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CSS: Core Concepts
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Element selectors


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CSS: Core Concepts

with James Williamson

Video: Element selectors

For the remainder of this chapter, I want to focus on selectors. Now as I mentioned before, selectors allow us to target elements on the page, and we have a lot of selectors available to us through CSS. We are going to explore the majority of these selectors individually in just a moment, but for this movie, I want to start with perhaps the most basic selector, and that is the element selector. Now the element selector allows you to target content on the page based on the element that contains it. It's an extremely powerful selector, but as we're going to see, it's also a very broad one.
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  1. 4m 57s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 2s
  2. 1h 7m
    1. Exploring default styling
      4m 56s
    2. CSS authoring tools
      2m 29s
    3. CSS syntax
      4m 45s
    4. Writing a selector
      4m 10s
    5. Setting properties
      8m 40s
    6. Common units of measurement
      7m 47s
    7. Inline styles
      5m 1s
    8. Embedded styles
      5m 19s
    9. Using external style sheets
      10m 34s
    10. Checking for browser support
      8m 48s
    11. Dealing with browser inconsistencies
      5m 30s
  3. 2h 15m
    1. Structuring HTML correctly
      2m 51s
    2. Element selectors
      4m 52s
    3. Class selectors
      6m 4s
    4. ID selectors
      3m 27s
    5. Using classes and IDs
      10m 7s
    6. Element-specific selectors
      4m 35s
    7. The universal selector
      5m 42s
    8. Grouping selectors
      4m 49s
    9. Descendent selectors
      7m 32s
    10. Child selectors
      5m 7s
    11. Adjacent selectors
      5m 30s
    12. Attribute selectors
      12m 43s
    13. Pseudo-class selectors
      3m 54s
    14. Dynamic pseudo-class selectors
      8m 29s
    15. Structural pseudo-class selectors
      6m 45s
    16. Nth-child selectors
      13m 10s
    17. Pseudo-element selectors
      12m 40s
    18. Targeting page content: Lab
      8m 56s
    19. Targeting page content: Solution
      7m 59s
  4. 42m 39s
    1. What happens when styles conflict?
      4m 0s
    2. Understanding the cascade
      5m 47s
    3. Using inheritance
      6m 11s
    4. Selector specificity
      6m 55s
    5. The !important declaration
      4m 5s
    6. Reducing conflicts through planning
      3m 33s
    7. Resolving conflicts: Lab
      6m 45s
    8. Resolving conflicts: Solution
      5m 23s
  5. 1h 47m
    1. Setting a font family
      7m 10s
    2. Using @font-face
      9m 18s
    3. Setting font size
      7m 35s
    4. Font style and font weight
      6m 52s
    5. Transforming text
      3m 58s
    6. Using text variants
      2m 49s
    7. Text decoration options
      4m 26s
    8. Setting text color
      3m 2s
    9. Writing font shorthand notation
      8m 49s
    10. Controlling text alignment
      6m 33s
    11. Letter and word spacing
      9m 11s
    12. Indenting text
      4m 30s
    13. Adjusting paragraph line height
      10m 30s
    14. Controlling the space between elements
      6m 41s
    15. Basic text formatting: Lab
      8m 45s
    16. Basic text formatting: Solution
      7m 14s
  6. 2h 1m
    1. Understanding the box model
      16m 53s
    2. Controlling element spacing
      14m 29s
    3. Controlling interior spacing
      10m 49s
    4. Margin and padding shorthand notation
      6m 27s
    5. Adding borders
      8m 57s
    6. Defining element size
      10m 7s
    7. Creating rounded corners
      6m 58s
    8. Background properties
      2m 51s
    9. Using background images
      5m 10s
    10. Controlling image positioning
      10m 25s
    11. Using multiple backgrounds
      7m 5s
    12. Background shorthand notation
      5m 25s
    13. Styling container elements: Lab
      7m 55s
    14. Styling container elements: Solution
      8m 17s
  7. 47m 51s
    1. Color keyword definitions
      5m 4s
    2. Understanding hexadecimal notation
      6m 5s
    3. Using RGB values
      4m 58s
    4. Using HSL values
      5m 17s
    5. Working with opacity
      2m 23s
    6. Using RGBa and HSLa
      3m 8s
    7. Styling drop shadows
      5m 38s
    8. CSS gradients
      6m 32s
    9. Working with color: Lab
      4m 26s
    10. Working with color: Solution
      4m 20s
  8. 1m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 58s

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CSS: Core Concepts
8h 49m Beginner Nov 22, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this hands-on course, James Williamson demonstrates the concepts that form the foundation of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), including styling text, adding margins and padding, and controlling how images display. The course also explores the tools needed to work with CSS, the differences between embedded and external styles, how to use selectors to target elements, and what to do when styles conflict.

Topics include:
  • Exploring default styling
  • Writing a selector
  • Setting properties
  • Working with common units of measurement, including ems and pixels
  • Structuring HTML correctly
  • Understanding the cascade and inheritance
  • Setting a font family, font size, text color, and more
  • Understanding the box model
  • Styling container elements
  • Working with RGB vs. HSL values
  • Styling drop shadows
Subject:
Web
Software:
CSS
Author:
James Williamson

Element selectors

For the remainder of this chapter, I want to focus on selectors. Now as I mentioned before, selectors allow us to target elements on the page, and we have a lot of selectors available to us through CSS. We are going to explore the majority of these selectors individually in just a moment, but for this movie, I want to start with perhaps the most basic selector, and that is the element selector. Now the element selector allows you to target content on the page based on the element that contains it. It's an extremely powerful selector, but as we're going to see, it's also a very broad one.

So I have the element-selector.htm file open, and I can find this in the Chapter 2/02_02 folder in our exercise files. This is an HTML5 document, so one of the things that I have here is I have a conditional comment: if less than IE 9, and I point out to Remy Sharp's html5shiv, which is hosted by Google code. The only thing this really does is it helps older versions of Internet Explorer display those particular HTML5 elements. So that's really why it's there. You will see it consistently throughout the site. It has nothing to do with our CSS, and I don't really need it unless I was going to test this in an earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

Now after that, I have got a section of embedded styles where we are going to write the majority of our code. All of our exercise files will be done, the majority of the time locally, sometimes we use external styles, but it's really just about writing the styles more than it is where they are located at this point. And I notice that I have a couple of styles already in the style sheet. Essentially, I am taking some of the HTML5 elements, making sure they are displayed properly, and then I am also formatting one of the elements on the page, the aside, so that it appears at a certain width, has a border around it, and has a little bit of padding inside of it, just to sort of set that area apart.

So that's really all those styles are doing. And then the styles what we are going to add are right under this comment that says /*add styles here*/. Here the page structure itself is really simple. We have a heading 1, followed by a couple of paragraphs, then a heading 2, another paragraph, and then here is our aside. And if you haven't worked with HTML5 yet, an aside is very much like a sidebar. It's just sort of related content on the page. We have the heading 2 inside that with a paragraph inside of it. It's a very simple structure. Okay, so let's go ahead and start writing some styles. I am going to right up to this area that says "add styles here," and the first element selector I am going to write is body. So when you write an element selector, the easiest way to do this is just look at the tag that you want to target.

So here there is my body tag. And I just write that selector the exact same way without the brackets around it. And that is really all an element selector is. So I am going to open up my curly braces and inside that I am going to declare font-family: Arial. So again, notice the colon and the semicolon after the colon between the property and the value and the semicolon after the value. And then one more, font-size, and I am going to make that 90%. So I'm telling it to be a little bit smaller than the default font size for the browser or device.

Next, I am going to go through and create a couple more element selectors. So after body, I'm going to hit Return. Again, make sure that you're outside of those curly brace when you do this; you don't want to be still inside of that. I am going to type in h1, and I am just going to go ahead and do font-family: Georgia--so we are changing that up a little bit--and I am going to do font-size, 1.8em, and font-weight, normal. So those are the h1s. Now if I wanted to target my h2s, again, very simple to do, just h2, without the angle brackets around it.

And for this one we will do something similar: font-family: Georgia. font-size will be a little different. That will be 1.4 ems, and font- weight is going to be normal. Feel free to play around with some of these settings. If you want to test of some these properties and what they are capable of, go ahead and type in different values and see what happen formatting-wise. Finally, all the paragraphs, I am going to target them using a P element selector, so just switch P for the paragraph tag, and font-size there is going to be 1em, color is going to be brown.

And I am going to go ahead and save that, and I am going to preview that in one of my browsers. When I do that I can see my headings are in Georgia. The rest of my page is in Arial. All of my paragraphs are brown, and my headings are slightly different size, depending upon which heading I am looking at. This illustrates a couple of points about element selectors. Number one, they are very easy to use. Number two, they does have some limitations. Now take this page. What if we wanted the paragraph down here inside of the aside to have a center text alignment or be different color or size? Well, there is no way to do that by just using element selectors.

Element selectors are extremely global in nature, meaning they are going to accord every single instance of that element on the page. So they are best used for applying styles that need to be consistent across all pages, or for applying sort of initial baseline formatting that can then be overwritten as needed with more specific selectors.

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