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What is CSS?


HTML

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets

CSS describes how HTML elements are to be displayed


CSS Example

<style>

body {background-color:lightblue; text-align:center;}
h1 {color:blue; font-size:40px;}
p {font-family:verdana; font-size:20px;}

</style>
Try it Yourself »

Click on the "Try it Yourself" button to see how it works.


CSS Syntax

A CSS rule consists of a selector and a declaration block:

CSS selector

The selector points to the HTML element to style (h1).

The declaration block (in curly braces) contains one or more declarations separated by semicolons.

Each declaration includes a CSS property name and a value, separated by a colon.

In the following example all <p> elements will be center-aligned, red and have a font size of 32 pixels:

Example

<style>
p {font-size:32px; color:red; text-align:center;}
</style>

Same example can also be written like this:

<style>
p {
    font-size: 32px;
    color: red;
    text-align: center;
}
</style>
Try it Yourself »

External Style Sheet

A CSS style sheet can be stored in an external file:

mystyle.css

body {background-color: orange; font-family:verdana}
h1 {color: white;}
p {font-size: 20px;}

External style sheets are linked to HTML pages with <link> tags:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="mystyle.css">
<body>

<h1>My First CSS Example</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

Try it Yourself »


Inline Style

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="mystyle.css">
<body>

<h1>My First CSS Example</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>
<p style="font-size:25px">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p style="font-size:30px">This is a paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

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Cascading Order

If different styles are specified for HTML elements, the styles will cascade into new styles with the following priority:

  • Priority 1: Inline styles
  • Priority 2: External and internal style sheets
  • Priority 3: Browser default
  • If different styles are defined on the same priority level, the last one has the highest priority.

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="mystyle.css">

<style>
body {background-color: lightblue;}
</style>

<body style="background-color: olivedrab">
<h1>Multiple Styles Cascades into One</h1>
<p>Try experimenting by removing styles to see how the cascading stylesheets work.</p>
<p>Try removing the inline first, then the internal, then the external.</p>
</body>

</html>

Try it Yourself »



CSS Demo - One HTML Page - Multiple Styles!

Here we will show one HTML page displayed with 4 different stylesheets.

Click on the Stylesheet buttons (1-4) too see the page displayed with different styles.


Full CSS Tutorial

This has been a short description of CSS.

For a full CSS tutorial go to W3Schools CSS Tutorial.

For a full CSS reference go to W3Schools CSS Reference.