These are articles I’ve written about my explorations into CSS – i.e., Cascading Style Sheets.

I avoided learning this for years, as I witnessed so many designers beating their heads against the wall (a wall with the initials, “IE” on it) trying to implement their designs. Jumping through all kinds of hoops to create workarounds – as if it wasn’t confusing enough!

Well, now most of those incompatibilities are non-issues, as even the MS browsers have evolved to accept the standards agreed upon by the world community rather than trying to impose their standards upon everybody else.

So, I’m feeling braver – plus, I stepped into a project where some implementation needed being done, and though Headway by headwaythemes.com looked like it could do most of what we wanted on a site, inevitably there were those “can we do this a little differently” items that come up that the theme and its framework were not up to task to perform. (It is a great theme, and that link there is an affiliate link if you’d like to buy it through me! I stand by it that it makes everything much easier.)

So, let’s do this, and then wouldn’t that be nice, and that really needs to be… etc! I delved in to find the answers, and emerged a semi-guru. I dived into the forums and learned by puzzling out the answers to other people’s quandaries, and learned much more. And the tip-offs others give you on the forums are priceless!!!

So, watch this space for lots of sharing on the CSS end of my excursions. I’ll share what is cool and can’t perhaps be easily found anywhere else.

Articles I’m working on right now include:

One on using colored links as a “breadcrumb” system, sometimes called “Dynamic Menu Highlighting.” I’m a big fan of this idea! There is some old info at the WordPress codex, but they’ve taken it much farther with new classes. See the next:

One on navigation coloring in WordPress {DONE!} – how to actually accomplish what is written about in the first article. WordPress gives you a bunch of new, built-in classes you can reference in your CSS now to control colors and lots of other things in the navigation bar – and beyond! If you can’t wait for the article, read this here and try to figure it out: http://www.designisphilosophy.com/tutorials/highlight-current-page-or-category/

One on using Child Themes as a repository for CSS that you can re-use on several sites – though there are limits to how easy it is to just drop in a ton of things, expecially as WordPress uses block-id’s whose numbers change from installation to installation and page-to-page. I was introduced to this idea of using child themes by the people at Headway, particularly A.J. Morris (like here: http://headwaythemes.com/screencast-tuesday-whered-my-custom-folder-go-in-headway-3-0/, and by Corey Freedman at http://headwayexpert.com – her article on Child Themes is here: http://headwayexpert.com/how-to-create-a-child-theme/. I’m learning by doing here, folks, but have some cool code to share that others have shared with us! WordPress writes quite a lot on the subject – look here for their intro: http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes

One on margins, padding, borders, moving items around (like pictures), the z-index and how to make it work, and more along those lines of getting stuff where you want it and how you want it. Here’s a fun article on the z-index to get you started: http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2009/09/15/the-z-index-css-property-a-comprehensive-look/

One on cool, lesser known items – like commas, the > sign, asterisks (“I regret that I have only one asterisk for my country” – Nathan Hale), the colon and pseudo-classes beyond a:hover, a:active, a:link and a:visited (… like “first-child”) – can’t wait? Head over here to the w3schools.com: http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_pseudo_elements.asp — and even with these cryptic symbols, Google is your friend!

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