CSS Tutorials

Options for Styling Text Links and Hover States

Options for Styling Text Links and Hover StatesBecause the web is built on links, how we style our links (i.e, anchors, or <a> tags) should always be an important part of a site’s overall design, branding, and feel.

I’ve seen so many variations on the link style/color and hover style/color combination, that I thought it would be interesting to list as many of them here as possible. Some of these will be quite common and humdrum, while others may be ugly and impractical. I tried to stay away from really bizarre animated stuff, but instead chose to stick to those that you might actually see on a web page.

Understanding CSS’s vertical-align Property

Understanding CSS's vertical-align Property“Vertical-align isn’t working!” cried the web developer.

The vertical-align property is one of those features of CSS that sounds pretty self-explanatory, but can cause problems for CSS beginners. I think even many CSS veterans have had problems figuring this one out at times.

In this post, I’ll try to cover it in an understandable manner.

Don’t Forget About “transition: all”

CSS3 transition: allIf you’ve been using CSS3 transitions for some time, you might be accustomed to a certain type of syntax.

Here I’ll introduce the keyword value “all” and how it might save you a few lines of code and make things easier to maintain in the future.

Image Tint With CSS

Image Tint With CSSThe other day Paul Irish posted an article that collected together responses to a question that he and Yehuda Katz asked their Twitter folowers.

One of the wishlist items a few people mentioned was “CSS blend modes” with a use case of tinting an image on hover (or tinting it statically, then removing the tint on hover or by some other interaction). My immediate thought was: That should be simple enough, shouldn’t it?

Centered Heading Overlaying a Horizontal Line with CSS

Centered Heading Overlaying a Horizontal Line with CSSMaybe there’s a technical term that I’m not aware of for this type of centered, line-splitting heading. Whatever it’s called, I’ve used it in the new design of the footer on this site, where I’ve divided the footer into sections with headers that overlay a horizontal line.

I wanted to try to do this as efficiently as possible, and without images. I came up with three solutions with pure CSS and one that uses jQuery.

The Subtleties of CSS3 Transitions

The Subtleties of CSS3 TransitionsIf you haven’t yet used CSS3 transitions extensively, here’s something you may not have picked up on.

As I’ve outlined before, transitions can be triggered in a number of ways, and even via JavaScript. The reason for this is because the actual transition is not dependent on any particular event. Although it is the event that triggers the transition, the transition itself is completely separate from the event (as it should be).

Because of this, you’ll notice a slightly quirky behaviour if you place the transition on the part of your CSS that triggers the event.

Dealing with Empty Elements in CSS3 Animations

Dealing with Empty Elements in CSS3 AnimationsEarlier this month, Chris Coyier posted an article discussing a way to deal with the empty elements that are often needed when doing CSS3 animation.

Chris’s solution is interesting. He basically suggests (and I’m paraphrasing here) that we can give the empty elements semantic value by adding some text in each one to describe what each animated element does, or what mood it conveys. Then, the text in those empty elements can be moved off the page with CSS.

Some people got in a tizzy over the potential SEO penalties that could arise (which I kindly pointed out is probably not an issue) while others seemed to have a problem with Chris’s use of the word “semantic”.

How Do Browsers Render the Different CSS Border Style Values?

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A Comparison of Alternate CSS Border Style Values in All BrowsersYou’ve probably used CSS’s border property often, and in almost all cases you’ve probably set the border-style value to “solid”, which looks exactly the same in every browser.

We all know there are other values for border-style, but it’s likely you’ve never used any of them. You may have used a value of “dashed” or “dotted”, but probably not too often.

I thought it would be interesting to screen capture how all the different browsers display all the different values for border-style. In addition to the screen shots, I’ve provided some observations and I’ve summarized how the different values are supposed to look (according to the specification).

Triggering CSS3 Transitions With JavaScript

Triggering CSS3 Transitions With JavaScriptAt the beginning of this month I wrote a post accompanied by five demo pages that showed that CSS3 transitions could be triggered with a number of different events/states in CSS.

That alone should help you see how these types of simple animations work. But let’s take this a bit further.

CSS pseudo-classes and media queries (which I used in that other post to trigger the transitions) represent certain states for certain elements. These states occur after specific events on the page. So naturally, CSS3 transitions can also be fired using any JavaScript event. Let’s try a simple click event that toggles a class name.

Replacing Subtle Flash Animations with CSS3

Replacing Subtle Flash Animations with CSS3I often come across instances of animations and other effects that look like perfect candidates to be switched to equivalent CSS3-based solution. I recently came across a website called 84Colors, which belongs to a freelance designer named Cristiana Bardeanu.

On that site, you’ll notice there are a number of subtle animations that integrate nicely with her overall brand and design.

Her animations are done using Flash. I thought it would be fun to grab some of those elements and create a CSS3-based page that mimicked what those Flash-based objects do.