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Professional CSS: Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design, Second Edition by Mark Trammell, Dunstan Orchard, Ethan Marcotte, Cindy Li, Todd Dominey, Christopher Schmitt

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Introduction

Designers are traditionally creative types, tending to favor the right brain. Programmers examine the details of technology more clearly, preferring a left-brain mode of thinking.

So when faced with the challenge of designing for the Web, designers have what on the surface appears to be an oxymoron, a design technology named Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

CSS is a Web markup standard set by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) to define consistent styles in Web pages and to apply the template to multiple pages. By its nature, CSS is a technology that, for the most part, must be written out manually to create compelling work. The problem with that is that most designers have a hard time committing to writing lines of code to get their work done.

You don't find designers raving about writing PostScript by hand. But you do find designers letting Adobe Illustrator provide the visual authoring environment and hide the coding in the background to make PostScript files.

While WYSIWYG Web page editors are getting closer and closer to a complete visual authoring experience, those software applications aren't true professional CSS design tools in the way PostScript is for Illustrator.

There's another hurdle with CSS, though, that PostScript doesn't have: browsers. Browser vendors have slowly incorporated the technology into their browsers over time. While CSS support is getting better (especially with the leap in CSS support in Internet Explorer 7 for Windows), designers still run into ...

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