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What is CSS?

Style sheets are a very powerful tool for the Web site developer. They give you the chance to be completely consistent with the look and feel of your pages, while giving you much more control over the layout and design than straight HTML ever did.

  1. What is CSS?
  2. CSS Syntax
  3. Placement of CSS Elements
  4. Cascading - What Does it Mean?
  5. Your First Style Sheet
By: Marc Knuttel
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May 17, 2004

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Invented in 1997, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are just now starting to be widely used among browsers and Web developers are learning to be more comfortable with them. Those of you who use HomeSite 4.0 know that they are eventually going to take the place of tags such as <FONT>, which have been deprecated in HTML 4.0.

There are three parts to CSS: the styles, their placement, and the fact that they can cascade.

The Styles

One of the more common styles applied to HTML is the color and size of text. In HTML 3.2 you would create a blue H4 headline like this:

<font color="#0000ff"><h4>a blue headline</h4></font>

Which would look like:

a blue headline

However, there was no way to ensure that all H4 headlines were blue except by typing in the font tag before and after each one. With CSS, you simply declare that all H4 headlines are blue, and for all pages that use that style sheet and all elements that use that style, they will be blue:

H4 { color: #0000ff; }
<h4>another blue headline</h4>

Which would look like:

another blue headline

>>> More Style-Sheets Articles          >>> More By Marc Knuttel

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- What is CSS?
- The Power of CSS
- Understanding Style Sheets (part 2)
- Understanding Style Sheets (Part 1)

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