Viewed from a semiotic perspective, the history of the Internet is a history of multimodality. This history begins with typed messages composed using alphabetic, numeric and symbolic character sets based on the 128 seven-bit integers of the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). It continues with text formatting, emoticons and non-alphabetic character sets for scripts such as Chinese and Japanese. Next come clip art, animations, photographs and graphic design of on-screen texts and interfaces, and then audio and video. At first, audio and video files were downloaded and played using media player software installed on the user’s computer. Later they were streamed using web-based media players and, later still, using media players embedded in web pages. Developing in tandem with the capacity of the web to deliver new modes of text were the interactive technologies used to navigate from page to page and to upload, download, view or stream media files. Layout, tagging, indexing and hyperlinking are some of the more important multimodal features of web sites that support interactivity. Boxes, menus, pop-up windows, buttons and icons of various kinds form another group of semiotic resources supporting interactivity on the multimodal web.