In This Chapter
Getting used to CSS
Managing color with CSS
Changing text fonts and styles
Adding borders and backgrounds to page elements
Building multi-column forms with floating formats
Creating absolutely positioned elements
XHTML is a powerful technology, but modern Web pages require a combination of XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). This technology works alongside XHTML. While XHTML is used to provide the basic framework and content, CSS is used to specify the visual aspects of the page.
Early forms of HTML paid very little attention to the visual aspects of page layout. The original plan was for HTML to be more tied to the meaning of page elements rather than their display. In the very early days of the Web, this was fine, but soon people wanted far more sophisticated design elements than HTML was capable of producing. Browser manufacturers responded by adding vendor-specific tags that added new capabilities but greatly complicated development efforts.
XHTML is an attempt to return HTML to its earlier simplicity. In the strict form of XHTML, all the tags that were used to directly manage the appearance of the page (tags like
<font>, <center>, <b>, and
<i>) are removed. Rather than having special tags indicate formatting, a new language has been devised that can provide very powerful formatting features to virtually any HTML or XHTML tag. CSS is this language.
CSS works by describing certain parts of the page (one ...