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The importance of the reset

From: CSS: Visual Optimization

Video: The importance of the reset

One of the terms that you hear are often talked about in CSS is something called the Reset, or the CSS Reset, or event sometimes known as the CSS Global Reset. In this movie, we will be exploring the importance of the reset and why it's useful to use this technique in your CSS coding. The first thing we need to talk about is the inconsistencies that browsers have just by nature. By default, browsers automatically have different margin dimensions around the edge of a site. They also have borders that sometimes magically appear around certain elements. They give you oftentimes a default padding added to your paragraph and heading tags.

The importance of the reset

One of the terms that you hear are often talked about in CSS is something called the Reset, or the CSS Reset, or event sometimes known as the CSS Global Reset. In this movie, we will be exploring the importance of the reset and why it's useful to use this technique in your CSS coding. The first thing we need to talk about is the inconsistencies that browsers have just by nature. By default, browsers automatically have different margin dimensions around the edge of a site. They also have borders that sometimes magically appear around certain elements. They give you oftentimes a default padding added to your paragraph and heading tags.

They also have browser specific line heights and they also have specific font sizes set up for paragraph and header tags as well. All of these elements put together make for a very inconsistent look across the many spectrums of browsers that we have to target. Using a CSS Reset will actually strip out the default styling from these browsers, and it will give you a solid base in which to build your site that is free of any interference from the browsers so you can just go in, write your own rules, and not have to worry about anything being overwritten by the browser itself.

This is going to save you a ton of time and alleviate a lot of headaches when it comes to CSS development. I can't tell you how many times when I first started writing CSS, I was often frustrated by the browser adding certain styles to the elements that I was creating, because I didn't yet know about a CSS reset. So using a technique like a CSS reset is going to help you get around those headaches before they even begin. There are many different types of resets that are available to you, and you can research all of these on the web. The most popular of them is something called Eric Meyer's Reset or just the Meyer's Reset.

I've actually included a copy of this in the Assets folder for this course. You can go in and look at that, and I'll show it to you here in just a moment as well. You can also look at the Siolon Global Reset, Shaun Inman's Global Reset, and the Tripoli Reset. The final reset is a custom reset, one that you develop yourself. Just realize that you will have to go in and create this reset on your own. This is going to be for anything that you want it to be, so if you want strip out the default styling from the header tags, the paragraph tags, from the body, from the margins, whatever it is you want to strip out.

That's what this is all about, creating your own custom reset that suites your needs specifically. Now let's get out of here and go over into our coeditor and take a look at the Meyer reset. As you can here at the top, there are several different tags that are being targeted, and it's basically the HTML, the body, the heading tags, everything that is just the basic structure of any HTML page. Then underneath that is the reset information. Setting the margin to 0, the padding to 0, the borders, outlines, font weights, all that stuff just setting it to a normal setting so that we have a blank canvas to work from when we start developing our CSS.

You've also got some things down here like focus styles. So there's no outline on things like form fields and things like that when you target them or bring focus to them. It also resets the line-height of the body. It sets the background color to white. It sets the font color to black. It also strips out the styling from the default list. It removes styles from tables. All of these different things are an essential part of anyone's workflow and yet the browser automatically applies its own styling to a lot of these different things. So without this CSS reset being present you would have to deal with that default browser styling and have to find your own way around it.

Adding something like a CSS reset to your CSS documents is a great way to ensure that all of that information is stripped out ahead of time. I would also recommend that you add this as its own separate CSS document and then import it into your HTML file. Don't have this just sitting at the top of your CSS document. This allows you to have a separate place for you to go and reference any of this reset information, add and subtract things from it, and then also allows you to build your own separate CSS document without all of this stuff cluttering up. So in the end whether or not you decide to use the Meyer reset or customize your own, it's always a good idea to strip out as much of the default browser styling as possible so that you have a clean, nice canvas to work from as you develop your own code.

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CSS: Visual Optimization

25 video lessons · 6893 viewers

Justin Seeley
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