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103 comments

CSS Off Results

Alright so after one missed deadline, the results are here! You can browse all the scores and see peoples entries on the CSS Off results page.

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New Poll: Server Side Languages

A bit of a cookie-cutter poll this time, but sometimes those lead to the biggest and most interesting discussions. This is for the folks around here who are more of web developers than web designers:

What is your server-side language of choice?

Poll is on the site in the sidebar for your voting pleasure (now moved to the archives).

Many of you probably know multiple languages. Some of you probably are forced to write in particular languages for your …

28 comments

Poll Results: Punctuation Inside or Out?

Quite a lot of people weighed in on this poll that went out in January. The question was:

Should tags like em and strong go <em(outside)</empunctuation characters, or (<stronginside them</strong)?

Like many polls around here, the question was interesting and stirred up some great conversation, but the question itself was probably flawed. There were only two choices: outside and inside, referring to placement of the HTML tags. So if "outside", in the example in the …

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CSS Off Update

I was telling everyone to check back Wednesday for CSS Off results. Well... #facepalm. Huge apologies, we still aren't quite ready. As it turns out judging 136 entries is quite a huge task. The important bit: come hell or high water, results will be posted Monday. You'll be able to browse all the entries and see how we scored each based on the criteria we chose. So between the organization, initial judging, top entries judging, and crafting the results …

35 comments

Rabble Rabble Rabble!

CSS3 is a big mess! 4+ rules for making a corner round or adding a drop shadow! Preposterous! Where are the standards?!

I've been hearing a ton of that. There is something of a point here. We all like standards, no question they are a good thing for the industry. Seeing a bunch of messy/repeated code like CSS3 can produce doesn't feel like the clean happy code that standards is supposed to be all about.

But here is the deal.…

Updates / Links

If you were interested in that CSS Tabs stuff from yesterday, check out the new demo. I got a little obsessed with it and tried out a bunch more things. Still nothing I'd call a 100% perfect replacement to using JavaScript for tabs, but getting a lot cleaner and closer.

I'm sure most of you read these sites anyway, but just in case... …

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CSS3-Only Tabbed Area

MORE CURRENT ARTICLE: Functional CSS Tabs Revisited

When you think of "tabs", your mind might go right to JavaScript. Watch for a click on a tab, hide all the panels, show the one corresponding to tab just clicked on. All major JavaScript libraries tackle tabs in some way. But there is a way to accomplish this same idea with "pure CSS". Just as we did with the CSS Image Switcher, let's tackle this traditionally JavaScript project with only CSS.…

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Unicode Characters for Class Names

Reader Kartlos emailed me in pointing to me to an interesting article by the great Mr. Snook from a few years back. I don't think I had seen it before and it's a bonafide "CSS Trick" so I thought I would share.

The idea is that you can use unicode characters (read: fancy symbols) for class names in your HTML, and even use write CSS selectors with those same characters.

<div class="♫"> A.A. Bondy <em>I Can See The Pines Are
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Increment Inputs with the Mousewheel

In the past we've covered adding +/- buttons to number-based inputs to help user interface (it's easier than typing in some circumstances). Reader Hitesh N Chavda emailed me with the idea of doing it with the scroll of the mouse wheel instead.


With the mouse cursor inside the input box, you can use the mouse scroll wheel to increment the number up and down.

Hitesh worked up a technique for doing it using jQuery, which works great. Then later he …

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Digging Into WordPress, v2 Back in Print

We sold out of our first batch of Digging Into WordPress books in a matter of weeks. We could have just ordered more as soon as supplies were low, but it just so happened that right about that time WordPress 2.9 was out, which has many new features. We were already working on revising the book, so we figured instead of reprint books that were 2.8.6 based, we would wait to finish all the 2.9.2 stuff and reprint the book …

25 comments

New Snippet Buttons

I've added two new buttons to all of the code snippets in the Snippets section of the site. Now a button to add directly to Snippets.app and a button to directly copy to the clipboard join the Coda and Textmate buttons.

Read on for some more details about them, and remember, you can help the Snippets section grow by submitting yours.…

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Multiple Login Forms with Highlighting

This is a little specific... but I figured what the heck maybe it will be useful for someone. I recently had occasion to make multiple different login forms on a single page. With CSS we know we can apply styling to active inputs with :active. That's useful... and we've covered how to do both input and label highlighting before. But now we need go one step up and highlight the current form itself.

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Multiple Class / ID and Class Selectors

Can you spot the difference between these two selectors?

#header.callout { } #header .callout { }

They look nearly identical, but the top one has no space between "#header" and ".callout" while the bottom one does. This small difference makes a huge difference in what it does. To some of you, that top selector may seem like a mistake, but it's actually a quite useful selector. Let's see the difference, what that top selector means, and exploring more of that …

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Chat2: Group Chat Room with PHP, jQuery, and a Text File

This is an update to original Chat Room we published here on CSS-Tricks. In some ways, the technology is the same. We are going to employ PHP to talk to the server, jQuery to keep the chat rolling, and the chats themselves will be stored in .txt files just like the first version.

What is changed is the addition of some new features:

  • Usernames are unique to users currently chatting
  • You can see a "currently chatting" user list
  • There are
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Highlight PHP and JavaScript Code with PHP

PHP has a cool function that automatically highlights PHP code called highlight_string(); Theoretically this could be used to roll your own code highlighting on a site, rather than rely on JavaScript or some kind of external service to do it. In this article I'll show you the basics of how it works, then extended it with a few tricks. Since JavaScript is so similar to PHP in syntax, we can trick the function into highlighting JavaScript code as well. Then …

77 comments

CSS Off Update

Wave that checkered flag! Comments are closed and the entry form is shut down as the deadline for the CSS Off has now passed. We had an incredible 136 entries! A few right at the buzzer which makes me worry some people didn't make it, but them was the rules. I honestly thought there would be 20, 30 tops.

We'll begin judging shortly. This is going to be a big task for @dougneiner and I, so please bear with us …

114 comments

The Skinny on CSS Attribute Selectors

CSS has the ability to target HTML elements based on any one of their attributes. You probably already know about classes and IDs. Check out this bit of HTML:

<h2 id="title" class="magic" rel="friend">David Walsh</h2>

This single element has three attributes: ID, class, and rel. To select the element in CSS, you could use an ID selector (#first-title) or a class selector (.magical). But did you know you can select it based on that rel attribute as well? That is what …

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Five Questions with Jonathan Longnecker

I met Jonathan at a conference last year. Jonathan was giving a presentation about ExpressionEngine and how good it is for designers. He gave me a good natured ribbing about my use of WordPress. Read the interview below where I ask him about that, his work, his side projects, and more.…

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The Great CSS Off & Giveaway

Alrighty folks, here's the deal. I have a whole bunch of stuff I want to give away. Mostly books on web design and development. I've been deep in thought trying to figure out the best way to give them all away. I definitely didn't want to spam Twitter. I also didn't want to do a "just leave a comment" deal because I think that's too easy and just leaves behind a sea of junk comments.

I've settled on a good …

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jQuery MagicLine Navigation

These "sliding" style navigation bars have been around a while, I just thought I'd take a crack at doing it myself as the opportunity came up recently. Turns out it's really pretty darn easy. I put two examples together for it.…

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How nth-child Works

There is a CSS selector, really a pseudo-selector, called nth-child. Here is an example of using it:

ul li:nth-child(3n+3) { color: #ccc; }

What the above CSS does, is select every third list item inside unordered lists. That is, the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, etc. But how does that work? And what other kinds of things can you do with nth-child? Let's take a look.…

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Threadsy Invites / Haiti Poster Project

Two things today.

First, have you guys heard of Threadsy? I hadn't, but apparently they got 2nd place at TechCrunch 50, which is pretty great. It's a web application that combines several of your online "input streams" (e.g. Email, Twitter, and Facebook). I think that's actually all they do right now, which I find kind of awesome, because those are the only ones I use anyway.

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Link Underlines Grow to Backgrounds on Hover

A reader recently emailed in asking if I knew a way to have links be underlined, and then have the underline grow upwards on hover and turn into a background/highlight effect. I ended up trying three different things, with varying levels of success.
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Free Template: DocTemplate

Totally free template for ya'll today. It is fully of AJAX navigation goodness, so subpages load dynamically with no page reload. If you don't like that part (for example, you are trying to put JavaScript demos on the subpages and they won't load that way) just remove the JavaScript files from the header and it will revert to regular nav. Enjoy!
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Make All Links Feel Subtly More Button-Like

On this current design of CSS-Tricks, you may have noticed how all links bump themselves down one pixel as you click them. I started noticing this effect on sites of luminaries like Tim Van Damme and Andy Clarke, so credit where credit is due.

As you might imagine, it's incredibly simple. Let's take a look.…

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Thank You (2009 Edition)

Before January slips away from me, I want to get my annual Thank You post out! Thanks to TheDoc (our resident prolific forums guru) for reminding me.

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Designers These Days…

... have a good design sense and understand the fundamentals / design principals.
... know all the major design software including the entire Adobe Creative Suite.
... have some basic video editing skills.
... know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
... know enough about server-side languages (PHP, ASP, Ruby, Python, etc) to understand how they work, what they do, and the possibilities of their use.
... know about servers, hosting, domain registrants, DNS, etc. Setting it up, and fixing it when …

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Redesigning an “Edit Product” Page

I decided that in 2010, I was going to design more things. I didn't do as much just straight up designing of things in 2009. So rather than wait around for opportunities to come to me, I am going to just pick random things to redesign. At the day job we just got done doing a whole ton of data entry for a client, that we do every year when they revise their catalog. We use Pinnacle Cart for this …

26 comments

Updated Bookshelf

In an effort to provide a permanent resource to the question "are there any books you recommend?", I created the CSS-Tricks Bookshelf. It had slowly gone out of date, so now I've bought it back up to date with new version of books, some new favorites, and some old classics.


This kick ass book, and more, on the updated bookshelf.…
41 comments

IE Background RGB Bug

Using RGBa for progressive enhancement is getting more and more popular, which is awesome. Even nearly a year ago it was pretty much ready to rock. A great way to handle the progressive enhancement part is just to declare a fallback color before the RGBa value, so older browsers that don't support it will get a solid color version:

div { background: rgb(200, 54, 54); /* The Fallback */ background: rgba(200, 54, 54, 0.5); }

The above works just …

96 comments

New Poll: Tag/Punctuation Placement

There is probably a right and wrong answer for this, so if that emerges, I'll update this article and mention it in the results. Regardless, I don't think it's obvious, so this poll should be answered on what you currently actually do, not the "correct" answer.

Should special marks in sentences be contained within inline tags like strong and em, or outside of them.

For example:

Was that really Meg Ryan in <strong>Cherry 2000</strong>?

Or should the question mark come …

122 comments

How To Create an IE-Only Stylesheet

This article has been updated from an older version (originally Sept 24, 2007). I just wanted to expand it and make it more clear.

If you read this blog, there is a 99% chance you've had a hair-pulling experience with IE. But if you are worth your salt as a CSS coder, you should be able to deal with it. I am of the opinion that you can handle anything IE can throw at you without the use of hacks. …

36 comments

Poll Results: Hyphens, Underscores, or camelCase?

My intention with this poll was to be kinda vague, so that people would respond about what they like the best instead of thinking of one particular instance of usage. Usage could be where ever you need to manually name something: CSS classes and ID's, programming function names, file names, usernames and passwords, basically anywhere you can't use, but benefit from simulating, spaces.…

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Increase Traffic by Reducing Traffic

What? Yeah sorry, dumb title.

Here's my point: when websites offer awesome things that seemingly would reduce the amount of traffic they get, the cumulative effect is increasing traffic. …

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Rational Z-Index Values

A reader named Arjan recently emailed me telling me about a website that The Printliminator didn't work on. They had traced it back to the fact that the site used a bunch of "overlays" with ridiculously high values for z-index. The Printlimintor injects itself on the page with absolute positioning and a z-index value of 10000, which I already consider to be ridiculously high. So should we start playing this game and come back with even more ridiculously higher z-index …

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Background Desires

The background property is a major player in what makes the awesome CSS designs of today possible. There are just a few properties that make it up: background-color, background-image, background-position, background-repeat, and background-attachment. Very simple, very powerful. I have a couple of other ideas that seem to make sense to me: background-opacity and background-anchor.…

75 comments

Curating Comments Threads

Long comment threads on blog posts are a mixed blessing. It is great to have stirred up such great community discussion. But anything beyond, say, 20 comments is beginning to get beyond what anyone is willing to actually read. What likely happens is people read the article, read the first few comments, then start just scanning them (at increasingly swift rates) until they hit the bottom, then read the last one or two. At least, that's what I do.

WordPress …

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Random Ad Positions

If you have multiple display ads of the same size in a block on your site, a good thing to do is randomize their position in the block. It's more fair to the advertisers and the different layouts reduce ad blindness. The ads currently on this site from BuySellAds do this automatically, but if you have your own manual system, here are three different ways to randomize.

View Demo   Download Files

97 comments

Less Ridiculous Standard Ad Sizes

I recently said that I thought the current "standard" pixel dimensions for ads are ridiculous. 728x90? 88 x 31? Wha? I have a new idea: ad sizes that make sense.

Let's start with a basic building block. 125x125 is very popular, already a current "standard", and supported by a wide variety of ad networks. So if we start there, and chose a reasonable gutter size (10px), we can build a whole system of ad sizes that make sense.

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Filtering Blocks v2

This is an update to the first version of filtering blocks I did a while back. The idea is that you have a long list or large set of "blocks" on the page. Each block belongs to a certain group. There is navigation on the page for viewing all of them at once, or selecting which group you would like to see. Selecting a particular group hides the blocks from any other group, hence "filtering".

 

View Demo   Download

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Cross Domain iframe Resizing

<iframe>'s which display content from different domains have security measures in place to prevent all sorts of stuff. For example, you can't have JavaScript access anything inside it. It can be very frustrating, for example, if you just want to do something normal and white-hat like adjust the height of the iframe to fit the content inside it. These security measures are in place to prevent all the black-hat kind of things you could do if you did have JavaScript …

40 comments

On Web Advertising

On this week's screencast I talk about online advertising. What it is, how it works, and mostly, my opinions about it. I thought I'd recap here and touch on some things I forgot about.…

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One Page Résumé Site

A friend of mine recently sent me her résumé to look over. I'm definitely not a professional job hunter but I think in these situations any extra set of eyes can help fine tune the final product. As it was, the résumé was a Microsoft Word document, which in itself is fine, but it wasn't particularly well designed. I thought, we're going on 2010 here, we might as well take this thing to the web!

I created a really simple …

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Seeing The Details

When a great musician hears a great song, what do they hear? I am not a great musician so I can only speculate. I would guess that they listen for the emotion behind the song. Great songs are great because of their delivery of honest emotion, in any genre. I also think they listen for the intangibles. They try and put their fingers on the elusive qualities and little details that make a great song great.

I think this is …

47 comments

Digging Into WordPress – in Print!

The print version of Digging Into WordPress the book is now available here. It's been an awesome journey, taking this from idea to final product and having 100% control over everything. That is a story for another post, for now let's take a look at the book!

18 comments

Automatic IMDb / Netflix / Amazon Movie Links

In this article we'll look at a way to automatically create and insert links that link out to the popular movie-based sites (or sections) Netflix, Amazon, and IMBb. We'll use jQuery JavaScript for this, so that this happens on the fly using soley the name of the movie, reducing what would be a tedious chore of manually collecting all these links into just a few lines of code.
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Multi-product Quantity-based Order Form

The point of this form is that users enter quantities for different products and the math is done automatically updating all the different totals: quantity total, subtotal, shipping total, and final total. Monetary formatting is kept intact with some helper functions. Foxycart is integrated to show how it might work in the "real" world.
180 comments

Design v6

I've been tinkering with this redesign maybe a month or two, and decided to push it out last night. I had been using it myself thanks to the Theme Switch plugin, but there was a few things I had to actually go live before I could change, so I just did it. As usual, it's not an absolute overhaul, more of a refresher.