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O'Reilly Book Excerpts: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide

Cascading Style Sheets: HTML and CSS

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Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide
By Eric A. Meyer

by Eric A. Meyer

This excerpt is Chapter 1 from Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, published in May 2000 by O'Reilly.

In many ways, the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) specification represents a unique development in the history of the World Wide Web. In its inherent ability to allow richly styled structural documents, CSS is both a step forward and a step backward--but it's a good step backward, and a needed one. To see what is meant by this, it is first necessary to understand how the Web got to the point of desperately needing something like CSS, and how CSS makes the web a better place for both page authors and web surfers.

The Web's Fall from Grace

What a Mess

CSS to the Rescue

Rich Styling

Ease of Use

Using Your Styles on Multiple Pages


Compact File Size

Preparing for the Future

Limitations of CSS

Limited Initial Scope


Bringing CSS and HTML Together

The LINK Tag

The STYLE Element

The @import Directive

Actual Styles

CSS Comments

Inline Styles


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