CSS Syntax

CSS syntax isn’t XML syntax, but the syntax is so trivial this hardly matters. A CSS stylesheet is simply a list of the elements you want to apply the styles to, normally one to a line. If the element is in a namespace, then the qualified name like recipe:dish must be used. The prefix must be the same in the stylesheet as in the XML document. Each element name is followed by the list of styles you want to apply to that element. Comments can be inserted using the /*...*/ format familiar to C programmers. Whitespace isn’t particularly significant, so it can be used to format the stylesheet. Example 13-2 is a simple CSS stylesheet for the recipe document in Example 13-1. Figure 13-1 shows the recipe document as rendered and displayed by the Opera 4.01 browser with this stylesheet.

Example 13-2. A CSS stylesheet for recipes
/* Defaults for the entire document */
recipe  {font-family: "New York", "Times New Roman", serif;
         font-size: 12pt }
/* Make the dish look like a headline */
dish    {
  display: block;
  font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
  font-size: 20pt;
  font-weight: bold;
  text-align: center
/* A bulleted list */
ingredient  {display: list-item; list-style-position: inside }
/* Format these two items as paragraphs */
directions, story {
  display: block;
  margin-top: 12pt;
  margin-left: 4pt
A semantically tagged XML document after a CSS stylesheet is applied
Figure 13-1. A semantically tagged XML document after a CSS stylesheet is applied

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