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Microsoft FrontPage Support of Stylesheets

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A Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is used to apply consistent style information across multiple Web pages. A CSS contains style definitions that describe the styles you want to apply to pages or page elements. Each style definition consists of a selector (selector: In a cascading style sheet style definition (or style rule), the HTML element linked to a particular set of style properties and values.) followed by the properties and values for that selector.

FrontPage primarily deals with two types of cascading style sheets — embedded and external — although a third type, inline, is available and I saw it occasionally used.

With FrontPage2003 support of embedded stylesheets is very good, but support of external stylesheets is limited.  I do not see inline stylesheets as useful.

You can also use style tag with most of HTML tags, but that partially defeats the purpose of introduction of CSS: you need to factor out common elements into a separate stylesheet. Actually it was MS Word that introduced this idea in good old days.  In early version of MS Word standard stylesheet, called normal.dot was a separate file, stored alongside with the document so MS Word documents consists of two parts: document proper and external stylesheet.

The following are examples of style definitions defined in a CSS:

H1 { font-size: x-large; color: green }
H2 { font-size: large; color: blue }
.note { font-size: small }
#footer { font-family: serif }

In the example, H1  and H2  are selectors that modify the formatting properties of standard HTML tags. The selectors' properties and values are contained within the curly braces { } — font-size  is a property, and x-large  is the value of the font-size property. You can specify multiple properties for a selector by separating each with a semi-colon ( ; ). In the example, .note  is a class selector (class selector: In cascading style sheets, a name identifying a user-defined style. Depending on how it's defined, a class selector can be used with a single type of tag or with any HTML tag inside the BODY element.), and #footer  is an ID selector (ID selector: In a cascading style sheet style definition (or style rule), a selector that is used to define a style for an individual page element, usually as an inline style.).

If you decide to change a style, you need only make one change — in the external cascading style sheet — and the pages in your Web site will reflect the change. Typically, an external style sheet uses the .css file name extension, such as main.css.

Linking to an External Style Sheet

If you want your pages use external stylesheet you need to link your HTML pages to this style sheet. There are several ways to do this:

You can link more than one style sheet to the same Web page(s). For instance, all three style sheets listed here will apply to whatever pages have been selected. If you have more than one style sheet, use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to pick the order in which you want browsers to follow the rules (that's important in cases where multiple style sheets contain conflicting rules). Styles in sheets higher on the list take precedence over those below. 

If a Web page you've linked to the style sheet is currently open in Design view, you'll immediately see it rendered with the new styles.


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