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ASP Syntax

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You cannot view the ASP source code by selecting "View source" in a browser, you will only see the output from the ASP file, which is plain HTML. This is because the scripts are executed on the server before the result is sent back to the browser.

In our ASP tutorial, every example displays the hidden ASP source code. This will make it easier for you to understand how it works.


Write text with ASP
How to write some text with ASP.

Add some HTML to the text
How to format the text with HTML tags.

The Basic Syntax Rule

An ASP file normally contains HTML tags, just like an HTML file. However, an ASP file can also contain server scripts, surrounded by the delimiters <% and %>. Server scripts are executed on the server, and can contain any expressions, statements, procedures, or operators valid for the scripting language you prefer to use.

Write Output to a Browser

The response.write command is used to write output to a browser. The following example sends the text "Hello World" to the browser:

response.write("Hello World!")

There is also a shorthand method for the response.write command. The following example also sends the text "Hello World" to the browser:

<%="Hello World!"%>


You can use several scripting languages in ASP. However, the default scripting language is VBScript:

response.write("Hello World!")

The example above writes "Hello World!" into the body of the document.


To set JavaScript as the default scripting language for a particular page you must insert a language specification at the top of the page:

<%@ language="javascript"%>
Response.Write("Hello World!")

Note: Unlike VBScript - JavaScript is case sensitive. You will have to write your ASP code with uppercase letters and lowercase letters when the language requires it.

Other Scripting Languages

ASP is shipped with VBScript and JScript (Microsoft's implementation of JavaScript). If you want to script in another language, like PERL, REXX, or Python, you will have to install script engines for them.

Important: Because the scripts are executed on the server, the browser that displays the ASP file does not need to support scripting at all!

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