Chapter 2

New Tools for Text

Typography is a highly detailed subject, and CSS barely scratches its surface. From kerning, tracking, and leading to ligatures, x-heights, and aspect ratios, you should take into account a number of factors when developing your type, whether it is a headline or body text.

Evidently, CSS has had to get to grips with a lot of typographic controls. In addition, CSS helps to develop solutions for a global platform (the Internet), meaning it also has to accommodate alternative writing cultures, such as those who write from right to left.

To its credit, CSS has done a great job so far, with many of the required type controls, such as line-height and letter-spacing, having been implemented in the early specifications. It's still playing catch-up, though, and with CSS3, you can look forward to having a whole lot more control over your type, making CSS a truly comprehensive solution for styling type on the web.

In this chapter, you will learn how to perfect your type through use of fine controls provided by the new CSS3 modules. The discussion begins with kerning and ligature tools before addressing new methods of improving your text's legibility. To finish, I walk you through the more creative aspects of the type-related CSS3 modules, such as text-shadow and image masking.

This chapter covers the cutting edge from the type-related Level 3 CSS specifications. Some of the properties and techniques covered here have limited browser support and, in a few cases, ...

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