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Lesson 3. Creating the Presentation Layer > Redefining HTML Elements with CSS

Redefining HTML Elements with CSS

One of the advantages to HTML is that it includes a wide range of logical tags, flexible enough to describe the logic of most basic documents. With its six built-in levels of heading (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, and so on); tags for regular text (<p>); lists (<ol> and <ul>); tables (<table>, <tr>, <td>); block quotes (<blockquote>); address (<address>) tags and more, you can mark up documents quickly and in such a way that the tags actually describe the content and structure of the document. In addition, browsers recognize these styles and know how to render them. For example, content in the <h1> tag is large and bold with extra space above and below it, while content inside <p> tags is rendered in a normal body font, such as a 12-point system font.

If every page relies on the browser to render the documents, then all HTML pages would start to look the same. Every level one heading on the Internet might be in 18 point Times New Roman bold. Such a uniform appearance prevents organizations from differentiating themselves and bores users. For this reason, early on in the development of HTML, coders demanded some way to control the presentation of content. To meet this need, special presentation tags such as the <font> tag were added to the standard. As you know from the preceding lesson, the <font> tag has since fallen out of favor, largely because it is inefficient. It requires developers to add special formatting attributes to each and every paragraph that needs to diverge from the standard browser template.


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