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Overriding the default browser styles

From: Creating a CSS Style Guide: Hands-On Training

Video: Overriding the default browser styles

Because the browser's default style sheets will automatically add margins and padding, setting the margins and padding to zero is a way to strip out the browser styles. This practice is called zeroing out. A number of ways exist to zero out an HTML document. The main idea here is that you want the styles you create to style the page, not the browser's default style sheets. In order to do this, let's go over to the CSS Style panel and select the body, td (table data), th (table header) tag. We can style the properties for this tag right down here in the bottom of the CSS panels. I'm going to make it just a little bit longer so we can see what we're doing.

Overriding the default browser styles

Because the browser's default style sheets will automatically add margins and padding, setting the margins and padding to zero is a way to strip out the browser styles. This practice is called zeroing out. A number of ways exist to zero out an HTML document. The main idea here is that you want the styles you create to style the page, not the browser's default style sheets. In order to do this, let's go over to the CSS Style panel and select the body, td (table data), th (table header) tag. We can style the properties for this tag right down here in the bottom of the CSS panels. I'm going to make it just a little bit longer so we can see what we're doing.

Select the Add Property by clicking on it and type in the word margin, Tab, and that will put you into the value area. Type 0px for zero pixels. Remember we're using shorthand so putting in 0 here will apply to the top, bottom, left and right. Tab. That will let us add another property. Let's type in padding. Tab again, and again type 0px. Click anywhere outside this document and now you'll see that we've added those two settings and that is called zeroing out.

There is one other tag that we need to zero out and that is the image tag. Let's click on the image, return to the CSS Styles panel, click on New CSS Rule. That brings up the New CSS Rule dialog box. We don't want to style for the image inside of the content area, we just want to style the tag image, no matter where it appears. So go up to the Selector Type and select Tag. Perfect! That's all we want is the image tag and we want to define this rule in our style guide, our external style guide. Let's click OK. Then we have our CSS Rule Definition dialog box.

For the Category, select Box, in Padding, type 0, and in Margin type 0. If we select Apply right now, you won't see any difference. This is kind of behind-the-scenes work that ensures that our styles override what the browser style sheets are doing. Select OK, go up to File > Save All, and then let's preview this in the browser. As I said before, what the user sees is not what we just did, but the kind of work that we were doing, zeroing out, will make sure that our styles override the default browser styles. This is an important best practice.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating a CSS Style Guide: Hands-On Training
Creating a CSS Style Guide: Hands-On Training

35 video lessons · 28025 viewers

Laurie Burruss
Author

 
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  1. 6m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Objective of this course
      3m 38s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 11s
  2. 28m 26s
    1. Starting Dreamweaver for the first time
      3m 38s
    2. Defining a website
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding the Dreamweaver interface
      9m 43s
    4. Setting up a custom workspace
      4m 10s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 52s
  3. 56m 54s
    1. Laying out a page in a text document
      3m 40s
    2. Creating and saving a new document
      3m 27s
    3. Inserting an image
      8m 22s
    4. Marking up text using the Property Inspector
      6m 48s
    5. Marking up text by hand
      9m 21s
    6. Inserting, formatting, and selecting a table
      8m 16s
    7. Creating links
      12m 26s
    8. Styling a footer
      4m 34s
  4. 22m 15s
    1. Using Modify Page Properties to create embedded styles
      12m 22s
    2. Creating links with CSS
      4m 55s
    3. Working with Code, Split, and Design views
      4m 58s
  5. 8m 52s
    1. Defining browsers to test a web page
      2m 24s
    2. Previewing a web page in a browser
      6m 28s
  6. 16m 44s
    1. Using a span tag to add a class and customize appearance
      10m 34s
    2. Using the Tag Inspector to create and edit additional styles
      6m 10s
  7. 48m 42s
    1. Exporting existing styles into an external style sheet
      7m 0s
    2. Using the CSS Styles panel to add a new style
      5m 43s
    3. Using the div tag to create a content container
      11m 8s
    4. Overriding the default browser styles
      2m 46s
    5. Applying padding and margins
      4m 57s
    6. Styling header tags
      5m 34s
    7. Creating and styling compound tags
      5m 12s
    8. Editing preexisting rules
      6m 22s
  8. 19m 36s
    1. Improving the Footer
      5m 12s
    2. Commenting a CSS style sheet
      7m 0s
    3. Creating a custom color palette
      7m 24s
  9. 3m 6s
    1. Style sheet final review
      3m 6s

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