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FAQs Articles

What is ‘semantic mark-up’?

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se·man·tic adj.

  1. Of or relating to meaning, especially meaning in language.
  2. Of, relating to, or according to the science of semantics.

OK, so semantic has to do with 'meaning' but what has that got to do with coding web pages? Well, when referring to semantic mark-up, it means using the correct tag to accurately describe the type of content.

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How do I make my CSS file smaller?

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The key feature of Cascading Style Sheets and probably the one not realised by most newcomers to CSS is that certain style properties are inherited. This means that style properties (mostly those relating to styling text including color, font-size, text-alignment etc.) set on a parent element are inherited up by every descendant element (any element contained within the parent whether directly or indirectly).

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My links won’t change colour when I hover over them

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Usually when people have trouble with their links not doing what they want, it's because they've arranged them in the wrong order. Pseudo classes (links) need to be in this order:

  • Link
  • Visited
  • Hover/Focus
  • Active

Some people like to use mnemonics to remember this order like: LoVe HAte. Another one I saw once was Lord Vader Has Arrived (or something like that).

How do I centre my layout?

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To centre a CSS layout horizontally, you need to add margin: 0 auto; to either the body or a containing element (it's generally a good idea to wrap your whole layout in a containing element and give it a meaningful ID like #wrapper or #container) and give that element a width. What that does is set the left and right margins to automatically take up the window space not occupied by the specified width.

For IE5 browsers we also have to add text-align: center; to the same element. This also centres anything in descendant elements so if you don't want your text centred, you then have to reset the text-align back to left on a descendant element. So you might set the auto margins and text-align: center; on the body but then set the text-align back again on #container.

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