CSS3 is the modularization of Cascading Style Sheets which allows additions to the specification and also limits the properties used in a given situation. It offers great flexibility and makes it much easier to recreate previously complex effects. It incorporates many time-saving rules like text-shadow, box-sizing, opacity, multiple backgrounds, border-radius, border-image, multi-column layout, etc. CSS3 is empowered by various modules which make it a novel web design trend of 2011.
One of the biggest advantages of modules in CSS3 is that they allow the specification to be completed and approved more quickly, because segments are completed and approved in chunks. This also allows browser and user-agent manufacturers to support sections of the specification and also to keep their code bloat to a minimum by only supporting those modules that make sense. For example, a text reader would not need to include modules that only define how an element is going to display visually. But even if it only included the aural modules, it would still be a standards-compliant CSS3 tool.
Some of the new features of CSS3 are
Selectors: The selectors in CSS3 allow the designers to select on much more specific levels of the document. An advantage of this module is that many browsers are already starting to support the advanced CSS 3 selectors, so you can start trying them out now. Some new selectors are
- matching on attributes and attribute values, including partial matches
- structural pseudo-classes, such as the nth-child
- a target pseudo-class to style only elements that are targeted in the URL
- a checked pseudo-class to style any element that is checked such as radio or checkbox elements
Text Effects and layouts: This allows making changes to the hyphenation, whitespace, and justification of text documents.
First letter and first line pseudo classes: CSS3 allows properties to affect kerning and alignment of drop-caps.
Paged media and generated content: CSS3 also supports more options in paged media such as running header and footers and page numbers. It provides advanced properties for print generating content including properties for footnotes and cross-references.
Multi column layout: This feature provides properties to allow designers to display their content in multiple columns with definitions like the column page, column count, and column width.
Ruby: CSS3 supports the ability to add small annotations on top or next to words. They are generally used to give the pronunciation or meaning of difficult ideograms.
Border images: This allows developers and designers to take their sites to the next level. It allows designer to be as creative as they want to be.
Multi column layout: Using this feature developer can arrange text like a news paper type format. You can choose the number of columns, the column width, column gap width, and column separator. A feature like this was not possible before CSS3.
Multiple backgrounds: Earlier it required more than one element to have layered backgrounds. But CSS allows you to have multiple backgrounds on a single element.
Opacity: Another favorite feature in CSS3 is opacity. It is also the most used feature of CSS3. CSS3 property allows opacity to be used in a much easier way.
Animation: CSS3 has made animation easy. In CSS web kit-transform is used to spin circle graphics which has a best effect when viewed with the Mac Chrome or Safari.
Drop down menu: A drop down menu is well suited to the environment once it works with Chrome, Firefox, safari, showing a good look on the corners, box effect and text shadow.
Gradient buttons: Gradient is cross browser supported. It is much more flexible and scalable. A gradient button has more advanced features showing variation in text shadow, box shadow, border with rounded corner which can show a shade over the button with the help of gradient color adjustment. A white transparent image is used to give a gradient effect as all the browsers don’t support CSS3 features. Gradient can be shown as light and intensive effects giving pleasant appearance.
If you use CSS3 effects in small degree and in a creative way, it can help give an original touch to your layout. It truly helps to take your design to the next level. CSS3 is extremely flexible to handle. It helps users to handle web design in a convenient way because it makes it possible to attach the CSS style information as a separate document or if the user wishes it is also possible to attach the CSS style information embedded within the HTML document. It also makes it possible to handle multiple style sheets, that is, multiple style sheets can be imported anywhere. Users can also specify many alternative stylesheets which enable users to make a choice between them as needed. Thus the modularized approach of CSS3 helps to develop and maintain the system on a per module basis and thus gives more flexibility to the system .Thus greater control and flexibility is achieved at presentation level by user of CSS3 because of the advantages and powerful features of CSS3.
It is only after using CSS3 that one comes to know how amazing and powerful it is to use. With CSS3 it is possible to handle eight background images to a single element which is really a powerful feature of CSS3 ability. Using this powerful feature of handling multiple background images per element, users can easily create various interesting effects without the need of additional elements. Thus it is an easier and efficient way of handling images. It also reduces the time taken to complete it. The selector feature of CSS3 helps developers to select specific levels of the document and work with it. The feature of browsers supports the feature of advanced Cascading Style Sheets Level 3 Selectors and thus making CSS3 more popular.
With all these wonderful features in its kit and various advantages offered by it, CSS3 is surely a novel way of web designing. It is bound to gain immense popularity. The future for CSS3 is bright and it is likely to be used widely by web designers.