O'Reilly logo

Beginning CSS: Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design, Second Edition by Richard York

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 2. The Essentials

In Chapter 1 you received a taste of what CSS is capable of in Example 1-1, a web page that contains the four gas giant planets of our solar system and some facts about them. In this chapter, I begin the process of drilling down into CSS syntax. Throughout Chapter 2, I take an exacto knife to the solar_system.css style sheet that you wrote for Example 1-1, and explore what makes CSS work. I begin this discussion with CSS rules.

CSS Rules

As you dissect a style sheet, it can be broken down into progressively smaller bits. From large to small, it goes like this:

  • Style sheet

  • Rule

  • Selector

  • Declaration

  • Property

  • Value

In between, some special characters are used to mark the beginning and ending of one bit from another. Figure 2-1 shows a CSS rule.

Figure 2-1

Figure 2-1. Figure 2-1

You can set the layout of the rule according to your preferences; you can add line breaks and spacing to make CSS readable, sensible, and organized:

body {
     margin: 0;
     padding: 0;
     background: #000 url('images/backgrounds/star.png') no-repeat fixed;
     font: 12px sans-serif;
}

Or you can scrunch it all together:

body {margin: 0; padding: 0; background: #000 url('images/backgrounds/star.png')
no-repeat fixed; font: 12px sans-serif;}

Like HTML, CSS can use white space and line breaks for purposes of readability. The interpreter reading the CSS doesn't care how much white space appears in the style sheet or how many line ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required