Cascading Style Sheets

What are they?

Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, or perhaps how they are pronounced. W3C has actively promoted the use of style sheets on the Web since the Consortium was founded in 1994. The Style Activity has produced several W3C Recommendations (CSS1, CSS2, XPath, XSLT). CSS especially is widely implemented in browsers.

A CSS file can be created and edited “by hand,” i.e., with a text editor, but you can also write a program in ECMAscript, Java or some other language, that manipulates a style sheet. This is in fact so common, that there are software libraries of useful functions available.

box model


You can change an XHTML element's

Getting Started

Ease of use

I never knew that CSS was so easy

- a student

How do I start?

The easiest way to start experimenting with style sheets is to download one of the browsers that support CSS. Not all of the browsers below implement the full specification, but releases are coming out fast so this should soon change.

Currently, most Web authoring tools provide some sort of support for CSS style sheets.

  1. TextPad
  2. Firefox
  3. Dreamweaver