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Archive for August, 2008

Multiple background images with CSS2

Here's an interesting way to add multiple background images to an element using CSS2. Before anyone gets too excited, since this technique uses generated content it doesn't work with IE6 nor IE7. Maybe IE8 will support generated content, but who knows.

Still it's fun to try, and if you can ignore IE, then this might be useful sometimes. It works in Firefox 2/3 and Opera 9 under Windows XP, at least.

In this article I'll first guide you through a basic example, and then we'll create a nicer box. Read the full text...

Styling table captions with CSS: fixing the width problem

Styling table captions with CSS is not always an easy task. The specific issue I'll be dealing with in this article is the fact that the width of the caption doesn't naturally fit the width of the table. First I'll introduce the problem and then present a cross browser solution. Read the full text...

New (modified) JavaScript syntax highlighter: SHJS

I was having a few problems with the syntax highlighter I was using for the code blocks in this blog, so I decided to look for an alternative. There are a few out there, but my choice went to SHJS. I liked it straight away, although I wanted a couple of features that are not there. So I got my hands dirty and wrote some code to implement them. Here's a description of what I've done, in case someone has similar needs. Read the full text...

Applying CSS to Opera only

[Edit: 080828] This hack targets only Opera 9 and below, but fails in (at least) v9.52. You should not use it unless you're specifically targeting Opera 9 and below.

If you ever need to apply certain styles to Opera only, there is an easy way that I found in Jeff Starr's post, 'CSS Hack Dumpster'. All you need to do is prefix your selector with html:first-child.

For example, let's see how you would add a left margin of 10px to all paragraphs in all browsers except Opera:

p {
  margin-left: 10px;

html:first-child p {
  margin-left: 0;

This hacks validates and seems reasonably safe. As always, it's a risk to use hacks in your CSS (what would happen if, say, Internet Explorer 12 matched html:first-child? Any websites using this hack wouldn't work correctly in IE12). I'm still going to use it though, it seems quite safe to me.

Image replacement experiment

One of the problems with existing methods for CSS image replacement is that when a user is using a browser with CSS on but images off, the replaced element is not visible at all. There is a solution to that, but it implies using this sort of HTML:
<h1><span></span>Some text</h1>, which I find rather ugly.

Lately I've been playing around with generated content trying to find a solution that solves the above described problem, without the use of any extra markup. Obviously this won't work in IE6, not even 7, but apparently IE8 will support generated content, so why not give it a go? Read the full text...

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