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Links for learning CSS

A friend of mine asked for tutorials and resources for cascading style sheets (CSS), so I complied the following list of sites. The most comprehensive place to start is by reviewing the CSS specification (current version is 2.1). The spec is published and maintained by the World Wide Web Consorium (W3C), which also a tutorial on CSS.

W3Schools is a good site with excellent tutorials for HTML, CSS, XHTML, among others. I learned HTML/CSS there — and then had to unlearn some things. W3Schools is geared towards coding towards Internet Explorer, which doesn’t necessarily match the actual W3C specs.

An easy way to play with CSS is to start with standards-compliant templates that work in a wide range of browsers.


Get a good CSS editor like TopStyle from Bradsoft (http://topstyle4.com) that has a list of selectors as drop-down boxes — that way you don’t have to memorize things. There used to be a freeware version, TopStyle Lite, that provides a good starting point.

Western Civ, creators of Style Master CSS editor, has an excellent tutorial for CSS.

A List Apart is probably the best place to find information on best design practices and how to work around common problems. Cutting edge stuff by some of the best in the industry.

Eric Meyer’s home page has a great set of links for CSS references and related items.

Want to see what CSS can really do? Take a look at CSS Zengarden and CSS Vault. Some excellent examples of how CSS can completely change the appearance of a page by swapping the CSS without touching the page’s code.

CSS Layout for Fun and Profit (glish.com) also has great articles and information.

Once you have a CSS sheet created, it should be validated against the spec (this is also a great troubleshooting tool) by using the W3C CSS Validator.

If you really can’t find something, chances are that “Holy CSS, Zeldman!” has a link to it.

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