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Styling drop shadows

From: CSS: Core Concepts

Video: Styling drop shadows

Depending upon who you ask, drop shadows are either the greatest thing to ever happen to design, or a scourge that ruins everything it touches. Now I personally believe, all good things can come in moderation. And in CSS for drop shadows, you have two options. You have the Box Shadow and Text Shadow syntax and in this movie we're going to explore the syntax behind both of those. To do this we're going to be working with the (drop-shadows.htm), which you can find in the 06_07 folder, I just want to take a quick look at the syntax here.

Styling drop shadows

Depending upon who you ask, drop shadows are either the greatest thing to ever happen to design, or a scourge that ruins everything it touches. Now I personally believe, all good things can come in moderation. And in CSS for drop shadows, you have two options. You have the Box Shadow and Text Shadow syntax and in this movie we're going to explore the syntax behind both of those. To do this we're going to be working with the (drop-shadows.htm), which you can find in the 06_07 folder, I just want to take a quick look at the syntax here.

We have a wrapper div tag, we have a heading, and then we have just a div with a class of banner behind that. I've got some default styling up here and if I preview this in my browser, you can kind of see what we have going on here. The wrapper div tag has a background color, we have the header right here, and then we have our banner that we're styling using some styling from the previous exercise are right there. All right, so I am going to go back in and we're just going to jump in and explore the syntax for this. The first thing what we're going to do is we're going to do the box shadow syntax, and we're going to do that on the banner.

So the way to think about this is that box shadows are going to be applied to, basically the containing box of an element. Text shadow should be limited to use obviously on text. So to my (.banner1 {) selector here I'm going to add a blank line and we're just going to start experimenting with the box shadow syntax. So (box-shadow;) is the property that you want, and now we're going to pass in a series of values, and as we pass in those values, I'm going to talk about what they are. Now this is not a comma separated list like some syntax, this uses a white space separated list of syntax.

So I'm going to do (10px 10px) pixels, so I'm going to pass those two values in first. Now that is the horizontal and vertical length of your drop shadow, so obviously the larger that number, the longer your text shadow, and the more offset you're going to have with it. Then let's pass in two more values. I'm going to do 5 pixels space 5 pixels. Okay, so what are those? Well, the third value is what we call the blur radius and the forth value is spread. So the blur radius essentially says, okay, how blurry do you want this? And spread essentially says, and how far do you want it to fade out? So again those two values are going to affect the fuzziness of the shadow.

So as you're working with the syntax, feel free to kind of play around those values a little bit and see what type of results they give you, and then finally, we have one more value that we need to pass in and this is a color value. Now you can go ahead and use any color notation you want here, I could use hexadecimal, I could use color keywords, I could use HSL, I could use RGB, and what I'm going to do in order to make it look a lot more drop shadowish if you will, I'm going to use an RGBA definitions, so that I'm passing in a semi-transparent drop shadow here. So what I'm going to do is RGBA, and then you just use your normal syntax, so I'm going to do 000, which is black, and then I'm going to do .7.

Now one of my old art professors would probably be very, very angry at me for that, because he was very fond of telling me in the painting class, they're no true black shadows, so I guess I should throw around some color in there. All right, so I'm going to go ahead and save this, and preview this in my browser, and as I do this, I get to see my drop shadow right there. It's a little fuzzy on the edges, it's 10 pixels over 10 pixels down, a little fuzzy on the edge there and it's using that semi transparent black, which is very, very nice. Now the support for this particular property is fairly recent, in older versions of Firefox, and older versions of Chrome and Safari you needed a vendor prefix to support this.

So you can also support this by, and I'm just going to copy and paste this. If I already copy and paste this two more times, I could come back in and then apply the Mozilla, which is moz vendor prefix to this, so it's (-moz-box-shadow:) and then for WebKit (-webkit-box-shadow:) So that's going to assure that you have support in older versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Okay, so I'm going to save this and I want to move down and I want to talk about text shadow, and we're going to do that to the heading1.

So right down to the (h1 {) I am going to create a new property and the syntax is very similar between box shadow and text shadow. I'm just going to text-shadow, and I'm going to go ahead and do 10 pixels, 10 pixels the same amount of offset value, so that's X and Y offset, and then I'm going to do 5 pixels for the blur. Now we don't have spread value like we do with box shadow, so the third value that you're going to pass in is pretty much just have blurry you want that text shadow to be, and then we have the color, and again, you can use any color notation you want, I'm going to use RGBA, and I'm going to pass in the same value ((0,0,0,.7);) I'm going to go ahead and type in the semicolon there, save this, preview it, and there is our glorious text shadow, yeah.

Now once again you could use some of the vendor prefixes, text shadow has been supported a little bit longer. So as a general rule not a lot of people are doing that anymore, but if you wanted to add, the vendor prefix is there, it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. Keep in mind that both of these techniques are rather new, they both have uneven implementations across past or even current browsers, so before using them make sure you've tested them thoroughly in your browser, and make sure that you maybe occasionally provide a fallback method for browsers that don't support them. Most times just nothing will render, and you won't have a drop shadow, so it's not the end of the world, but if the drop shadows are very important part of your design, you might want to have some way of falling back to some other value or some other type of design that doesn't rely on those shadows.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CSS: Core Concepts
CSS: Core Concepts

81 video lessons · 39985 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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