A Quick Look at CSS for Non-Coders

In our last post we gave a A Quick Explanation of HTML for Non-Coders. To understand how CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) complements HTML, let’s take a look at HTML’s history.

1. The first draft of HTML was released in June 1993.

2. HTML 2.0 was published in November 1995.

The earlier releases of HTML intended to define the content of a web page, like:
<h1>This is a heading</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>
3. HTML 3.2 was released in January 1997> This release included many features invented by Netscape like <font> and color attributes which defined how the document would look.

These additions became a nightmare for web developers because large web sites, where fonts and color information were added to every single page, became a long and expensive process to maintain.

4. HTML 4.0 was released in December 1997.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) were added in HTML 4.0, so that the formatting options of an HTML document could be separated from the HTML, making it easier to maintain.

Without CSS: this is how you make
<font size=4><strong>words big and bold</font></strong>

With CSS; this is how you make
<span style=”font-weight:bold; font-size: 120%”>words big and bold</span>

In this simple example, it’s easy to do it in HTML. However, if we wanted to apply more complex formatting, to a bigger page, CSS would win out.

You can also move the CSS coding to its own file so that you can separate the HTML, which specifies the content of the page, from the CSS, which defines the formatting.

That’s our quick look at CSS for non-coders. If you want a good tutorial on CSS, visit this link for the w3schools.com tutorials.

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