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Using CSS shorthand

From: CSS: Visual Optimization

Video: Using CSS shorthand

In this movie we are going to be exploring something called CSS shorthand, and when you first read this, you might think that I am getting ready to show you some sort of magical trick to make your CSS writing a little bit shorter. And in fact I am going to show you a trick to make it a little bit shorter, but it is not necessarily something that you haven't seen before probably. But this might be something that you haven't really adopted into your workflow per se, so I want you to take a look at it and see if it makes sense to you. So what we are going to do, I am going to go up to the File menu and just create a new CSS document just a blank CSS document for now. And so what I want to do is just start typing out some sort of declaration, it doesn't matter what it is.

Using CSS shorthand

In this movie we are going to be exploring something called CSS shorthand, and when you first read this, you might think that I am getting ready to show you some sort of magical trick to make your CSS writing a little bit shorter. And in fact I am going to show you a trick to make it a little bit shorter, but it is not necessarily something that you haven't seen before probably. But this might be something that you haven't really adopted into your workflow per se, so I want you to take a look at it and see if it makes sense to you. So what we are going to do, I am going to go up to the File menu and just create a new CSS document just a blank CSS document for now. And so what I want to do is just start typing out some sort of declaration, it doesn't matter what it is.

In fact, it could just be a plain old div, and once I do that, I am going to start typing some things out. So let's say normally, I would come in, and I would start defining things like margins and padding for this. So I could do something like margin-top is equal to, let's say, 20 pixels and then margin-left equal to 15 pixels and then margin-right is equal to 15 pixels as well, and then margin-bottom, and let's say that is 30 pixels, something like that.

So, all of these are correct. This is not written incorrectly whatsoever; however, it is written unnecessarily in long form, if you ask me. So this is way one to write all of these different margins. Let me show you a different way that is just as effective and also saves you a lot of time. So let's do div2, and let's go here. So I could just do one margin property and then instead of writing margin top, left, right, and bottom, I could just do this, so I could say, okay, I want 20 pixels for the top and then after that we want 15 pixels for the right, 30 pixels for the bottom and 15 pixels for the left, and so now I have in one line declared all of those values that I did up there, so this is just a shorthand for that.

The same holds true for something like padding as well. So normally you would write padding-top, padding-left, padding-right, et cetera. Now you can just type out padding, if it is all the way around, you can just do 5 pixels, and that adds 5 pixels all the way around, the object that you are declaring. Or you can do something like okay, I want 5 pixels on the top, I want 10 pixels on the right, 30 pixels on the bottom, and I want 10 pixels on the left. And so there is your padding declaration all written out in one single line, as opposed to all of these different lines right here.

In addition to using this form of shorthand, you can also use shorthand for things like colors, and so, whereas before I would type out something like color and then I would type out six zeros for black, I could just type out three zeros for black, and it automatically knows that that's supposed to be black. Or I could just type out black and in most modern browsers it would automatically know that that's what color I need it to be. You can also type things out like white, you can do things like blue, red, whatever the color is as long as it is one of these basic colors, you can define it in most modern browsers to be able to pick up on that.

You can also do the hex code shortcut for things like white, so just three fs. You can do it for all of the greys, so 333, 666, 999. You can also do it for the letter codes for those, so ccc, all of those different codes work just the same. So remember, as you are starting to develop your own writing style for CSS, try to pick up on some of these shorthand ways of writing out properties like margin, padding, and colors, and you are going to save yourself both some time and some space in your CSS documents, making it easier for you to identify properties, making it easy for you to change them in the future and making it easier for other people to read your code going forward.

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CSS: Visual Optimization

25 video lessons · 7005 viewers

Justin Seeley
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