11 December

The Best Features of CSS3

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is a well-known tool in web development. The popularity of the CSS rests with the fact that it effectively allows separation between the content and the presentation.  CSS changed the way in which websites were developed and rendered. The developers could change the appearance and formatting of the webpages without affecting the substance of the content.

CSS3 is the improved version of the language. The set of options and commands is greatly expanded so that the developers could really showcase their creativity. The best thing is that CSS3 is backward compatible, and old code written in CSS could be integrated with little modification. (This approach is not recommended as in practice, the integration does not go well and it is very difficult to debug the mixture.)

The following are the best features of CSS3:

Rounded Corners

CSS3 introduced a powerful module for rendering borders. Now, it is quite easy to create round borders, use shadows and even images for borders!

This is perhaps the biggest improvement because before CSS3 JavaScript or image backgrounds were used to create round corners. This was a multistep process that was prone to bugs. The first step was the design that was uploaded to server. This image was then placed on the page, with CSS providing exact positioning. Now with the border-radius property, designers can give rounded corners to any element on the page.

Background Galore

In order to control background elements, CSS3 provides quite a few background properties. An important property is multiple backgrounds.

It is easy to create multiple background images using background image-property. Moreover, with the addition of background-image-size property, it is easy to scale background images to fit container width. This means that a developer could use a single background image in different contexts simply by using these properties. Not only this, background-clip and background-origin properties offer customized clipping and positioning for multiple and single page backgrounds.

CSS3 Animation

CSS3 also introduced an alternative way of creating animations. Prior to CSS3, web developers had three options for incorporating animations in webpages. They could wither use JavaScript or Flash or use a pre-rendered GIF file as static image.

In CSS3 animations are a lot easy to use and incorporate using native methods. The core idea is the Key Frame. Using key frames, it is easy to change the style of animation as per the requirement of the webpage.

Text Effects

CSS3 also has several new text related features. These feature offer stunning results and are the basis of the eye popping typography and text placement wonders on newer websites. It is easy to add text shadows and word wraps. The text-overflow property helps you to define text boundaries. A great option is the mask filters that allows placement of images alongside text.

Custom Web Fonts

Designers can use custom fonts by using font-face syntax of CSS3. Use of custom web fonts makes things simpler as whenever a webpage requires a font that is not already present on the device, it is automatically downloaded and rendered. The only requirement is the presence of font files on the server.

Text Columns

The multi-column layout property of CSS3 splits text sections into multiple columns. This is secret behind the webpages that stimulate the looks of a printed newspaper. This is a great improvement over the older CSS options for splitting text into several columns.

Colors with Transparency

This is another huge improvement over CSS. In CSS3, colors could be referenced using names, hexadecimals or RGB color values. Moreover, CSS3 also introduced HSLA, HSL colors and opacity. The use of alpha attributes in colors allows the designers to use transparent backgrounds without affecting the text. Thus, custom background gradients could be used independently of the text background properties.