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Cascading Style Sheets ( CSS )

"You can't judge a book by its cover," the adage says, but people do just that. Publishers expend considerable effort developing cover art for that very reason. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) effect only the presentation of web content, not the content itself. So why bother? Some people don't. Much of the truly authoratative "techie" content of the WWW will be found on absolutely plain-vanilla pages displayed purely in the browser-default style.

If you've developed a seminal work of overwhelming importance, consider this Spartan look. Otherwise, you should realize that without even being aware of it, most people equate the credibility of your site with its stylistic embellishments. It's not fair. It's not right. It is true. If your site is even the least bit commercial, at some point you're going to need CSS.

CSS is a feature of the HTML 4 Specification that facilitates graphic presentation "style" of various page elements typically across multiple pages. Stylesheets provide considerable versatility in formatting HTML text, and so their full description is a bit intimidating. Fortunately, browsers revert to their own default style unless it is overridden by a higher-priority stylesheet, so it is not necessary to specify all possible values within a style rule.

Tutorials Tools
  • CSS Generators - No substitute for learning CSS, but good sources of cut-and-paste snippets.

  • W3C CSS Validator - Online, local, or direct input. "Advanced Interface" links allow you to select CSS level & other parameters.
Books Online Resources

Learning CSS W3C

CSS tutorial starting with HTML + CSS

CSS style guide CodeStyle.Org

The Web Developer's Virtual Library - CSS
Why style sheets are harmful

W3C CSS Home Page - W3C
What Are Style Sheets? - W3C

HTML Writer's Guild CSS FAQ

Frames Without Frames - Technical article on using floating stylesheet elements to simulate frames. After reading it check out the Stylesheet Generator (Beta)

Writing CSS1 Style Sheets Hot Source HTML Help Cascading Style Sheets
W3C CSS Validator


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