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CSS Basics

What is CSS?

HTML was never intended to be a design medium. Other than allowing for bold and italic, version 1 lacked a standardized way to load fonts or even format text. Formatting commands were added along the way—up to version 3 of HTML—to address these limitations, but these changes still weren’t enough. Designers resorted to various tricks to produce the desired results. For example, they used HTML tables to simulate multicolumn and complex layouts for text and graphics, and they used images when they wanted to display typefaces other than Times or Helvetica.

HTML-based formatting was so misguided a concept that it was deprecated from the language less than a year after it was formally adopted in favor of cascading style sheets (CSS). CSS avoids all the problems of HTML formatting while saving time and money too. Using CSS lets you strip the HTML code down to its essential content and structure and then apply the formatting separately so that you can more easily tailor the webpage to specific devices and applications.

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