CSS: Cascading Style Sheets MDN

While neither HTML or CSS is more complex than the other in terms of syntax, a major difference is that HTML can contain CSS within its code and files, but CSS cannot contain HTML. Both HTML and CSS are mutually containing, however, meaning CSS and HTML share tag names with each other. Is the declaration, and again, “p” (meaning the HTML paragraph) is the selector. These same basic principles can be applied to change font sizes, background colors, margin indentations, and more on your web page by choosing the specific selector. Modern web pages are viewable on multiple devices with variously sized screens and layouts.

  • A Cascading Style Sheet file is an extension that formats our web pages.
  • You need both to create a web page and JavaScript to make it interactive.
  • It applies that rule to each one of the three s, then paints the final visual representation to the screen.
  • Keeping the style separate from the structure means that global style changes can be done efficiently and more accurately than with an internal style sheet.
  • In addition to HTML, other markup languages support the use of CSS including XHTML, plain XML, SVG, and XUL.
  • CSS can be used for very basic document text styling — for example, for changing the color and size of headings and links.

CSS is among the core languages of the open web and is standardized across Web browsers according to W3C specifications. Previously, the development of various parts of CSS specification was done synchronously, which allowed the versioning of the latest recommendations. There will never be a CSS3 or a CSS4; rather, everything is now CSS without a version number. Rather than by laboriously going through the document and changing the color for each individual h1 element.


If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, you may have also asked yourself how a programmer is able to alter the appearance of those pages using code. The answer to these questions is CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, which is the language responsible for the visual element of every kind of website. In short, with CSS features you don’t need to repeatedly describe how individual elements look. This saves time, shortens the code, and makes it not as prone to errors. Since the only rule available in the CSS has a span selector, the browser sorts the CSS very quickly!

What does CSS stand for

Many experienced developers would much rather refer to MDN documentation or other tutorials. Nevertheless, it is worth knowing that these specs exist and understanding the relationship between the CSS you are using, the browser support (see below), and the specs. As there are so many things that you could style using CSS, the language is broken down into modules.

Internal, External and Inline CSS Styles

You’ll see reference to these modules as you explore MDN. Many of the documentation pages are organized around a particular module. For example, you could take a look at the MDN reference to the Backgrounds and Borders module to find out what its purpose is and the properties and features it contains. In that module, you will also find a link to Specifications that defines the technology (also see the section below). 📌 PS – If you’d like to learn more about CSS, front end development, or web design, Skillcrush can help you get there!

What does CSS stand for

Next, we set the heading’s top and bottom padding to 20 pixels. If you’re new to web development, be sure to read our CSS basics article to learn what CSS is and how to use it.

CSS Tutorial

CSS2, an evolution of CSS, incorporated media queries to allow developers to specify triggers for certain styles to take effect. For example, it can present a printer-friendly version of the page when requested. CSS3 took this a step further by introducing query capabilities to respond to the dimensions of a viewport or a device, the portrait or landscape orientation of the device and the screen resolution.

This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain css web development word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. If the first four lines all look the same (or if the 0.5pt line
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What Is CSS and How Does It Work?

But as the number of
incorrect implementations outnumbered correct ones and the
situation didn’t seem to improve, CSS abandoned that requirement
in 2011. Currently, absolute units must work correctly only on
printed output and on high-resolution devices. Internal style sheets are CSS instructions written directly into the header of a specific .html page. (This is especially useful if you have a single page on a site that has a unique look.) An internal style sheet looks something like this. With it, you can target the elements you want potentially from a single location. If you make any changes, they will then proliferate out to the page or pages.

What does CSS stand for

HTML element was not designed to have tags that would help format the page. You were only supposed to write the markup for the web page. Try experimenting by removing styles to see how the cascading stylesheets
work. The declaration block (in curly braces) contains one or more declarations separated by

CSS syntax

But on
low-resolution devices, such as computer screens, CSS doesn’t
require that. And indeed, the result tends to be different from one
device to another and from one CSS implementation to another. It’s
better to reserve these units for high-resolution devices and in
particular for printed output. On computer screens and handheld
devices, you’ll probably not get what you expect.

It’s a stylesheet language used to add layout and visual effects to HTML elements. That’s what web pages with only HTML look like, and I think you’d agree that that’s not very appealing.Before using CSS, all of the stylizing had to be included into the HTML markup. This means web developers had to separately describe the background color, font size, alignments, etc. Only a few lines of code are required to dictate the style on a webpage, which speeds up loading time and keeps files relatively lightweight. Lastly, it’s easy for users to learn and update, which makes global changes to style simple and quick.

What Does Responsive Mean in CSS?

It applies that rule to each one of the three s, then paints the final visual representation to the screen. Responsive web design means the CSS uses flexible layouts, images and other techniques to style the page automatically for various screen sizes. If you’re just starting out with both CSS and HTML, you can even take a learning path tailored to both. HTML is used to structure the website, and then CSS is layered over top for style. With both skills, you’ll have the full suite required to get down to work designing and building websites. The CSS layout cookbook aims to bring together recipes for common layout patterns, things you might need to implement in your sites.

Related Web Development Articles

For an example, see the browser compatibility table for the CSS font-family property. You can email the site owner to let them know you were blocked. Please include what you were doing when this page came up and the Cloudflare Ray ID found at the bottom of this page.

For example, the text, images, and headings make up the content. Content is written in HTML, short for HyperText Markup Language. In short, HTML is responsible for defining the content and structure of a web page. It’s quick and easy to add inline styles right there in your HTML document. Each declaration includes a CSS property name and a value, separated by a colon.

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