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Elements of CSS

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Attribute-Value Pairs

As you saw in Listing 1, styles are defined through attribute-value pairs, separated by a colon character. The attribute is a keyword that tells the browser what characteristic of the specific element to work with. The value specifies what the browser is to do with this characteristic.

The standard generic form of a style definition is shown in the following code:

selector {
 attribute  : value;

The selector in a style definition is an identifier. It can be an HTML tag, a class name, or the ID of an individual element. The Web browser uses the selector to bind the style with the specified element or elements when it displays the content. CSS defines dozens of attributes that can be manipulated. Table 1 describes a few of the most common.

Table 1 Sample CSS Style Attributes




Use a specified font, such as Arial


Use a given size, such as 14 points or 20 pixels


Display in normal, bold, or light face


Display in normal or italics


Use text styles such as underline and strike-through


Use a foreground color as a constant (such as White) or an RGB value code (such as #A0A0A0)


Position the element from the left edge


Position the element from the top edge

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