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Article Archives

Multiple Pseudos Work by Adobe

Things are moving along in the pseudo elements world again which is exciting. Alan Stearns put together this mock spec that defines usage like ::before(n) and ::nth-pseudo().…

August 8, 2012

ShopTalk Episode 28

Dave and I were joined by Allison House and we talk about getting better at stuff, CSS grids, changing jobs, and more! Thanks to Squarespace (use code shoptalk8 for 10% off any purchase) and Environments for Humans for sponsoring. …

August 8, 2012

“Old” Flexbox and “New” Flexbox

Just so everyone is clear on this: "Flexbox" (more specifically: CSS Flexible Box Layout Module) has undergone a lot of changes in the last three years. Changes both to the spec and what browsers have implemented.

How To Tell


August 7, 201240 comments


Hakim El Hattab is at it again with a simple, beautiful, three-dimensional way to handle "hidden left side navigation" that's getting so popular on small screens. …

August 5, 2012

Poll Results: How do you order your CSS properties?

Over 10,000 people have spoken: the most popular way to order CSS properties is grouped by type.

This is how the votes broke down:

Grouped by type (45%) was fairly closely followed up by Randomly (39%). Much less popular …

August 5, 201285 comments

CSS Pie Timer

Hugo Giraudel shares how he made a "pie timer" in CSS. In his words: It's basically a piece of pie getting bigger and bigger to become a whole circle.
August 5, 201227 comments

Squarespace 6

Squarespace 6 is freshly out. It's really nice and the start of what I hope is a revolution in what building content websites is like.
August 1, 201239 comments


A code syntax highlighter by Lea Verou. Small, fast, and designed to work on front end languages. And my favorite, class names that make sense. …

July 31, 2012

Responsive Email Design

A guide from Campaign Monitor on making emails better on small screens. Some downloadable code at the end.…

July 31, 2012

Giving Users a Quick Disguised Exit From a Website

A reader wrote in with a really interesting and important question. The answer might save people from harm or literally save lives.

I am redesigning a website for domestic abuse victims. The director of the program wants me to include …

July 30, 2012115 comments

Use Cases for Multiple Pseudo Elements

I used to do an entire talk on pseudo elements. One of the things I mentioned was that there used to be a CSS3 spec that included "multiple" pseudo elements, but it was removed. That was kind of a bummer, …

July 27, 201263 comments

A Discussion About CSS Reusability

How reusable is CSS, really? Should we be doing a better job of that? Or doesn't it matter?
July 23, 2012179 comments

ShopTalk Episode 26

Dave and I do a RAPIDFIRE show this week where we try and get through as many listener questions as we can in one show. Thanks very much to Crafting Type (a 5 day workshop on building your own typeface …

July 19, 2012

Upcoming Speaking

I'm speaking at a number of events through the end of the year. Come one, come all!

  • July 19-21, 2012 UXMad, Madison, Wisconsin (Speaking on Friday)
  • August 1, 2012, CSS Summit (online)
  • August 4, 2012, WordCamp San Francisco, California
July 19, 201218 comments

Seamless iframes Today

I didn't even know there was such a thing as "seamless" iframes. But there is and they are coming (literally an attribute on the iframe element). Essentially they inherit some styles from outside of them, but are otherwise sandboxed. Perfect …

July 18, 2012

Crazy Town Selectors

I recently used this selector as an example in a blog post:

.article #comments ul > li > a.button { /* Crazy town */ }

There was a few comments to the effect that this seemed perfectly reasonable. I …

July 18, 201252 comments

Sprites and Retina Displays

CSS sprites are often used for small icons. That is exactly what looks bad on retina displays. Maykel Loomans has a way to deal with that that doesn't make our CSS twice as complicated: 1) Make sprite exactly twice as …

July 17, 2012

ShopTalk Episode 25

Dave and I were joined by Dan Cederholm and we talk about retrofitting existing sites responsively, getting back into the game, charging for fonts and lots about Dribbble. Thanks to Harvest and Environments for Humans for sponsoring.…

July 16, 2012

Judging CSS / Spotting Bad Code

In a recent Q&A article on Smashing Magazine, a question was asked about how to tell if a developer has written bad CSS. Specifically:

What are the signs that the CSS is sub-optimal, or that the developer hasn’t done a …

July 16, 2012100 comments

Some things beginners might not know about Sublime Text

Some quick hits from Alain Meier on some of the cool stuff Sublime Text 2 can do. I've been using and loving Sublime as my primary code editor for a while now. His list of A. through G. are my …

July 15, 2012

Interview on Mactuts+

I was interviewed for a brand new Mac-focused Envato blog about my 18 years as a Mac user. If you just can't get enough I was also recently interviewed on 1stwebdesigner.…

July 13, 2012

Smashing Mag CSS Q&A #2

In this one I answer questions about HTML email, baseline grids, resets, opacity issues, and more.…

July 13, 2012

UI Pattern Ideas: Email Settings

Last week I asked people to participate in some group design thinking around a specific design pattern: email settings. This was the premise:

Imagine there are three events that can happen in a web app that could trigger an email. …

July 13, 20126 comments

Beefing Up Dull Text in WebKit

While doing a bit of cross-browser poking around on CodePen, I noticed that the font for the code editors was notably duller and weaker in WebKit browsers (Safari and Chrome) than it was in Firefox or Opera. I quite …

July 11, 201237 comments

Set Text on a Circle

There isn't any super simple standardized way to set web type on a circle (or any kind of curve). But it can be done! We'll explore one way to do it here. But be forewarned, we're going to use some …

July 9, 201251 comments

ShopTalk Episode 24

Dave and I were joined by David DeSandro where we talk about working in this industry, JavaScript versus CSS3, accessibility, David's various projects, and more. Thanks to Harvest (use code SHOPTALK for 50% off first month) and Environments for Humans

July 8, 2012

Media Queries, Sass 3.2, and CodeKit

Media queries are already awesome. Media queries in Sass are already awesome. Media queries in Sass 3.2 are going to be really awesome. This is how you can get CodeKit to start using it.

This isn't a brand new idea. …

July 5, 201243 comments

The Fifth Fourth

Half a decade. That's how old CSS-Tricks turns today. That means it's time for the annual state of the union as we've done on it's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays. That reminds me. Obligatory stock art …

July 4, 201259 comments

Kickstarter Funding Closing

As I type, 36 hours left on the Kickstarter project for redesigning this website. Backing the project will get you the least expensive access ever offered to the video library of it all.…

July 3, 2012

Group Design Fun: Email Settings

Let's have a little fun tackling a design problem! We've done this once before when tackled solutions for a List with Functions. Let's do it again and tackle an Email Settings area.

Imagine there are three events that can …

July 2, 2012116 comments

Reader Survey

I'd love to gather some statistical data from ya'll if you have a few seconds. It will help with the big redesign.…

June 29, 2012

ShopTalk Episode 23

Dave and I are joined by Rogie King where we talk about illustration software, Dribbble, gettin' good and more. This weeks show was sponsored by the Incontrol Conference coming up in Hawaii. (…

June 29, 2012

Video of “What We Don’t Know”

My talk of that name being presented at Minnebar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mmmmm.…

June 29, 2012

Podcasts I Like

I do this podcast called ShopTalk Show with Dave Rupert. If you like this blog you'll probably like that show. We bring on guests but it's mostly a listener Q&A show. I've had a few folks ask me what …

June 29, 201237 comments

How to retinafy your website

A flowchart by Thomas Fuchs.…

June 28, 2012

ShopTalk Episode 22

This week Dave and I were joined by Jessica Hische and talk a bunch about typography, clients, pricing, fun side projects, and more. Don't miss her new unreal wedding website.…

June 26, 2012

CSS Regions and Shadow DOM

One of my issues with CSS regions (we explored them a bit here) was the use of empty container divs for layout options. Razvan Caliman talks about fixing that by building out your own Shadow DOM tree. Clever, cutting …

June 26, 2012

Transition Delay Delays

A while ago we covered a cool "hover" technique by Doug Neiner where an informational popup was displayed when you hovered over a picture. The first time you hovered over, there was a delay. This was to prevent accidental or …

June 26, 201218 comments


A collection of tools by Filament Group to assist with building cross-device websites. For example AjaxInclude which provides a pattern for including non-essential bits of content when the conditions are right. …

June 21, 2012

Move Website Hosting with MediaTemple SiteMover

My reasoning and experience moving hosting on MediaTemple using their SiteMover service.
June 20, 201258 comments

CodePen Beta

More big news this week: We've launched CodePen into a public beta! It's a site for building stuff from HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Perhaps for yourself to remember later, perhaps to suss out a bug or make a reduced test …

June 19, 201257 comments

Screencasting a Complete Redesign (Get Access on Kickstarter!)

Hey folks, I got some big news. Part of me going off on my own is that I plan to work harder on CSS-Tricks. Part of that is doing the biggest and best redesign ever. So I figured, why do …

June 18, 201296 comments

ShopTalk Episode 21

This week Dave and I were joined by Nicole Sullivan where we talk trolls, OOCSS, tools, and more. Thanks to the CSS Summit for sponsoring (of which all three of us will be presenting). …

June 18, 2012


An (incredible) CSS 3D Lighting Engine by Tom Giannattasio. …

June 18, 2012

Notes to an Agency Starting Their First Responsive Web Project

This past week I talked with a design agency who was about to embark upon their first responsive web design project. It sounded rather app-like. They were interested in hearing about my experiences, what to expect, what the process is …

June 16, 201228 comments

First Sighting: CSS Variables

The very first native browser implementation of CSS variables are here. Stoyan Stefanov shows them off. It will be a long while until we can use them in production but hey, onward and upward!…

June 15, 2012

New Poll: How do you order your CSS properties?

Tossed up a new poll (in the sidebar of the site, RSS folks) about how you order your CSS properties. For example:

Random .module { border: 1px solid #ccc; width: 25%; padding: 20px; position: relative; min-height: 100px; z-index: 1; border-radius:
June 15, 2012223 comments

Smashing Mag CSS Q&A

My Q&A series on Smashing Magazine lives again! This time monthly-ish and focusing on CSS.…

June 14, 2012

One, Two, or Three

That's how many CSS files should be loaded on any website.

  • A one-page site.
  • A fairly simple site with just a couple of pages that aren't too different.
  • A blog or blog-like site, where even if there are 1000's
June 14, 201259 comments

Crafting Minimal Circular 3D Buttons with CSS

A tutorial on how to make a three-dimensional circular button with font icons and CSS3.
June 12, 201249 comments

*May or may not contain any actual "CSS" or "Tricks".