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Beginning CSS: Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design, Third Edition by Richard York, Ian Pouncey

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1

Introducing Cascading Style Sheets

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER:

  • What CSS is
  • The history of CSS
  • How to create a CSS enhanced HTML document

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language designed for describing the appearance of documents written in a markup language such as HTML. With CSS you can control the color of text, the style of fonts, the spacing between paragraphs, how columns are sized and laid out, what background images or colors are used, and a variety of other visual effects. One of the major benefits is that the same CSS can be used by more than one page, meaning that the style of an entire website can be adjusted without having to change each page individually.

The most common use for CSS is to style web pages, and in combination with HTML or XHTML (which is used to describe content) and JavaScript (which is used to add interactivity to a site), CSS is a very powerful tool.

The history of how CSS came to be isn't actually all that relevant to CSS authors of today, so you can skip the next bit if you're in a hurry. If, like me, you're interested in the nitty-gritty, read on.

In the early days of the Web, nine different proposals were made to the World Wide Web Consortium, the main standards organization for the Web which is more commonly known as the W3C, for a style sheet language to help separate the visual appearance of a document from its content. In 1994, Cascading HTML Style Sheets was proposed by Håkon Wium Lie, now CTO of Opera Software (a company ...

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