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CSS Interview Questions and Answers

What is the percentage value in 'font-size' relative to?
It is relative to the parent element's font-size. For example, if the style sheet says:

H1 {font-size: 20pt;}
SUP {font-size: 80%;}

...then a <SUP> inside an <H1> will have a font-size of 80% times 20pt, or 16pt.

What is wrong with font-family: "Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"?
The quotes. This is actually a list with a single item containing the well-known 'Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' font family. It is probably intended to be a list of three items.

Unlike in most other CSS1 properties, values for the font-family are separated by a comma to indicate that they are alternatives. Font names containing whitespace should be quoted. If quoting is omitted, any whitespace characters before and after the font name are ignored and any sequence of whitespace characters inside the font name is converted to a single space.

So to ask for two fonts foo and bar the syntax is:

font-family: foo, bar

To ask for the two fonts Revival 555 and Iodine you can do this:

font-family: "Revival 555", Iodine

You could also do this:

font-family: Revival 555, Iodine

which is equivalent. Notice that this is not three fonts; you can tell because after the "l" you didn't hit a comma, (more list items to come) a semicolon (end of that property, another property coming up) or a curly brace (end of that rule). This is also equivalent:

font-family: Revival 555, Iodine

^^^^^^ whole bunch of spaces converts to one space

But this next one is asking for a different font with two spaces in the name

font-family: "Revival 555", Iodine
^^two spaces, which are not converted

In general it is more tolerant of user typing to leave out the quotes. Sometimes you need them, for example there is a real font sold by Fontworks and designed in 1995 by Stephan Müller called Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Yes, two commas in the actual font name. CSS1 can handle this:

font-family: "Friday, Saturday, Sunday", cursive

Because it can handle this, the example in the title is syntactically correct. But what the author or tool wrote was almost certainly not what the document author intended.

How do I centre my page?
This is very easy. If we take the code in the last question and change it to this :
body, html {
body {
#wrap {
margin:auto; min-height:100%;
* html #wrap {

you get a page that fits an 800x600 resolution screen without a horizontal scrollbar, which will be centered at higher resolutions.

Must I quote property values?
Generally no. However, values containing white spaces, e.g. font-family names should be quoted as whitespaces surrounding the font name are ignored and whitespaces inside the font name are converted to a single space, thus font names made up of more than one word (e.g.) 'Times New Roman' are interpreted as three different names: Times, New and Roman.

Do any WYSIWYG editors support the creation of Style Sheets? Any text-based HTML editors?
As support for CSS in browsers has matured in the last year, both WYSIWYG and Text-based HTML editors have appeared that allow the creation or the assistance of creating Cascading Style Sheet syntax. There are now at least two dozen editors supporting CSS syntax in some form. The W3C maintains an up-to-date list of these WYSIWYG and text-based editors.

Which style specification method should be used? Why?
The answer to this one is tricky. The short answer is: "it depends." The long answer is, however, another story.

If you are planning on using more than one style specification method in your document, you must also worry about Cascading Order of Style methods (see question 11.) If you are going to use only one method, then some guidelines about the nature of each method need to be kept in mind. The answer to this question is also very much related to the advantages and disadvantages to using each of them (next question.)

Method 1: External Style Sheets (The LINK [-->Index DOT Html] element)
This method should be used if you want to apply the same style to multiple documents. Each document can reference the stand-alone style sheet and use the styles contained within. Using this method, the appearance of many documents can be controlled using a single or small number of style sheets. This can save a LOT of time for an author.

Method 2: Embedded Style Sheets (The Style [-->Index DOT Html] element)
The syntax used with Method 2 is the same as that for Method 1. This method is a happy medium between External Style Sheets and Inline Styles (see below.). It should be used in place of Method 1 if you only want to specify styles for a single document. This method should also be used when you want to specify a style for multiple tag types at once or the list of style definitions is of larger size. Method 3: Inline Styles (STYLE attribute to HTML elements)

If you only have to apply style to one or a few elements in a single document, your best bet will often be an Inline Style. This method attaches a style definition within the HTML element it is modifying.

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