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Join James Williamson, as he shows you how to create elegant menus, links, and buttons that help visitors navigate your site faster and more intuitively. The course covers creating structured navigation that is accessible and clean, styling links, and building horizontal and vertical menus with rollover effects. The last chapter reveals how to create stylish buttons with special effects and CSS sprites.
Browser support for many of the new CSS3 features has made it possible for us to add effects to elements that could really previously only be accomplished by using images. In this exercise, we're going to explore some of those effects as we enhance the buttons that we created in our last exercise. So I've got the buttons file open, but this time it's from the 06_02 directory. I'm just going to dive right in. We've got a lot of formatting going on with our button right now, but we're going to add a little bit more to it. Just underneath cursor, I'm going to type in border-radius, and I want it to be 0.325 ems.
So if I preview this in my browser and refresh it, you can see it rounds the corner of my buttons. There are a lot of different really cool CSS3 properties out there that are starting to be supported by browsers. One of them is box-shadow. Let's play around with box-shadow and see what it can do for us. So I'm going to type in box-shadow. Here's what box-shadow can do for you. You have four sets of values that you can give it. The first value would be a horizontal offset. So let's just say 5 pixels and the next value is a vertical offset.
So let's just say 5 pixels to that too. The next value is radius and what radius means is what kind of a blur do you want. So again, let's go with 5 pixels, that sounds good. And then the next thing is spread, which means how far should this spread. Let's just stay consistent and do 5 pixels and then the very next thing is color, and you can use any color you want. Most drop shadows are black, so I'm going to say black. So I'm going to save this, go out and refresh that and sure enough there we have a drop shadow. That looks awesome, doesn't it? It takes me right back to 1996.
Again, we used to have to do that by using images, but now we can do drop shadows by doing box-shadow. Now be very subtle about how you use this. As you can see, that is not so subtle. But you can use box-shadow to do a lot of different things. That's just creating a drop shadow, but you have certain values you can pass along to it. For example, if you put inset in front of it, save that, and preview it, you can see that it takes the shadow and it adds it inside, and just because I used the color black doesn't mean you couldn't use a lighter color.
So the same way that you can add shadows, you can also use this technique to add highlights. So let me show you how I'm going to use this. I'm going to change the horizontal value from 5 pixels to 0, I'm going to change the vertical value from 5 pixels to 1, I'm going to change the radius from 5 pixels to 3 pixels, and then I'm going to get rid of spread. So what we have got going on right now is we have got 0 pixels for horizontal, 1 pixel for vertical, and a 3-pixel radius, meaning how blurry it's going to be, but no spread, which is essentially going to keep it very, very thin.
Now, I'm also going to change the color of black. I'm going to change this to rgb(162,200,229), it's kind of a lighter blue color. That's not a dark shadow. This is going to be more of a highlight. I'm going to save this, go out to my browser, refresh it, and now you can see that instead of acting like a drop shadow that has no reason to exist, we've got this really nice little highlight on the button that gives it a subtle three-dimensional effect. You can use these to do a lot of really cool different things. Now box-shadow is pretty widely supported.
However, for certain mobile browsers, we still need a prefix on these. So what I'm going to do is I'm just going to copy and paste this and on the one above it. I'm going to add a -webkit prefix to it. All the rest of the browsers are supporting now the un-prefixed version, but some of those older WebKit browsers--specifically mobile WebKit--need that, so I'm going to leave it on there. Then I am going to go ahead and save that, and we're almost finished with our button. We'll just take another look at it here again. Now there are a lot of other properties out there that you could use, tech shadow for example, those types of properties can really enhance your styles.
And at the end of the course I'm going to give you a few resources where you can go learn more about those properties and creating syntax for them. Now, we still need to add some gradients to our default button, and we still need to create the rollover and active button states. So we are going to go ahead and do that next.
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