Chapter 6. Text Properties

Sure, a lot of web design involves picking the right colors and getting the coolest look for your pages, but when it comes right down to it, you probably spend more of your time worrying about where text will go and how it will look. Such concerns gave rise to HTML tags such as <FONT> and <CENTER> in the web’s early days, which allowed you some measure of control over the appearance and placement of text.

Because text is so important, there are many CSS properties that affect it in one way or another. What is the difference between text and fonts? At the simplest level, text is the content, and fonts are used to display that content. Using text properties, you can affect the position of text in relation to the rest of the line, superscript it, underline it, and change the capitalization. You can even simulate, to a limited degree, the use of a typewriter’s Tab key.

Indentation and Inline Alignment

Let’s start with a discussion of how you can affect the inline positioning of text within a line. Think of these basic actions as the same types of steps you might take to create a newsletter or write a report.

First, however, let’s take a moment to talk about the terms inline and block as they’ll be used in this chapter. In fact, let’s take them in reverse. If your primary language is Western-derived, then you’re used to a block direction of top to bottom, and an inline direction of left to right. Let’s examine those terms more closely.

The block direction ...

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