CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. The idea behind CSS is to define how elements should be displayed on your HTML page. The styles for Web pages can be controlled from a separate style sheet (usually a file with the extension .css) or from CSS style call-outs within the Web page.

CSS has the potential to save a lot of work during development and maintenance of a Web site because they can be used to define the style you want for every element of your page(s) without individually defining them in every HMTL tag. If a separate CSS file is created (as opposed to embedding style call-outs with individual Web pages), it can help developers control the style and layout of the elements on multiple Web pages simultaneously. For example, by simply changing one external style sheet, all associated elements in the Web site are updated automatically. This has tremendous time saving potential, but also reduces the physical size of your Web page enabling them to be downloaded faster.

Note: It is especially important when using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to control the typography of a Web page, to use font-size call-outs that allow users to scale the font. This is critical for users with visual impairment. These users will set their Web browser to increase the size of the font as displayed. Certain font size call-outs will NOT allow a user to adjust the size of the displayed font thereby possibly preventing them from reading a page.

The following link provides a simple but highly visual demonstration of what style sheets will do:

CSS Resources

Max Design - CSS resources and tutorials for web designers and web developers

  • Listutorial - Takes you through the basics of building background image lists, rollover lists, nested lists and horizontal lists.
  • Listamatic - Can you take a simple list and use different Cascading Style Sheets to create radically different list options? The Listamatic shows the power of CSS when applied to one simple list.
  • Listamatic 2 - creating nested lists
  • Floatutorial - Takes you through the basics of floating elements such as images, drop caps, next and back buttons, image galleries, inline lists and multi-column layouts.
  • Selectutorial - CSS selectors are one of the most important aspects of CSS as they are used to "select" elements on an HTML page so that they can be styled. Find out more about selectors including the structure of rules, the document tree, types of selectors and their uses. There is also a step-by-step tutorial showing how selectors are used in the process of building a 3-column layout.

A List Apart - CSS

Provides articles of tutorials, tricks and more advanced issues with CSS.

Quick access to all 95 CSS 2.1 properties.

CSS Validation Service

Quickly validate your CSS code to make it standards-compliant. For browser compatibility issues, visit CSS Technical Issues.