As HTML becomes more and more a description of the content of web pages and less the look and feel, you need a tool to describe how your pages should look. That's where Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) come in.
CSS is not hard, in some ways it's almost easier than HTML. The trickiest part is remembering the many different choices you have to choose from. Let's start with a simple style sheet that includes some of the more common styles.
Fonts and CSS
The most common adjustment to web pages is to the fonts on the page. You can change the color, style, size, and face of your fonts, and you can do it all with CSS.
Creating a Style Sheet
The first key to writing a style sheet is to decide what you want your text to look like. You should decide the color, the font, the style and so on. You also need to decide what the different styles should be for the different tags, headings, and so on.
My Proposed Styles
- Standard paragraph text should be black, arial narrow, and medium sized
- Top level (
H1) headings should be red, bold, and small-caps
- Second level headings (
H2) should be blue and italic
- Notations should be standard text with a yellow background
These are the CSS elements that can change the font. Examples for how to use the CSS property are included in italics:
change the actual face of the font. You can use specific font names or generic terms such as serif, sans-serif, monospace, courier, fantasy
font-family : arial, geneva, helvetica;
change the size of the font. Define the size as an absolute size, relative size, percentage, or length.
font-size : small
changes the style from normal to italics or oblique.
font-style : italic
change the look of the text from normal to small-caps
font-variant : small-caps
change the font to bold
font-weight : bold
change the color of your text. Use either named colors or hexadecimal codes
color : #ff0000
change the color behind the text. Use either named colors or hexadecimal codes.
background-color : yellow;
Once you've decided on the styles you want, you need to write your style sheet. Place the following in the
HEAD of your HTML document:
color : #000000;
font-family : 'Arial narrow';
font-size : medium;
color : #ff0000;
font-weight : bold;
font-variant : small-caps;
color : #0000ff;
font-style : italics;
background-color : #ffff00;
The first three of the above styles will be set using the elements:
H2. The final style notation is used with the class attribute. Since it is a notation that would be on text within a paragraph, but not a separate paragraph, it would usually be used with the
Paste the following HTML into the document with the above CSS:
This paragraph would be in the p style. <span class="note">Note: inheritance means that this text will have the same styles as the paragraph itself</span>
The styles set by the first tag will be inherited by any tag that is within it. This is why we don't have to redefine the font color or size for the note.