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Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Organization, Comments, and Signatures

One of my favorite aspects of producing clean, well-formatted CSS code is “meta-organizing” the document using comments. In CSS, comments are included in the stylesheet like so: /* i am the walrus */ When used constructively, CSS comments serve to break down documents into distinct regions, provide key information about specific declarations, and bring order to even the most complex stylesheets. In my experience, a well-commented stylesheet improves efficiency and optimizes comprehension. Working with CSS, you can add comments any […] Continue reading »

A Way to Preload Images without JavaScript that is SO Much Better

[ Preload Images with CSS ]

Responding to my first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript, CSS-Guru David Bowman graces his audience with a most enlightening set of comments. Apparently, the image-preloading technique explained in the article is “major overkill” and “totally ridiculous.” Of course, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert in CSS, but I do enjoy sharing my discoveries and watching as people improve upon them. My first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript may indeed be “pretty crappy,” […] Continue reading »

Sharpen Your Site by Removing Unwanted Link Border Outlines

[ Thumbnail: Link Outline Example 01 ]

Lately I have noticed several sites that display those unsightly dotted outlines on high-profile link elements. Typically, these link outlines plague various header elements such as banner images, navigational links, and other key features. This behavior frequently haunts highly graphical site designs and is often associated with various image replacement methods that position the original anchor text offscreen, generally far beyond the left edge of the browser window. When visible, such presentations display a ghastly, four-sided dotted border that wraps […] Continue reading »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Indentation and Spacing

In the intriguing discussion following the first obsessive CSS formatting article, Jordan Gray brought up the age-old question regarding spacing: tabs or single spaces? I smugly responded that the issue has long-since been resolved, with tabbed spacing as the obvious winner. Let’s take a look at some serious CSS spacing examples.. 1) Strictly Single Spacing Here we have several code blocks showing consistent spacing via single blank space. Three key areas where single spacing is seen in this example: after […] Continue reading »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Opening and Closing Brackets

Following my recent post on CSS code formatting, I was delightfully surprised to have received such insightful, enthusiastic feedback. Apparently, I am not the only person passionate about the subtle nuances involved with the formatting of CSS code. So, to continue the conversation, let’s explore several techniques for writing the opening and closing brackets of CSS declaration blocks. Continue reading »

Pure CSS: Better Image Preloading without JavaScript

[ Preload Images with CSS ]

After reading my previous article on preloading images without JavaScript1, Nanda pointed out that adding extra markup to preload images is not the best approach, especially where Web Standards are concerned. Mobile devices, for example, may experience problems when dealing with the following preloading technique: /* ADD THIS TO CSS */ div#preloaded-images { position: absolute; overflow: hidden; left: -9999px; top: -9999px; height: 1px; width: 1px; } <!– ADD THIS TO XHTML –> <div id="preloaded-images"> <img src="" width="1" height="1" alt="Image 01" […] Continue reading »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Patterns and Trends

Call me strange, but I format each of my CSS rules according to the following structure/pattern: div#example element { margin: 5px 15px 5px 0; border: 1px solid #444; line-height: 1.5em; text-align: center; background: #222; font-size: 10px; display: block; padding: 5px; color: #888; float: left; } div#another div.example element { border: 1px solid #444; margin: 7px 0 17px 0; letter-spacing: 1px; font-weight: bold; background: #222; font-size: 1.1em; cursor: pointer; display: block; padding: 3px; width: 308px; color: #888; clear: left; float: left; […] Continue reading »

CSS/(X)HTML Tutorial: Hovering Accessibility Jump Menu

[ Jump Menu ]

Recently, a reader named Don asked about this theme’s accessibility (accesskey) jump menu located at the top of each page. Several people have commented that they like the way the jump menu “lights up” upon gaining focus. Whenever a user hovers their cursor over the region at the top of the page, all links in the jump menu change to a more visible color. Then, as the cursor moves over the various menu items, each jump link is further highlighted […] Continue reading »

Lessons Learned Concerning the Clearfix CSS Hack

I use the CSS clearfix hack on nearly all of my sites. The clearfix hack — also known as the “Easy Clearing Hack” — is used to clear floated divisions (divs) without using structural markup. It is very effective in resolving layout issues and browser inconsistencies without the need to mix structure with presentation. Over the course of the past few years, I have taken note of several useful bits of information regarding the Easy Clear Method. In this article, […] Continue reading »

Prevent JavaScript Elements from Breaking Page Layout when Following Yahoo Performance Tip #6: Place Scripts at the Bottom

[ Screenshot: broken footer positioning in IE 7 ]

By now, everyone is familiar with the Yahoo Developer Network’s 14 best-practices for speeding up your website. Certainly, many (if not all) of these performance optimization tips are ideal for high-traffic sites such as Yahoo or Google, but not all of them are recommended for smaller sites such as Perishable Press. Nonetheless, throughout the current site renovation project, I have attempted to implement as many of these practices as possible. At the time of this writing, I somehow have managed […] Continue reading »

Position Absolute Horizontal and Vertical Center via CSS

Recently, a reader named Max encountered some scrolling issues while implementing our absolutely centered layout technique. Of course, by “absolutely centered” we are referring to content that remains positioned dead-center regardless of how the browser is resized. After noticing the scrollbar deficiency, Max kindly dropped a comment to explain the issue: the div solution works well, only one problem maybe somebody can help: if you make the browser window smaller then the div is -> the scrollbar doenst fit right […] Continue reading »

CSS Throwdown: Preload Images without JavaScript

[ Preload Images with CSS ]

Clean, easy, effective. You don’t need no stinking JavaScript to preload your images. Nope. Try some tasty CSS and (X)HTML instead! Here’s how to do it with only two easy steps.. Step 1 — Place this in your CSS file: div#preloaded-images { position: absolute; overflow: hidden; left: -9999px; top: -9999px; height: 1px; width: 1px; } Step 2 — Place this at the bottom of your (X)HTML document: <div id="preloaded-images"> <img src="" width="1" height="1" alt="" /> <img src="" width="1" height="1" alt="" […] Continue reading »

Maximum and Minimum Height and Width in Internet Explorer

Behold the seventh wonder of the virtual world: max/min-height and max/min-width properties are possible in Internet Explorer! Indeed, by taking advantage of IE’s proprietary CSS attribute, expression, you too can whip IE widths and heights into desirable proportions. The CSS expression attribute enables JavaScript commands to be executed within Internet Explorer. JavaScript via CSS? Thanks, Microsoft! Continue reading »

Keep it Dark: Hiding and Filtering CSS

Hiding and filtering CSS rules for specifically targeted browsers is often a foregone conclusion when it comes to cross-browser design considerations. Rather than dive into some lengthy dialogue concerning the myriad situations and implications of such design hackery, our current scheduling restraints behoove us to simply cut to the chase and dish the goods. Having said that, we now consider this post a perpetually evolving repository of CSS filters.. Continue reading »

Preloading Images with CSS and JavaScript

[ Preloaded Image via CSS + JavaScript ]

Fast-loading pages reduce errors, conserve bandwidth, and please visitors. One way to decrease loading times and enhance performance involves maximizing image display efficiency. Your mantra for achieving image efficiency should be “reuse, optimize, and preload.”. While each of these methods plays an important role, this article will focus on methods for preloading images. Consult your server error logs to identify web pages that may require image help. Note: preloading images does not reduce bandwidth! It only decreases apparent load time, […] Continue reading »

Firefox CSS Magic

Consider this post an evolving receptacle for Firefox-specific CSS tricks. Continue reading »

Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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Working on a new book :)
LinkedIn decided to replace my highly rated video course on WP security. For a limited time the course is still available to *logged-in* users via direct URL.
I enjoy listening to original Star Trek and NG episodes while working online. After a while it feels like I’m working on the ship as part of the crew, going on adventures.
New version (2.6) of my shapeSpace starter theme now available! Always free & open source for everyone :)
Finished updating all of my books! As always, book owners can download the latest versions for FREE :) has a very thorough list of accessibility tools.
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