Article Archives

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Template Literals

The Template Literal, introduced in ES6, is a new way to create a string. With it comes new features that allow us more control over dynamic strings in our programs. Gone will be the days of long string concatenation!

To create a template literal, instead of single quotes (') or double quotes (") quotes we use the backtick (`) character. This will produce a new string, and we can use it in any way …

Loading Polyfills Only When Needed

We had this question on ShopTalk just the other day. We're so (rightfully) worried about web performance, it feels like we shouldn't be loading polyfills all the time, only when we detect they are needed. Philip Walton:

... too many people building websites today take a “lowest-common-denominator” approach. By that I mean they ship the same bundle of JavaScript to all users (regardless of browser capabilities), and the bundle they ship contains all code required to make the site work …

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Things to Watch Out for When Working with CSS 3D

I've always loved 3D geometry. I began playing with CSS 3D transforms as soon as I noticed support in CSS was getting decent. But while it felt natural to use transforms to create 2D shapes and move/rotate them in 3D to create polyhedra, there were some things that tripped me up at first. I thought I might write about the things that surprised me and the challenges I encountered so that you might avoid the same.…

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Dock Show & Tell

Someone wrote in asking about some icons in my Dock. I figured that might be a fun thing to share, and y'all can follow suit and share yours as well. I know "Docks" are a little Mac-centric, but feel free to share your most used apps on other platforms as well. I bet this changes quite a bit over the years, so it will be interesting to re-do this in years to come and see how it changes.…

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Methods for Controlling Spacing in Web Typography

If you were developing sites in 2006, then you may have worked with a designer like me who was all up in your business about fonts not looking exactly the same in the browser as they did in mockups.

Then you may have tried explaining to me the pains of cross-browser compatibility and how different browsers render fonts differently from one another. In response, I likely would have sent you an image file that contains the content instead to make …

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System Fonts in SVG

There was a time when the smart move in picking fonts for a website was to a font-family that was supported across as many platforms as possible. font-family: Tahoma; and whatnot. Or even better, a font stack that would fall back to as-similar-as possible stuff, like font-family: Tahoma, Verdana, Segoe, sans-serif;.

These days, an astonishing number of sites are using custom fonts. 60%!

No surprise, there is also a decent amount of pushback on custom fonts. They need to …

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Accessible SVGs in High Contrast Mode

The following is a guest post by Eric Bailey. You know how people change settings sometimes to make it easier to use for them? For example, they bump up the default font size in their browser so it's easier for them to read. As web designers, we like to accommodate that. We consider it good accessibility. The same goes here. Some people on Windows enable "High Contrast Mode" to make their computer screen easier for them to work with.

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Inky and Slinky

Inky is kinda like a preprocessor for HTML created by Zurb, specifically designed for responsive emails.

I'm sure a lot of us have hand-coded HTML emails (I do it regularly) and know that it's typically <table></table> soup. It's not even just the tables that are annoying, but the fact that there are so many of them nested to do even fairly simple things it's hard to keep straight.

Inky's appeal is pretty clear from the first demo in their docs:…

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Move a WordPress Site by Moving the Database and Files

The following is a guest post by Erez Elias. Erez recently attended a WordCamp and wrote to me inspired to write something about WordPress. We agreed this was an interesting topic, and one I've been meaning to document myself as it's something I've done about 100 times in my life and there is always one little detail I gotta look up.

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Reframe.js Notes

FitVids.js is still a perfectly workable mini plugin for making videos (or anything) responsive. You need it, or something like it, for sites that have things like YouTube or Vimeo videos, Instagram embeds, or really anything that's not responsive in the aspect-ratio sense. <img />/<video></video> resize their width/height in an aspect ratio friendly way, <iframe></iframe>/<canvas></canvas>/<object></object> do not.

Reframe.js is kind of a modernized version of FitVids.…

Web Animation Workshops

I’m thrilled to announce a brand new workshop series I’m starting with Val Head about web animation! We’ll be taking two-day workshop around to different cities starting this November, starting with Austin and New York. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been diving into animation already, this course won’t just get you started- you’ll leave with all the tools necessary to make subtle and beautiful web animations, and how to pick the right tools for the job.

Val and I …

From WordPress to Apple News, Instant Articles, and AMP

I managed to get CSS-Tricks publishing to Apple News (example link), Instant Articles (example link), and AMP (example link). The linked up article is a writeup of how that all works, starting with this self-hosted WordPress site.

Feel free to yell at me for promoting walled gardens and ruining the web.

— Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) September 18, 2016

I like the idea of writing on MY site and publishing wherever people will read it.…

“OpenType Variations Fonts”

Over on the Typekit Blog, Tim Brown has written about an exciting development in the world of web fonts: an improvement to the OpenType font file specification.

This might not sound all that exciting at first, but “variable fonts” allows designers and developers to embed a single font file into a webpage and then interpolate the various widths and weights we need from a single file. That means smaller files, fewer requests, and more flexibility for designers. However, this …

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Divi 3.0 and the future of WYSIWYG has arrived. Test out Divi's new visual page builder for WordPress today and find out why it's the best and easiest way to build a beautiful website. Now you can build your website on your actual website.

Simply drag, drop edit and combine over 40 content elements to create just about any type of page you can imagine. Adjust fonts, colors, sizing and spacing and observe your changes instantly. The new front-end …

Explaining CSS Levels

Rachel Andrews:

... it doesn’t make sense to draw a line at which all work is stopped on all parts of CSS in order to declare that CSS version finished. Therefore, after CSS2.1 all the things that had been part of the 2.1 specification were broken down into modules.

It's easy to joke "Maybe we'll get that in CSS17!", but that plays into the idea that CSS will be versioned (ala "ES6"), and those days area already over.

CSS3 …

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Using Dynamic Hashes in File Names with WordPress’ Enqueue Function

The following is a guest post by Pascal Klau, a self-described trainee web developer from Germany working with WordPress, Gulp, and more recently VueJS and Webpack.

During my journey of learning web technology, I stumbled upon the importance of file caching. It's a pretty important thing for web page performance. I also sometimes notice that when a file was changed, and you refreshed the page, the browser can still be using the old version (because of the cache). There …

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Transpiling ES6

While support for ES6 is always increasing, we can't always assume that users will be using a browser that supports all its features. So, in order to utilize ES6 features now and make sure we won't run into cross-browser compatibility issues, we need to transpile our code.

Let's look at two possible ways we can perform the task of transpiling our code. First, we will use npm scripts and Babel. For the second, we will look at using Gulp with …

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A Nerd’s Guide to Color on the Web

There are a lot of ways to work with color on the web. I think it’s helpful to understand the mechanics behind what you’re using, and color is no exception. Let's delve into some of the technical details of color on the web.…

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Building Resizeable Components with Relative CSS Units

The following is a guest post by Ahmad Shadeed. Ahmad has put together a ton of examples to show off how using relative units can benefit us. I think a lot of us think of units like em as being for font-size, which it is, but can also be for lots of other things, tying together typographic sizing and other visual elements.

Autoprefixing with CSS Variables

I'd call this a bonafide CSS trick, courtesy Lea Verou.

Don't miss the comments, in which Sérgio Gomes reminds us this might make it easier to change values in JavaScript, because you could skip worrying about prefixes there. Changing CSS variables in JavaScript is already rather appealing, as the changes will disperse throughout wherever they are used naturally.

And Andrea Giammarchi's trick, where you create a setup that behaves almost like a @mixin with default values:

* { --box-shadow:

Sponsor: Media Temple

CSS-Tricks is a WordPress site hosted on Media Temple. In fact, I think it's a poster child for a WordPress site. Meaning, it uses a slew of WordPress features that rather nicely support everything I want to do on this site. A blog! Forums! A Store! User management! Several unique taxonomies!

Media Temple has WordPress-specific hosting packages, and many other hosting packages ranging up through private virtual servers, dedicated servers, and even managed Amazon Web Services.

They know …

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8-Digit Hex Codes?

Weird right? 4-digit hex codes too. They are a way put alpha transparency information into the hex format for colors. You might be seeing it more all the sudden if you use Chrome, because it dropped in 52, and the DevTools seem to be defaulting to showing alpha transparent colors in this format even if you set it originally using something else.

Firefox supports it too, for the record.…

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Make a Super Quick Little Slider to Play with Some Values

It's not all that hard to change some values in CSS and refresh a browser window. Or play with those values in DevTools. Or have a style injection setup, of which there are many ways. But sometimes it's also nice to give yourself (or whoever else) a good ol' fashioned UI control to play with a value.…

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My New Favorite ES6 Toy: Destructured Objects as Parameters

Like a lot of other developers, I’m working through my continued education learning what I can about ES6. One of the ways I’m doing this is to attend workshops by smart people. I went to Kyle Simpson’s ES6: The Good Parts course and found myself particularly interested in the practical applications of a piece of ES6 I had previously not noticed: Destructured Objects as Parameters.…

The Math of CSS locks

Florens Verschelde digs into the numbers behind the concept Tim Brown was talking about the other day.

When I tried wrapping my head around Tim’s implementation, and creating variants of it, I had a hard time figuring out what was going on exactly. I did a lot of back-of-the-envelope calculations, and I thought it would be useful to share a mathematical explanation.

Here's my layman's explanation:

  1. You can make a value (like font-size) flexible with viewport units.
  2. Using

Slicing SVG 9 Ways

Paul Lewis animated a 3D Card Flip. Straightforward enough there, but this needed a shadow element as well:

The shadow may need to move around or fade, so we need a solution that we can animate with transforms & opacity, since they can be handed off to the GPU. It will need to be separate to the element it’s shadowing, since we will likely want to fade and move it without affecting the other element.

He tried box-shadow and filter:

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CSS-Tricks Chronicle XXVIII

I was interviewed by Justin Crawford on the Mozilla Hacks blog about cross browser compatibility.

What motivates you to make the extra effort to build a cross-browser compatible site?

Money. People pay for websites that work for them. Here’s a little example: Just last week we were working on some drag-and-drop functionality in a new part of CodePen. Worked great in Chrome, didn’t work in either Firefox or Safari. Tim Holman, one of our front-end devs, had to spend a …

I Wanted to Type a Number

Zach Leatherman on the weirdnesses of numeric inputs. A new hero is born:

Luckily, the web standards people have recognized this mess and have standardized an appetizing alternative: the inputmode attribute. inputmode lets you directly specify which type of keyboard to use, independent of the type attribute value.

This new attribute isn't supported anywhere yet, though.

They've also create a new plugin to help normalized numeric input behavior.…

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Are icons content?

Edd Morgan writes in:

Obviously we all agree that the markup should contain only content, nothing ornamental. But what category do icons fall into? Are they not ornamental, therefore should not exist in the markup and be defined purely in CSS?…

(Survey) The State of JavaScript 2016

Preliminary results #1 interesting takeaways: 74% of people who haven't used React are interested in learning it, and 92% who do would use it again (topping both charts). Vue is a close second in "would use again". Of the lesser-known frameworks, Aurelia is the most-suggested.

Preliminary results #2 interesting takeaways: not many people have TypeScript (or Elm) but have large numbers of want-to-learn folks. CoffeeScript has decent have-used-before numbers and quite low would-use-again numbers. People tend to like JavaScript and …

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When is the Right Time to Think about Web Performance?

Web performance is vital, but lately I’ve felt that the topic has only been brought up by front-end developers, and only becomes a point of discussion at the end of a project. Subsequently, whenever I hear about solutions to trim down large websites, I can’t help but feel that these are merely suggestions or tricks that developers and engineers should employ after the initial design process has kicked off.…

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Fun Times With CSS Pixel Art

Pixel art is one of those lost art forms that have been overshadowed by super crisp, high resolutions images. I stumbled on some pixel art while surfing around CodePen and it reminded me how awesome it is.…

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Developing Extensible HTML and CSS Components

The following is a guest post by Jon Yablonski. Jon is going to show us an example of how we might approach markup such that one component is particularly versatile. It works as-is, and has a standardized way of making variations (adding a single class) that allow the design to be altered to fit the situation.

Babel Plugin to Add Function Names

Have you ever been working with those sweet new ES6 arrow functions, run into a problem, and noticed that now your stack trace is all anonymous functions? Yeah, that's not so great. That's why this Babel plugin is so useful. You can add names to your ES6 arrow functions, and it makes debugging a lot more simple.…

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Use Cases for Fixed Backgrounds in CSS

File this into a category of personal "CSS Ah-Ha Moments".

The background-attachment property has never seemed all that useful to me. I have always looked at it as some sort of old school design trick from the GeoCities days to get a repeating background to stay in place during scroll.…

Sponsored Posts

We do advertising here on CSS-Tricks! We like it. It's part of the wheel of life on the web. Products and services co-existing with publishers in a global ecosystem, where everyone focuses on what they are good at.

We actually try to make advertising better here. Nothing obtrusive, no garbage products or services, no tracking, sponsors are marked as such. Besides allowing us to sleep at night, it makes the advertising more effective.

One of the most effective types of …

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Trusting SSL Locally on a Mac

I run most of my production sites with forced SSL, including CSS-Tricks. But locally, I've avoided getting SSL working properly. I've always avoided it, perhaps because it's not immediately obvious how to do it. It's also not that big of a deal since it's just local traffic. But hey, might as well make local work as close to production is possible eh?…

What the heck is the event loop anyway?

In 2014, Philip Roberts gave a great talk at JSConf EU, walking through the event loop and breaking down what JavaScript is doing under the hood for those of us without CS degrees. I came across this talk the other day in my Twitter stream, and really enjoyed it. Even though it's a couple years old, it has stood the test of time and remains a great resource.…

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How To Use WebPageTest and its API

While the richness and interactivity of the average website has changed dramatically over the last decade, the same can be said about the expectations of those who consume it. This page has a list of reports that show how businesses were able to establish a direct correlation between the their website's performance and conversion/revenue figures. For example, the engineering team at the Financial Times conducted a test which showed that an increase of just one second in load time caused …

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Websites We Like: August 2016

Here are some of the websites we’ve stumbled upon lately that have made us all collectively Oooo and Aaaah with delight. Sometimes we literally type "oooooo" into the Slack channel where we save and discuss these. It's a fairly new thing we've started doing. Enjoy!…

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`font-display` for the Masses

The following is a guest post by Jeremy Wagner, a web developer, author, and speaker living in the Twin Cities. He's got a new book on web performance. Here we're going to dig into a brand new CSS feature, that once it percolates through the browser ecosystem, will be great for performance.

If you're a regular reader here at CSS-Tricks, chances are good that you're familiar with using web fonts. You may even know a few useful tricks …

CSS “locks”

Tim Brown with a new (metaphorical) term to describe a value that can fluctuate between two set values:

In canal and river navigation, a lock is a device used for raising and lowering vessels between stretches of water that are at different levels. That’s exactly what our formula accomplishes. Our formula is a CSS calc “lock”.

To fluctuate between a 1.3em and 1.5em line-height depending on the screen width:

line-height: calc(1.3em + (1.5 - 1.3) * ((100vw - 21em)/(35 -
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A Case Study on Boosting Front-End Performance

The following is a guest post by Declan Rek, who works as a developer at De Voorhoede, a front end tech agency. A version of this article was originally published on their blog. Declan asked about republishing here, and as it is jam-packed with real world case study performance stuff, I was into it.

At De Voorhoede we try to boost front-end performance as much as possible for our clients. It is not so easy to convince every …

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Staggering Animations

The following is a guest post by David DeSandro. David wanted to offer a new feature in Isotope: staggered animations. Like so many things web, there are lots of ways he could have approached it. Here he looks at some of the possibilities, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and what he ultimately went with for Isotope.

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The Average Web Page (Data from Analyzing 8 Million Websites)

The following is a guest post by Catalin Rosu, who along with some colleagues, dug up a ton of data about the HTML content of web sites. This is the most recent study of its kind and wildly fascinating to see the results. I find it especially fun to compare the top results to what I would have guessed would have won.

We've all been there. We try to improve our HTML code making it clean, beautiful, and readable. …

10k Apart

This year is An Event Apart's 10th anniversary. In order to celebrate, they are putting on competition called 10K Apart where people show off what can be accomplished in 10kB of data. This isn't a new competetion- its first genesis has been a project called 5k way back in 2000-2002. This year is sponsored by Microsoft Edge and they're giving away $10K in prizes to competitors. The judge panel has top professionals from web development, talented people like Sara Soueidan

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