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CSS or Tables?

  • Posted June 23, 2006
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The 30 minute CSS tutorial.

What is CSS?

CSS is the technology used to make the layout for webpages.
They are Cascading Style Sheets, used to style your HTML
documents. They are slowly replacing tables as the preferred
medium to layout your pages. They free your content (the HTML
document) from the layout (the CSS file), so you may change your
website look and feel easily.

CSS basics.

With HTML, you would define the attributes as you write the
HTML. With CSS, you first define the style. Then as you are
writing the HTML, you apply the required style. So the first
step to write CSS document is defining your styles. There are
two ways to apply your CSS to your file. You may either include
it in your HTML file by placing your stylesheet in head of your
HTML as,


, The Selectors.

After you write your style, the computer needs to know where to
apply that style. This can be done using the selectors. The
selectors are of three types. 1. HTML tag selector: If you want
to change the look of any of your html tags, you will use this
type of selector. You may decide that all of your h2 elements
must have red text. It is trivially easy with CSS. 2. Class
selector: you would like particular parts of your webpage to
have a style, but that part is not always in same html tag. Not
to worry, you can enclose that part with a div tag and apply
your style. 3. ID selectors: If some element occurs only once it
is styled using id selectors.

Your First Stylesheet.

With your first stylesheet, you will modify the page to look
yellow with a blue foreground.


some text The HTML part
is simple, so let’s look at the CSS part. body{
background-color:yellow; color:blue; }

We wanted to modify the body so we used the body tag selector.
This basically said to the computer that this style needs to be
applied to whole body of html document. Then we used the
background-color property to set the background and the color
property to set the foreground. What if you wanted to set all
the text to bold? Oh that’s simple too, you just add this line
inside the body selector. font-weight: bold;

Getting something useful.

The last css though simple was not very useful. Let us design a
useful CSS which might be used on a site. Before that you must
learn positioning elements using CSS. We would like to have a
three column layout. So I will use three selectors(Id selectors)
named sidebar, content and rightsidebar. Theses lines of codes
declare our selectors. #sidebar #content #rightsidebar. Then we
will tell how these should look like. I want my sidebar and
rightsidebar to have aqua colored background. This is done using
background: Aqua;

Next we add borders to all our selectors and add a top margin of
20 pixels. We would like the contents to be bolder, so we add
font-weight: bold; to content. After that we decide to spice up
our links by making them of a different color and removing the
underlines, by getting a color:#c60; text-decoration:none; To
give the user a visual indication of the link when she moves her
mouse, we swap the link colors. This is done by changing the
style in a:hover.

So this is what our finished page looks like.



content
a link

, What! Do I have to learn all these tags and
attributes?

No. But you must remember the more important ones. Also the
attributes have very common sense names. What should you do to
change the background color of your webpage. Yeah this.

body{ background:Aqua; } , That’s all. SO if you are going to
use CSS for any length of time, you will get to remember the
tags. A css editor like TopStyle lite can be really useful when
you are learning css. , Thats all for today. Hope you learnt
something useful from this tutorial.

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  • Posted On June 23, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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