* Examining styles and style sheets
* Understanding external style sheets versus internal style attributes
* Cascading style sheets manage complex relationships
* Dissecting a style sheet
* Imposing style in a variety of ways
Style sheets represent one of the most exciting new additions to HTML and the Web. Style sheets allow Web authors to specify layout and design elements such as fonts, colors, and indentation depths for an entire Web site. No longer can users' whims or misconfigured browsers mangle the display of style-dependent Web documents.
A style sheet's specification combines with readers' personal style settings to make sure that HTML documents display properly. Note that the term properly is determined by a document's creator, not its viewer if you don't believe us, just ask artists how they feel about their work.
This addition to the Web is so important the World Wide Web Consortium has devoted an entire section of their Web site to it. You can find a description of style sheets as well as a collection of links for further study. Look them up on the Web at:
But don't dive into this chapter expecting to find out how to create and use your own style sheets because that's not what we cover in this book! Style sheets are more than complex; they're extremely advanced and difficult to wrap your brain around. Not that we don't think you can't tackle them successfully, but they definitely aren't for beginners. The real reason we can't cover them in depth here is that we'd have to write a whole book on the subject of style sheets to do them complete justice.
Instead, we give you an introduction to the concept of style, describe Cascading Style Sheets, and show you a style sheet, complete with our comments, so you can get a taste of what they are and how they work. We hope our introduction to this important Web technology gives you an idea of what can be done with style sheets and shows you what direction you and your pages can follow after you master the fundamentals of HTML.