CSS Syntax

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the artistic brush that web designers wield to transform HTML’s structural elements into visually captivating web pages. Understanding CSS syntax is paramount for breathing life and style into web content. This guide delves into the essentials of CSS syntax, providing you with the tools to create stunning designs.

What are CSS Selectors

Selectors are the linchpin of CSS, defining which HTML elements should be styled. They come in various forms:

/* Element Selector */
p {
color: blue;

/* Class Selector */
.highlight {
background-color: yellow;

/* ID Selector */
#header {
font-size: 24px;

  • Element Selector: Styles all instances of the specified HTML element.
  • Class Selector: Styles elements with a specific class attribute.
  • ID Selector: Styles a single element with a unique ID attribute.

What are CSS Properties

CSS properties determine the visual attributes of selected elements. Here are some common properties:

Font Size - font-size: 16px
Color - color: #FF0000;
Background Color - background-color: #FFFF00;
Margin - margin: 10px;
  • Font Size: Sets the text size within the element.
  • Color: Defines the text color.
  • Background Color: Sets the element’s background color.
  • Margin: Determines spacing around the element.

CSS Values

Each property takes specific values that customize the style. For instance:

Font Family - font-family: 'Arial', sans-serif;
Border - border: 1px solid #000;
Padding - padding: 20px 10px;
  • Font Family: Specifies the typeface for text.
  • Border: Sets the element’s border, including its width, style, and color.
  • Padding: Determines space within the element’s border.


Declarations combine properties and values within a selector’s curly braces:

h1 {
color: #333;
font-size: 24px;
  • This declaration styles all <h1> elements with a dark gray color and a 24-pixel font size.


Comments are essential for documenting your code:

/* This is a CSS comment. It won't affect styles. */
  • Comments help you and others understand your code’s purpose.

The Cascade

CSS stands for “Cascading” Style Sheets, meaning that when multiple styles conflict, the browser follows a hierarchy to decide which one takes precedence. This cascade involves:

  • Specificity: More specific selectors override less specific ones.
  • Order: Styles defined later in the code override previous ones.
  • Importance: Styles marked as !important have the highest priority.
p {
color: blue !important;

p {
color: red;

  • In this case, the text color will be blue due to the !important flag.


To save time and space, group multiple selectors in one declaration block:

h1, h2, h3 {
font-family: 'Helvetica', sans-serif;
  • This rule applies the same font-family to all specified heading elements.

Mastering CSS syntax is like becoming a skilled painter, wielding the power to create beautiful, customized web designs. By grasping selectors, properties, values, declarations, and the cascade, you’ll be well on your way to crafting visually engaging and functionally effective websites. So, pick up your virtual brush and let your creativity flourish in the world of CSS styling!

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