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Chapter 11. Introducing CSS

Chapter 11. Introducing CSS

Back in the dark ages of the Web, the favorite sport of designers was to bemoan their lack of control over the appearance of Web pages. Suddenly, their most basic assumptions about their abilities were called into question. They were unable to precisely position objects on Web pages, and they had little control over the look and specifications of type on those pages. In fact, the whole concept of a "Web page" was annoyingly fuzzy; in the print world, a designer always knows the dimensions of the piece of paper for which they're designing. But on the Web, there are no fixed page sizes.

The Cascading Style Sheets specifications from the World Wide Web Consortium (aka the W3C, who develop Internet standards; their Web site is http://www.w3.org) allowed designers to specify the look of page elements, including type, as well as position them precisely on the Web page. Besides these abilities, CSS allows designers to easily do something at which they excel: change their minds. If the look of the elements of your site is defined according to a style sheet, in order to change the look of the site, you simply need to change the definitions in the style sheet, and the changes are automatically applied. Using CSS allows Web designers to spend more time designing, rather than wrestling with HTML's limitations.


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