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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS shows how those familiar with Joomla! and with hand-coded HTML and CSS can take the next step in creating a dynamic website with a unique look and feel. Jen Kramer McKibben goes deep into the functionality of this open-source content management system, exploring topics like putting more style into modules, editing CSS on the fly using the Firefox Web Developer toolbar, creating horizontal and vertical menu layouts, and including images in those menus. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's take a look at all of the different places that CSS resides within our Joomla! system. We are going to use our Firefox Web Developer toolbar to go to CSS > Edit CSS. And as I mentioned previously, this pulls up all of the external style sheets and the embedded styles that are associated with this particular web page. The first style sheet of interest is default.css. This style sheet is the one that we generated with the custom template that we have built on this particular website. To learn more, make sure you take a look at the Joomla! creating and editing custom templates on the lynda.com website.
Now also notice that we have two other style sheets here, called system.css and general.css. These are style sheets that are associated with the Joomla! system itself and it provides a baseline level of styling for a number of items on the website. This helps with styling some of the WYZIWYG editors, editing web pages from the front end, Balloon pop- ups and other items within Joomla. Finally, if you install the extension such as FireBoard, a very popular discussion board that integrates easily in Joomla!, or XMap, a great site mapping tool, these also come with external style sheets that are associated with these particular extensions.
Some of these components and modules will come with their own style sheets while others will not. You will just have to check depending on which ones you install. In any case, you can generally override any of the styles that come from system.css, general.css or any of the other style sheets associated with Joomla! extensions via the style sheets that are attached to the template that's controlling the web page you are working on. In general, you will only need to edit one style sheet within Joomla!. That's default.css. The styles in default.css will override any settings that you may have in system.css or general.css or any style sheet associated with an extension, provided that you make your style declaration specific enough.
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