01: CSS and HTML

In this module you will learn the Cascading Style Sheet system named "CSS". You can't build nice websites without knowing CSS, but you don't need to know too much CSS to get started. This module's purpose is to teach you just enough CSS to create basic websites that aren't totally ugly. This will help you understand what we do in later modules when we start to use JavaScript to make your websites interactive.

What is CSS

When you created documents in HTML you may have noticed that the display of everything is very bland, but also that it's in a straight boring line. If you place an h1 tag at the top, then some text under it, then that's at the top and the text is under it. All of the tags are displayed in the order they appear in the document and that's it. They also have boring fonts, boring white backgrounds, and use the button styles of your chosen operating system.

CSS is the tool that lets you remove all of these boring defaults and change them completely. It allows you to create a set of rules that the browser processes before rendering that part of the HTML to the screen. You can say, "This paragraph is a Helvetica font and a light gray background with a small shadow." CSS does this based on a set of "rules" you write that "selects" which HTML tags the rules apply to.

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