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12.3. Summary

Even though list styling isn't as sophisticated as we might like, and browser support for generated content is somewhat spotty (as of this writing, anyway), the ability to style lists is still highly useful. One relatively common use is to take a list of links, remove the markers and indentation, and thus create a navigation sidebar. The combination of simple markup and flexible layout is difficult to resist. With the anticipated enhancements to list styling in CSS3, I expect that lists will become more and more useful.

For now, in situations where a markup language doesn't have intrinsic list elements, generated content can be an enormous help—say, for inserting content such as icons to point to certain types of links (PDF files, Word documents, or even just links to another web site). Generated content also makes it easy to print out link URLs, and its ability to insert and format quotation marks leads to true typographic joy. It's safe to say that the usefulness of generated content is limited only by your imagination. Even better, thanks to counters, you can now associate ordering information to elements that are not typically lists, such as headings or code blocks. Now, if you want to support such features with design that mimics the appearance of the user's operating system, read on. The next chapter will discuss ways to use system colors and fonts in CSS design.


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