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What You Should Already Know
Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:
HTML / XHTML
If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home page.
What is CSS?
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets
Styles define how to display HTML elements
Styles were added to HTML 4.0 to solve a problem
External Style Sheets can save a lot of work
External Style Sheets are stored in CSS files
An HTML document can be displayed with different styles: See how it works
Styles Solved a Big Problem
HTML was never intended to contain tags for formatting a document.
HTML was intended to define the content of a document, like:
<h1>This is a heading</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>
When tags like <font>, and color attributes were added to the HTML 3.2 specification, it started a nightmare for web developers. Development of large web sites, where fonts and color information were added to every single page, became a long and expensive process.
To solve this problem, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created CSS.
In HTML 4.0, all formatting could be removed from the HTML document, and stored in a separate CSS file.
All browsers support CSS today.
CSS Saves a Lot of Work!
CSS defines HOW HTML elements are to be displayed.
Styles are normally saved in external .css files. External style sheets enable you to change the appearance and layout of all the pages in a Web site, just by editing one single file!