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Inline styles

From: CSS: Core Concepts

Video: Inline styles

In the next few movies, I want to explore the relationship between styles and the HTML documents that they control. As authors, we have several options to choose from, in terms of where we write our styles. Understanding those options and how they interact with each other is a very important part of writing efficient styles, and I want to start with inline styles. Inline styles allow you to format HTML elements directly as an attribute of that element itself, so let's go ahead and try that out.

Inline styles

In the next few movies, I want to explore the relationship between styles and the HTML documents that they control. As authors, we have several options to choose from, in terms of where we write our styles. Understanding those options and how they interact with each other is a very important part of writing efficient styles, and I want to start with inline styles. Inline styles allow you to format HTML elements directly as an attribute of that element itself, so let's go ahead and try that out.

And again, very simple page structure, the one that we have seen before. We have the headline with a paragraph below it. We have a div tag and inside of that we have a heading two and now two paragraphs inside that as well. So the first thing I want to do I want to make sure that all of my elements on the page use Arial. We know that with inheritance, I could go ahead and apply that to the body selector. And last time we did this using embedded style; this time we are going to do it with an inline style, so here is how you do it inline-style. I am going to go to the body tag. I am just going to place my cursor right after the word body and hit space, because inline styles are simply attributes of HTML elements.

So I am going to use the style attribute for this. And again, I am using code completion to help me out here, but to do this you do style=. And then everything within the style declaration goes inside quotation marks, so make sure you are inside some quotation marks here. And then you just type in the property just in the way you would normally within a CSS rule declaration. So here I am just going to type in font-family: Arial, and then a semicolon. So you can see, the syntax really hasn't changed.

It's just where we are placing that syntax that changes. Here, we are placing inside of that attribute. So I am going to save this and this time I want to test it in a different browser, maybe this time Opera. So we see that all the elements on the page we are using Arial and our styling is occurring exactly the way that we want it to. Now let's go explore inline styles in a little bit more detail. Now you can use as many properties as you want. So, for example, I am going to go down to the next paragraph and I will go ahead and do a style attribute there as well, style=. And what I am going to do here is I am going to do more that one property. So here I am going to do font-size and we'll go ahead and make that 14 pixels.

So if you want to do multiple properties, after the semicolon, I am just going to type in a space. I don't need the space here. It just makes a little bit easier for me to read. And I am just going to type in color, colon, the word red. And again, I am just making sure that all of these properties are now within my quotation marks, and then another semicolon to let it know that I am done with that one. So if I save this and test this, you can see that now that paragraph is smaller, 14 pixels, and it is also red. Now I am going to go back into Aptana Studio, and I am just going to add a couple of more.

One of the things that you start to figure out really quickly on in using inline styles is that they're not that efficient. What if we've got a couple of elements that I want to have the exact same formatting for? So if I go down to this paragraph, for example, I can again do a style attribute, style=, and inside that I could do font-size of 12 pixels and then font-style: italic. Now again, pay really close attention to the syntax here. Remember that we have a colon after the property and the value, and there is semicolon to indicate that we are done with that property and we are moving on to the next one.

So if I want the paragraph below that to be styled exactly the same way, the easiest way for me to do would just be copy and paste it, but if I am using inline styles, I still have to do another style declaration and I have to make it exactly like the one that I just did. So obviously, yes, copying and pasting will save me a little bit of time, but this is still pretty tedious. So if I save this and preview that in my browser, I can see that indeed it's shrinking down, it's becoming italic, that's exactly what I wanted, but as I mentioned before, not that efficient.

Honestly, inline styles, these guys are great for targeting specific content on the page where you want to place it, but I think you can see pretty quickly how this is going to become almost unmanageable for an entire site. Imagine trying to do this for every element on the page for an entire site. It would be really difficult to maintain and update. It would take you long time to write. This is definitely not the way to go about doing it. Now they are great way to make sure that the formatting that you want to have is applied, because they tend to almost always win in the event of a conflict with other styles.

So you can write and inline style and you know that that's the formatting pretty much this is going to get. Now we are going to explore that concept a little bit more later on as we discuss to resolving conflicts, but to be honest with you, there is really very little reason to ever use inline styles, and most of the time their use is really just restricted to instances where older or less robust user agents don't support other means of applying styles. And that's typical of, say, older email clients, so you'll typically find inline styles in HTML emails. But for the most part, you're probably not going to use inline styles all that often, if ever at all.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CSS: Core Concepts
CSS: Core Concepts

81 video lessons · 43578 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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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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