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The XML Files

View Style Sheet

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Before you Start . . .

Style sheets have been around for a quite awhile but went largely unnoticed by web developers until recently. Now that a majority of web browsers implement style sheet conformity, web developers are beginning to take notice of these features. The advantages of using style sheets are very apparent and are increasingly taking the place of HTML tags for presentation effects.

Style sheets represent an enormous step forward for the Web. With the separation of content and presentation between HTML and style sheets, the Web no longer needs to drift away from the strong ideal of platform independence that provided the medium with its initial push of popularity. Web developers can finally influence the presentation of documents without leaving pages unreadable to users.

Cascading Style Sheets have still not come into widespread use, but misuse of CSS has already begun. Style sheets, when used properly, can be an effective tool for providing a unique and attractive presentation, while still allowing a page to be accessible to all users. However, as soon as a page's message becomes dependent on the style sheet, the page has become a failure on the Web.

Style sheets were designed to allow the author to influence the presentation, but not to control it. Style sheets can be overridden by users who may choose their own style sheet. For this reason, web developers who depend on a specific style will find their pages inaccessible to a significant portion of users.

An additional important note to remember if using style sheets is to always use the closing tags for all situations. This means if you start a paragraph using <P>, you must also end it using </P>. This rule applies to many other tags as well along with any other elements where a closing tag was not previously required.

Keeping this in mind, we will now begin with the tutorial. You can either select a specific topic of interest from the left column, or click NEXT at the bottom of this page.