There are four examples here using different style specification methods.
Each method attempts to accomplish the same layout characteristics as
the others, but there may be some differences (especially with the HTML
only method.) I have tried to adhere to using only one method in each
example, foregoing obvious opportunities where another method would
work better, in order to prove the point of each example. As an author
you can and probably will freely mix and match any of these methods for
the result that best suits your needs.
Each of the following examples consist of a document sample followed by
a line-by-line breakdown analysis of the document code. Analysis points
and line examples are heavily cross-linked to allow for easier navigation.
Uses the LINK[-->Index DOT Html]
element to attach a CSS stylesheet to a document.
Multiple HTML documents can use a single external style sheet, which
serves to reduce repetitive work on pages using common thematic elements.
Uses the STYLE[-->Index DOT Html]
element to insert style information in a document.
All style rules are applicable only to the document that contains them,
but it also allows powerful grouping and classing mechanisms to save
work in assigning style properties. This method is the middle ground
between external and inline methods.
What we all have been used to until the advent of CSS. Browser extensions
and common browser visual behaviors are relied upon to create a consistent
layout result - which was never the original intent of HTML to begin with.
Style sheets aim to accomplish several major things:
Separate style information from content
Increase the layout capabilities in the HTML document format
Make documents smaller, less complex, and easier to read
Promote the re-use of authoring efforts
It is up to the author to decide how to best reach these goals, and
achieving some of these goals may come at the cost of compromising others.
I would love to add pages showing the results of these code examples
above, but the big two browsers still do not support enough of the CSS
specification to display the examples as expected. Actually, you would
probably think the results are really quite ugly. I certainly do! =)
These examples were designed to illustrate CSS syntax without thought
for the final result. This just helps illustrate that without good design,
all the potential CSS capabilities in the world will not save your page.