Core CSS: Cascading Style Sheets / Edition 2

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Overview

The Complete and Comprehensive Web Developer's Guide to Style Sheets

Core CSS, 2nd Edition is a comprehensive guide that shows both beginning and expert Web developers all they need to know to achieve great results with the latest style sheet properties. In this example-rich book, Schengili-Roberts provides in-depth coverage of the CSS1 and CSS2 standards, provides a "head's up" look at what to expect in the forthcoming CSS3 specification, and covers those CSS properties specific to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is the most complete and up-to-date CSS reference available.

CSS is fundamental to current Web design, allowing you to separate content from formatting, and to do Web page layout in ways simply not possible using regular HTML. Most books on CSS simply look at how you can accomplish certain formatting tricks, but this book delves deeper, looking at how each CSS property works, what CSS is capable of, and what to expect in the near future.

This book provides the most accessible and up-to-date listing available on CSS compatibility across browsers and operating systems so Webmasters can finally know which CSS properties are "safe" to use.

Detailed appendices provide full CSS property listings, compatibility charts, and more.

Core CSS, 2nd Edition delivers:

  • Practical techniques for integrating CSS into your Web site development
  • Expert insight into choosing the best style sheet code
  • Hundreds of professional-quality code examples
  • An overview of new CSS3 properties
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130092786
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 10/4/2003
  • Series: Core Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 864
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Schengili-Roberts is the President of Briddle Communications, which focusses on corporate Web site development, in Toronto, Canada. He is also a long-time technology writer and lecturer within the Faculty of Information Science at the University of Toronto. He has more than eight years of experience with professional Web design and is a regular contributor to The Computer Paper, Canada's largest computer magazine.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Preface

Welcome to the second edition of Core CSS. When the initial edition came out in 2000, while CSS had been around for a few years, it was largely underutilized on the Web. And there was a good reason for this: browser support for CSS properties was, to put it kindly, "spotty." In the past few years things have changed substantially: the Mozilla project pushed for a standards-compliant rendering engine—including CSS—that has since been incorporated into the most recent versions of Netscape Navigator; and Internet Explorer 5.0 and later 6.0 made real advances in supporting CSS properties. As older, non-CSS-compliant browsers fade into the background, Web design has advanced accordingly and is beginning to take full advantage of the formatting possibilities that CSS opens up for both eye-popping and better functioning Web sites.

While the browser manufacturers have been playing "catch-up" and have largely (with some notable exceptions) instituted the CSS1 and CSS2 standards devised by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the W3C has not stood still. While still in draft status, the various modules that will one day comprise the CSS3 specification are well on the way towards providing a comprehensive set of tools for Web authors seeking to format just about anything and everything you can think of that has to do with a Web page. While none of these CSS3 modules have been finalized—and things may still change substantially—many of the new directions that are being charted by the W3C in this area are covered in this book as a "heads up" as to what future Web developers can come to expect.

One of the original reasons behind the creation ofCSS was to prevent competing browsers developers from the runaway development of new HTML tags that only worked in their particular browser. This has seemingly not stopped the temptation by browser manufacturers to continue to "push the envelope," and in particular, recent versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer have included a number of browser-specific CSS properties. These are covered in the various sections of the book, both out of a sense of completeness as well as wanting to provide readers who may be working in a "closed-shop" environment (i.e., where they know that their clients are all using this browser) with information they can genuinely use. As a member of the W3C, Microsoft is also helping to chart the progress of the future CSS development, and many as yet browser-specific CSS properties may not be so in the future.

When I am asked why I write computer books, I usually respond that I write books I wished already existed that I could use daily in my work. A number of books have appeared since the first edition of Core CSS came out, but none of them have been as comprehensive—especially when it came to covering CSS2 or Internet Explorer properties—as I would have liked. The majority of the code in the first book has been completely re-written for this edition, and dozens more examples better show what particular CSS properties can do and how they work—or do not work—in modern browsers.Who You Are

You are a Web author who is looking to expand the capabilities of your Web pages. You know that CSS opens the doors to a wide range of possibilities, but want to learn more about how to make the most of it. Or perhaps you know that CSS will solve some of your most pernicious Web formatting problems, but shy away from using it because you have heard that it can produce varying results when viewed under different browsers or under different operating systems. Maybe you are looking for a single source that tells you what you need to know about a property at a glance, instead of having to traverse a dozen Web sites to get the same information. If you fit any of these circumstances, then this book is for you.

This book takes a practical, pragmatic look at the current state of affairs regarding CSS and guides the reader through how CSS works. This book provides the information Web authors need in order to understand not only how CSS should work, but also how it actually works in current major browsers. It does not confine itself only to one operating system, but takes a look at how CSS works under browsers working under multiple operating systems. With this knowledge, Web authors will know which CSS properties are "safe" for use, and which to avoid. More than that though, this book also provides information as to the future of CSS with an in-depth look at what will likely prove to be the foundation of the future CSS3 specification.

You do not have to be an expert at understanding how Web pages work, but the book does assume you have a basic understanding of both HTML and the Web. The book assumes no prior knowledge of CSS. It will not only serve those Web authors who are just starting out using CSS, but also act as a handy reference for those occasions when you need to look up how a particular CSS property works.How This Book Is Organized

The first edition of this book separated CSS1 and CSS2 properties. Now that much of CSS2 has been adopted within the major browsers, it no longer made sense to keep things separate. This has been extended further to include draft CSS3 properties into the (sometimes rough) families of properties to which they belong. While these properties are not currently in use—and some of them may not end up looking the same as they do in this book when they are finally released—they are important as an indicator of the way CSS development is progressing, so that forwardlooking Web authors can get a heads up. The CSS3 properties outlined here are my "best guesses" based on my own Web-authoring experience. In some cases there are wholly separate chapters devoted to Internet Explorer-only CSS properties, but many of them fall into already-defined families of properties and are included in those chapters. In addition to all of the chapters in this book are some appendices designed to provide the Web author with quick reference material to have on hand when writing CSS code.

Chapter 1 ("The Birth of CSS") explores how CSS in its current form came to be. The following two chapters (Chapter 2, "(X)HTML and Its Relationship to CSS" and Chapter 3, "Browser Adoption of CSS") provide information on how CSS can be accessed within Web page code, and how the major browser manufacturers have increasingly adopted CSS within their browsers. Chapter 4 ("Implementation of Basic CSS Concepts") looks at how some of the basic concepts behind CSS—such as inheritance, grouping CSS code and cascading rules—are implemented in the major browsers. Chapters 5 and 6 ("The Cascade" and "CSS Units," respectively) extend this concept further by looking at how the "C" of "CSS" works, and explains the many different fundamental units of measure that can be used in conjunction with certain CSS properties. Chapter 7 ("Pseudo-Classes and Pseudo-Elements") looks at how these CSS elements which allow for special or conditional types of formatting can be utilized. Chapter 8 ("Media Types and Media Queries") introduces the concept of media types and examines how Web pages can be modified so that they can be displayed through such things as print or "talking browsers."

Chapters 9 and 10 ("Font Properties" and "Text Properties") begin the "meat and potatoes" part of the book for most readers, looking in detail at the properties used daily by an increasing number of Web authors. Chapter 11 ("Text Property Extensions") is the first chapter devoted wholly to Internet Explorer-specific properties, most of which are aimed at formatting Web pages for an international audience. Chapter 12 ("Box Properties") brings us back to the "meat and potatoes" area of CSS formatting, explaining in detail the box set CSS properties, which can determine how a wide variety of Web elements such as headers, images and paragraphs can be enhanced. The topic of Chapter 13 ("Color") used to be part of the background family of properties, but the draft CSS3 module has charted a new course for using color on the Web, all of which is looked at in this section. Background properties—including a number of draft CSS innovations in this area—are covered in Chapter 14 ("Background Properties").

Chapter 15 ("Classification Properties and Generated/Automatic Content") is the start of what for many readers will be the more esoteric uses to which CSS can be put to, and yet represents much of where the real rendering power behind CSS lies. This chapter looks at how its functions enable Web authors to control and enhance content that is automatically generated by the browser, including such things as the numbering and display of lists. Chapter 16 ("Visual Formatting and Detailed Visual Formatting") represents the core of what is popularly known as the "CSS positioning" properties. Chapter 17 ("Visual Effects") looks primarily at properties designed to produce stunning effects using dynamic code. Chapter 18 ("Paged Media") explores those properties related to crafting Web pages so that they can be printed (rather than displayed on a screen) in the precise way that a Web author desires.

Chapter 19 ("Tables") looks at the somewhat rag-tag collection of table-related formatting properties, but then rounds off the chapter by looking at ways of creating table-like formatting structures using only CSS. In addition to covering what is already possible to do with user-interface properties in Chapter 20 ("User Interface")—such as providing greater control over the display of such things as cursors and the outlines that surround buttons or text fields in forms that denote a "focus" for user input—it also includes an extensive preview as to how you can affect the functionality of Web pages when now-draft CSS3 properties become available. Mastering the properties covered in these sections guarantees that you will be at the forefront of CSS-based Web design.

Chapter 21 ("Aural Cascading Style Sheets") begins a section of the book covering either under-implemented CSS properties or those specific to working with a particular browser. This chapter explores a relatively new class of properties designed to enable the Web author to determine how a Web page could be spoken aloud by a browser with speech capabilities—sadly, this is poorly implemented in the major browsers. Chapter 22 ("Ruby") looks at the properties used in formatting a particular type of Chinese text layout; these properties are specific to Internet Explorer but are now being actively considered by the W3C for inclusion in the future CSS3 specification. Columnar layout properties, based in part on some old browser-specific HTML tags in Netscape Navigator, are explored in Chapter 23 ("Multi-Column Layout"). Chapter 24 ("Scrollbars") briefly looks at some properties designed to change the appearance of scrollbars specific to recent versions of Internet Explorer. The final chapter (Chapter 25 "Filters and Transitions") is a sizable one devoted to Internet Explorer's CSS-based way of adding some interesting and often dynamic visual effects.

Appendix A is a CSS compatibility chart, looking at all of the "Safe," "Unsafe" and "Partial"-ly implemented CSS1 and CSS2 properties for various versions of the browsers Web authors are likely to run into. Appendix B provides an alphabetical listing of all CSS1, CSS2 and Internet Explorer CSS properties (minus the admittedly oddball filter and transition properties) as a quick reference. Appendix C looks at the CSS3 Mobile Profile and contains properties that are expected to be implemented in scaled-down browsers intended for use while "on the go."

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Ch. 1 The Birth of CSS 2
Ch. 2 (X)HTML and its Relationship to CSS 14
Ch. 3 Browser Adoption of CSS 28
Ch. 4 Implementation on Basic CSS Concepts 52
Ch. 5 The Cascade 82
Ch. 6 CSS Units 94
Ch. 7 Pseudo-Classes and Pseudo-Elements 112
Ch. 8 Media Types and Media Queries 130
Ch. 9 Font Properties 142
Ch. 10 Text Properties 186
Ch. 11 Text Property Extensions 238
Ch. 12 Box Properties 274
Ch. 13 Color 368
Ch. 14 Background Properties 386
Ch. 15 Classification Properties and Generated/Automatic Content 422
Ch. 16 Visual Formatting and Detailed Visual Formatting 456
Ch. 17 Visual Effects 486
Ch. 18 Paged Media 506
Ch. 19 Tables 520
Ch. 20 User Interface 542
Ch. 21 Aural Cascading Style Sheets 568
Ch. 22 Ruby 596
Ch. 23 Multi-Column Layout 612
Ch. 24 Scrollbars 624
Ch. 25 Filters and Transitions 636
App. A CSS1 and CSS2 Compatibility Charts 692
App. B Alphabetical Listing of CSS Properties and Values 706
App. C CSS3 Mobile Profile 800
Index 809
Read More Show Less

Preface

Preface

Welcome to the second edition of Core CSS. When the initial edition came out in 2000, while CSS had been around for a few years, it was largely underutilized on the Web. And there was a good reason for this: browser support for CSS properties was, to put it kindly, "spotty." In the past few years things have changed substantially: the Mozilla project pushed for a standards-compliant rendering engine—including CSS—that has since been incorporated into the most recent versions of Netscape Navigator; and Internet Explorer 5.0 and later 6.0 made real advances in supporting CSS properties. As older, non-CSS-compliant browsers fade into the background, Web design has advanced accordingly and is beginning to take full advantage of the formatting possibilities that CSS opens up for both eye-popping and better functioning Web sites.

While the browser manufacturers have been playing "catch-up" and have largely (with some notable exceptions) instituted the CSS1 and CSS2 standards devised by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the W3C has not stood still. While still in draft status, the various modules that will one day comprise the CSS3 specification are well on the way towards providing a comprehensive set of tools for Web authors seeking to format just about anything and everything you can think of that has to do with a Web page. While none of these CSS3 modules have been finalized—and things may still change substantially—many of the new directions that are being charted by the W3C in this area are covered in this book as a "heads up" as to what future Web developers can come to expect.

One of the original reasons behind the creation of CSS was to prevent competing browsers developers from the runaway development of new HTML tags that only worked in their particular browser. This has seemingly not stopped the temptation by browser manufacturers to continue to "push the envelope," and in particular, recent versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer have included a number of browser-specific CSS properties. These are covered in the various sections of the book, both out of a sense of completeness as well as wanting to provide readers who may be working in a "closed-shop" environment (i.e., where they know that their clients are all using this browser) with information they can genuinely use. As a member of the W3C, Microsoft is also helping to chart the progress of the future CSS development, and many as yet browser-specific CSS properties may not be so in the future.

When I am asked why I write computer books, I usually respond that I write books I wished already existed that I could use daily in my work. A number of books have appeared since the first edition of Core CSS came out, but none of them have been as comprehensive—especially when it came to covering CSS2 or Internet Explorer properties—as I would have liked. The majority of the code in the first book has been completely re-written for this edition, and dozens more examples better show what particular CSS properties can do and how they work—or do not work—in modern browsers.

Who You Are

You are a Web author who is looking to expand the capabilities of your Web pages. You know that CSS opens the doors to a wide range of possibilities, but want to learn more about how to make the most of it. Or perhaps you know that CSS will solve some of your most pernicious Web formatting problems, but shy away from using it because you have heard that it can produce varying results when viewed under different browsers or under different operating systems. Maybe you are looking for a single source that tells you what you need to know about a property at a glance, instead of having to traverse a dozen Web sites to get the same information. If you fit any of these circumstances, then this book is for you.

This book takes a practical, pragmatic look at the current state of affairs regarding CSS and guides the reader through how CSS works. This book provides the information Web authors need in order to understand not only how CSS should work, but also how it actually works in current major browsers. It does not confine itself only to one operating system, but takes a look at how CSS works under browsers working under multiple operating systems. With this knowledge, Web authors will know which CSS properties are "safe" for use, and which to avoid. More than that though, this book also provides information as to the future of CSS with an in-depth look at what will likely prove to be the foundation of the future CSS3 specification.

You do not have to be an expert at understanding how Web pages work, but the book does assume you have a basic understanding of both HTML and the Web. The book assumes no prior knowledge of CSS. It will not only serve those Web authors who are just starting out using CSS, but also act as a handy reference for those occasions when you need to look up how a particular CSS property works.

How This Book Is Organized

The first edition of this book separated CSS1 and CSS2 properties. Now that much of CSS2 has been adopted within the major browsers, it no longer made sense to keep things separate. This has been extended further to include draft CSS3 properties into the (sometimes rough) families of properties to which they belong. While these properties are not currently in use—and some of them may not end up looking the same as they do in this book when they are finally released—they are important as an indicator of the way CSS development is progressing, so that forwardlooking Web authors can get a heads up. The CSS3 properties outlined here are my "best guesses" based on my own Web-authoring experience. In some cases there are wholly separate chapters devoted to Internet Explorer-only CSS properties, but many of them fall into already-defined families of properties and are included in those chapters. In addition to all of the chapters in this book are some appendices designed to provide the Web author with quick reference material to have on hand when writing CSS code.

Chapter 1 ("The Birth of CSS") explores how CSS in its current form came to be. The following two chapters (Chapter 2, "(X)HTML and Its Relationship to CSS" and Chapter 3, "Browser Adoption of CSS") provide information on how CSS can be accessed within Web page code, and how the major browser manufacturers have increasingly adopted CSS within their browsers. Chapter 4 ("Implementation of Basic CSS Concepts") looks at how some of the basic concepts behind CSS—such as inheritance, grouping CSS code and cascading rules—are implemented in the major browsers. Chapters 5 and 6 ("The Cascade" and "CSS Units," respectively) extend this concept further by looking at how the "C" of "CSS" works, and explains the many different fundamental units of measure that can be used in conjunction with certain CSS properties. Chapter 7 ("Pseudo-Classes and Pseudo-Elements") looks at how these CSS elements which allow for special or conditional types of formatting can be utilized. Chapter 8 ("Media Types and Media Queries") introduces the concept of media types and examines how Web pages can be modified so that they can be displayed through such things as print or "talking browsers."

Chapters 9 and 10 ("Font Properties" and "Text Properties") begin the "meat and potatoes" part of the book for most readers, looking in detail at the properties used daily by an increasing number of Web authors. Chapter 11 ("Text Property Extensions") is the first chapter devoted wholly to Internet Explorer-specific properties, most of which are aimed at formatting Web pages for an international audience. Chapter 12 ("Box Properties") brings us back to the "meat and potatoes" area of CSS formatting, explaining in detail the box set CSS properties, which can determine how a wide variety of Web elements such as headers, images and paragraphs can be enhanced. The topic of Chapter 13 ("Color") used to be part of the background family of properties, but the draft CSS3 module has charted a new course for using color on the Web, all of which is looked at in this section. Background properties—including a number of draft CSS innovations in this area—are covered in Chapter 14 ("Background Properties").

Chapter 15 ("Classification Properties and Generated/Automatic Content") is the start of what for many readers will be the more esoteric uses to which CSS can be put to, and yet represents much of where the real rendering power behind CSS lies. This chapter looks at how its functions enable Web authors to control and enhance content that is automatically generated by the browser, including such things as the numbering and display of lists. Chapter 16 ("Visual Formatting and Detailed Visual Formatting") represents the core of what is popularly known as the "CSS positioning" properties. Chapter 17 ("Visual Effects") looks primarily at properties designed to produce stunning effects using dynamic code. Chapter 18 ("Paged Media") explores those properties related to crafting Web pages so that they can be printed (rather than displayed on a screen) in the precise way that a Web author desires.

Chapter 19 ("Tables") looks at the somewhat rag-tag collection of table-related formatting properties, but then rounds off the chapter by looking at ways of creating table-like formatting structures using only CSS. In addition to covering what is already possible to do with user-interface properties in Chapter 20 ("User Interface")—such as providing greater control over the display of such things as cursors and the outlines that surround buttons or text fields in forms that denote a "focus" for user input—it also includes an extensive preview as to how you can affect the functionality of Web pages when now-draft CSS3 properties become available. Mastering the properties covered in these sections guarantees that you will be at the forefront of CSS-based Web design.

Chapter 21 ("Aural Cascading Style Sheets") begins a section of the book covering either under-implemented CSS properties or those specific to working with a particular browser. This chapter explores a relatively new class of properties designed to enable the Web author to determine how a Web page could be spoken aloud by a browser with speech capabilities—sadly, this is poorly implemented in the major browsers. Chapter 22 ("Ruby") looks at the properties used in formatting a particular type of Chinese text layout; these properties are specific to Internet Explorer but are now being actively considered by the W3C for inclusion in the future CSS3 specification. Columnar layout properties, based in part on some old browser-specific HTML tags in Netscape Navigator, are explored in Chapter 23 ("Multi-Column Layout"). Chapter 24 ("Scrollbars") briefly looks at some properties designed to change the appearance of scrollbars specific to recent versions of Internet Explorer. The final chapter (Chapter 25 "Filters and Transitions") is a sizable one devoted to Internet Explorer's CSS-based way of adding some interesting and often dynamic visual effects.

Appendix A is a CSS compatibility chart, looking at all of the "Safe," "Unsafe" and "Partial"-ly implemented CSS1 and CSS2 properties for various versions of the browsers Web authors are likely to run into. Appendix B provides an alphabetical listing of all CSS1, CSS2 and Internet Explorer CSS properties (minus the admittedly oddball filter and transition properties) as a quick reference. Appendix C looks at the CSS3 Mobile Profile and contains properties that are expected to be implemented in scaled-down browsers intended for use while "on the go."

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    Check out the chapter on Aural Properties!

    For a certain class of web authors, HTML has proved to be frustratingly obtuse. One explicit aim of HTML was that is only consists of recommendations to a browser. Each browser takes on HTML as advisory only, as far as the presentation is concerned. If your website has mostly text or, more commonly, if you are authoring a noncommercial website, then the HTML restrictions may be fine. But for those authors whose expertise is page layout and desktop publishing, it is very inadequate. Thus CSS was born. By now, it is officially in its second version and compellingly mature. The book describes it all. PLUS the proposed CSS3 extensions. The teaching is straightforward, and it makes CSS to be no harder than HTML. Which is commendable, because one of HTML's strengths was that it was easy to learn, and that you could quickly write simple HTML pages, without having to know most of the language. The book builds on this by presenting CSS in the same way. The book also devotes a chapter to that some might regard as potentially the most powerful new thing introduced in CSS2: Aural properties. Most browsers still can't handle these. But that is one of the attractions. You can glimpse what future browsers will do - being able to read out web pages. Lest you think this is frivolous, there is vast potential for cellphones and other small devices which have limited screens and might benefit from hands-free operation.

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