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What the FOUC?

Sure you’ve seen the spark of a Wintergreen Life Saver, but have you seen a FOUC? FOUC stands for Flash Of Unstyled Content and is a CSS phenomenon exhibited by Internet Explorer (version 5 or greater) for Windows. You’ll know a FOUC when you see one—the page briefly displays with no CSS styling applied; because CSS is increasingly used for layout positioning, this can be quite noticeable. First discovered by the nonautomatons at BlueRobot.com, a FOUC occurs when a page imports (rather than links to) an external style sheet. You’ll only see the unadorned page once per viewing, however; after the external style sheet is cached, the FOUC vanishes.

How do you banish the unwanted FOUC? Make sure there is a <link> tag above your @import CSS rule. Folks who are using a linked style sheet to handle Netscape 4.x are FOUC-less (a minor reward, but still, a reward) as are those who link to another media type for their pages, such as print.


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