CSS

What Does a Well-Documented CSS Codebase Look Like?

In the front-end community, there is a lot of attention related to documenting JavaScript. That's not so much the case with CSS. Often times I feel like lost when I join a project with minimal or no CSS documentation.

Even though CSS is relatively easy to write, it can be quite hard to maintain. The specificity, the global scope of everything, and the lack of guidance can easily lead to inconsistency, code duplication, and over-complication.

I've long been curious what a really well-documented CSS codebase looks like. Here, I'll share my experience, along with the expectations I have towards my vision of well-documented stylesheets.

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`font-display` for the Masses

Updated on January 12, 2017: Proper support checks are now part of the article body. Added information about the block value. Minor tweaks and copy edits. Enjoy!

If you're a regular reader here at CSS-Tricks, chances are good you know a bit about web fonts. You may even know a few useful tricks to control how fonts load, but have you used the CSS font-display property?

The font-display property in CSS is available in Chrome, and emerging in Firefox and Safari (but you might want to check browser support for yourself, since things change all the time). It's a simpler way of achieving what the Font Loading API is capable of, as well as third party scripts such as Bram Stein's Font Face Observer.

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CSS: Just Try and Do a Good Job

Have you ever worried that you're approaching CSS all wrong? That you're missing out on some new approach that makes everything easier and better? That you wish you were more confident about the state of your CSS?

I'm sure we can all empathize with Anna's sentiment here:

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Positioning Offset Background Images

If you need to position a background-image in CSS 20px from the left and 10px from the top, that's easy. You can do background-position: 20px 10px;. But what if you wanted to position it 20px from the right and 10px from the bottom?

Let's also assume we don't know the exact width and height of the element, which is likely, because fluid layouts and dynamic content. If we did, we could just do a little scratchpad math and use the normal background-position syntax.

A perfectly reasonable request, as they say. Here's some ways to go about it.

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Float Labels with CSS

You've probably seen this pattern going around. It's an input that appears as if it has placeholder text in it, but when you click/tap into that input, that text moves out of the way and allows you to type there. It's rather clever, I think. Brad Frost has a really good post on it, detailing the pros and cons and such.

Many of the demos I've seen involve JavaScript. The other day I was checking out at Nest.com, saw their technique for it, and I thought of a way I could pull that off without JavaScript. So here we are.

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