Back to Basic – CSS

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Cascading Style Sheets-CSS in short-is the most hottest word in web page design world, it basically give you creative control over the layout and design of your web pages, by using CSS, you can dress up your text with eye-catching headings , drop caps, and borders, just like the those you see in magazines or newspapers.

What's more, you can also create columns and banners, highlight those text links of your choice as well as arrange images with precision.

If you've used styles in word processing programs like Microsoft Word or page layout programs like Adobe, CSS is nothing alien to you. A style is simply a set of rules instruct the computer how to format a particular portion of a web page. A style sheet is a set of these styles.

CSS works well with HTML, but you do not confuse with HTML, CSS is not HTML, it's a different language altogether. In short, CSS works hand-in-hand with the web browser to make HTML look great.

If you are old enough to surfed the web before 1995, then you will aware those website without CSS, as web designers were limited to the layout and styling options of HTML. HTML still forms the foundation of all pages on the World Wide Web, but it's simply not a design tool. Sure, HTML provides basic formatting options for text, images, tables, and other web page elements, and patient, meticulous webmasters can make pages look pretty good using only HTML. But the result is often sluggish web pages laden with clunky code.

So with CSS, the benefits are obvious: –

  1. Style sheets offer far more formatting choices than HTML. With CSS, you can format paragraphs as they appear in a magazine or newspaper (the first line indented and no space between each paragraph, for example) and control the leading (the space between lines of type in a paragraph).
  2. When you use CSS to add a background image to a page, you get to decide whether and how it tiles (repeats). HTML can not even begin to do that.
  3. Even better, CSS styles take up much less space than HTML's formatting options, such as the much-hated tag. You can usually trim a lot of kilobytes from text-heavy web pages using CSS. As a result, your pages look great and load faster.
  4. Style sheets also make updating your site easier. You can collect all of your styles into a single external style sheet that's linked to every page in your site. In short, you can completely change the appearance of a site just by editing a single style sheet.

Software for CSS

To create web pages made up of HTML and CSS, you only require a basic text editor like Notepad for Windows or Text Edit for Mac. But of course, there are other better programs written solely for web pages deisgn. So some of the commonly used free or paid programs are: –

  1. jEdit (Windows, Mac, Linux) – This free, Java-based text editor works on almost any computer and includes many features that you'd find in commercial text editors, like syntax highlighting for CSS.
  2. HTML-Kit (Windows). This powerful HTML / XHTML editor includes lots of useful features like the ability to preview a web page directly in the program (so you do not have to switch back and forth between browser and editor), shortcuts for adding HTML tags, and a lot more. By the way, this is also free.
  3. skEdit (Mac) – This is the most expensive web page editor I even find. However, this program come with complete FTP / SFTP, code hints, and other useful features.
  4. Coda (Mac) – This is a full-featured web development toolkit. It includes a text editor, page preview, FTP / SFTP, and graphic CSS-creating tools for creating CSS.

In Summary, whether you are programmers or internet surfers, CSS is definitely change the ways you design and read any of the web pages now and future. Hence, it is always good for you to know the basic understanding of CSS.

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