CSS Stands for “Cascading Style Sheet.” Cascading style sheets are used to format the layout of Web pages. They can be used to define text styles, table sizes, and other aspects of Web pages that previously could only be defined in a page’s HTML.
CSS helps Web developers create a uniform look across several pages of a Web site. Instead of defining the style of each table and each block of text within a page’s HTML, commonly used styles need to be defined only once in a CSS document. Once the style is defined in cascading style sheet, it can be used by any page that references the CSS file. Plus, CSS makes it easy to change styles across several pages at once.
While CSS is great for creating text styles, it is helpful for formatting other aspects of Web page layout as well. For example, CSS can be used to define the cell padding of table cells, the style, thickness, and color of a table’s border, and the padding around images or other objects. CSS gives Web developers more exact control over how Web pages will look than HTML does. This is why most Web pages today incorporate cascading style sheets.
Advantages of CSS
CSS saves time − You can write CSS once and then reuse the same sheet in multiple HTML pages. You can define a style for each HTML element and apply it to as many Web pages as you want.
Pages load faster − If you are using CSS, you do not need to write HTML tag attributes every time. Just write one CSS rule of a tag and apply it to all the occurrences of that tag. So less code means faster download times.
Easy maintenance − To make a global change, simply change the style, and all elements in all the web pages will be updated automatically.
Superior styles to HTML − CSS has a much wider array of attributes than HTML, so you can give a far better look to your HTML page in comparison to HTML attributes.
Multiple Device Compatibility − Style sheets allow content to be optimized for more than one type of device. By using the same HTML document, different versions of a website can be presented for handheld devices such as PDAs and cell phones or for printing.
Global web standards − Now HTML attributes are being deprecated and it is being recommended to use CSS. So it’s a good idea to start using CSS in all the HTML pages to make them compatible with future browsers.
Who Creates and Maintains CSS?
CSS is created and maintained through a group of people within the W3C called the CSS Working Group. The CSS Working Group creates documents called specifications. When a specification has been discussed and officially ratified by the W3C members, it becomes a recommendation.
These ratified specifications are called recommendations because the W3C has no control over the actual implementation of the language. Independent companies and organizations create that software.
NOTE − The World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C is a group that makes recommendations about how the Internet works and how it should evolve.
How many CSS versions are there?
Cascading Style Sheets level 1 (CSS1) came out of W3C as a recommendation in December 1996. This version describes the CSS language as well as a simple visual formatting model for all the HTML tags.
CSS2 became a W3C recommendation in May 1998 and builds on CSS1. This version adds support for media-specific style sheets e.g. printers and aural devices, downloadable fonts, element positioning and tables.
The latest version of CSS is CSS 3. Both of these versions work together to create interactive desktop applications that work on both a desktop browser and a mobile browser.