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Part: IV Web Page Design > Using Style Sheets

Hour 15. Using Style Sheets

Style sheets are without a doubt the Next Big Thing in the fast-paced world of the Web. The concept is simple: You create a single style sheet document that specifies the fonts, colors, backgrounds, and other characteristics that establish a unique look. You then link every page that should have that look to the style sheet, instead of specifying all those style elements repeatedly in each separate document. When you decide to change your official corporate typeface or color scheme, you can modify all your Web pages at once just by changing one or two style sheets.

A style sheet is a single page of formatting instructions that can control the appearance of many HTML pages at once.


If style sheets accomplished this and nothing else, they'd save millions of dollars worth of Webmasters' time and become an integral part of most Web publishing projects. But they aim to do this and much more. The HTML style sheet standard enables you to set a great number of formatting characteristics that were never malleable before with any amount of effort. These include exacting typeface controls, letter and line spacing, margins and page borders, and expanded support for non-European languages and characters. Style sheets also enable sizes and other measurements to be specified in familiar units such as inches, millimeters, points, and picas. You can also use style sheets to position graphics and text anywhere on a Web page precisely.

In short, style sheets bring the sophistication level of paper-oriented publishing to the Web. And they do so—you'll pardon the expression—with style.

If you have three or more Web pages that share (or should share) similar formatting and fonts, you might want to create a style sheet for them as you read this hour.



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