Using CSS to create attractive, useable and accessible websites.

By Amanda Jane Penrose.

Published by The Open Source Developers' Conference Papers

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Article: Electronic Free Download

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow the clever web developer a great deal of control over their site. Not only does CSS save a lot of time in the long run when it comes to making site-wide changes, but they can also assist you to create an attractive and accessible site.
You do need to contend with the limitations of CSS: it won't always do what you think it will, and getting it to do the same thing in every browser is nigh-on impossible. However these limitations can be dealt with if you have patience and a little creativity.
Regarding visual appeal: with a simple and logical HTML structure, you can apply myriad and dramatic changes in style to the same page, just by altering the CSS; not changing one single character of your HTML.
Regarding accessibility: laying out your HTML to work with CSS can make your pages infinitely more accessible to a range of impaired users, without disadvantaging the experience of the remainder of your audience: from creating 'standards complaint' code, to optimizing the content for screen-readers.

Keywords: Cascading Style Sheets, Accessibility, Useability, HTML

Article: Electronic (PDF File; 544.772KB). Published by The Open Source Developers' Conference Papers.

Amanda Jane Penrose

Amanda spends a lot of her personal time on the computer. She belongs to many online communities and projects, and considers Photoshop to be much more fun than any computer game :-)