua" in the "text in any data" field in order to find some images to use. When you find an image to use choose Options from the results window and select a size for your image.
    • Practice using the formatting buttons for images. Float an image the right of the text. If you want to move your image to somewhere else in the page it is wise to delete the image and then re-insert it where you would like.
  7. Try adding media to your page. Open up the add media instructions and click the Add Media button.
    1. In "text in any data field" type .doc or .pdf to find a document, .mov to find a movie, or .au or .wav to find a sound. Then follow the instructions for adding media in the editor.
  8. Try inserting a table and labeling the top cells. Click the view invisible elements button to see the border of your table.
  9. Try to come up with some text to use as a header underneath one of the main sections. Select h4 for this header.
  10. Create a link to another page with the URL that is listed in the text: either go to the Internet Links section or add a link into the body of your page by selecting the Add Link button.
  11. Advanced: Create a table of contents for your page. After the introduction write Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter at the top of the page in a list. Option: In the HTML write <ul class="inline">. Next put your cursor in front of the header Summer and click the button to insert an "anchor" into the text. Name the anchor: summer. Go back up to the list at the top of the page and select the word Summer in the list, then select the link button. Write #summer in the link field, and make sure "self" is selected in the target field. Repeat the process of creating an anchor and linking to it for the other headers.

View example of what this page could look like

Add Media

To practice uploading a media file to the ToL follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to http://www.reptilesofaz.com/Snakes-Subpages/h-c-scutulatus.html
  2. Right click one of images of the mojave rattlesnake and save it to your desktop. Name it "mojavepractice"
  3. Keep the window open so that you can use data from that page when you fill out the media editing form.
  4. In a new window log-in as a treehouse builder and select to go to the Media Manager (note that there are many places that you have access to uploading media from within the treehouse editor)
  5. Choose to upload an image (the default)
  6. Click browse and find the image on your computer, then click upload.
  7. Fill out the image editing form to the best of your ability. Make sure to fill out all the fields in red. Tips for filling out the form are available at the top of the page.
    • You will need to make sure to add the the name of the copyright holder (name is on the picture).
    • For the email address/web page, put the URL in like this: AZPARC http://www.reptilesofaz.com.
    • In the Acknowledgements field write: Courtesy of Arizona PARC.
  8. Click on the to see the options you have for restricting the size of your image. Note that users will have the choice when they add an image to a page to resize it in the display.

Learning with the ToL



building treehouses

phylogenetic biology