CSS How To


Three Ways to Insert CSS

There are three ways of inserting a style sheet:

  • External style sheet
  • Internal style sheet
  • Inline style

External Style Sheet

With an external style sheet, you can change the look of an entire website by changing just one file!

Each page must include a reference to the external style sheet file inside the <link> element. The <link> element goes inside the <head> section:

Example:

<head>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="mystyle.css">
</head>

An external style sheet can be written in any text editor. The file should not contain any html tags. The style sheet file must be saved with a .css extension.

Here is how the "myStyle.css" looks:

body {
    background-color: lightblue;
}

h1 {
    color: navy;
    margin-left: 20px;
}

Internal Style Sheet

An internal style sheet may be used if one single page has a unique style.

Internal styles are defined within the <style> element, inside the <head> section of an HTML page:

Example:

<head>
<style>
body {
    background-color: linen;
}

h1 {
    color: maroon;
    margin-left: 40px;

</style>
</head>

Inline Styles

An inline style may be used to apply a unique style for a single element.

To use inline styles, add the style attribute to the relevant element. The style attribute can contain any CSS property.

The example below shows how to change the color and the left margin of a <h1> element:

Example:

<h1 style="color:blue;margin-left:30px;">This is a heading.</h1>

Multiple Style Sheets

If some properties have been defined for the same selector (element) in different style sheets, the value from the last read style sheet will be used. 

Example

Assume that an external style sheet has the following style for the <h1> element:

h1 {
    color: navy;
}

then, assume that an internal style sheet also has the following style for the <h1> element:

h1 {
    color: orange;    
}

If the internal style is defined after the link to the external style sheet, the <h1> elements will be "orange":

Example:

<head>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="mystyle.css">
<style>
h1 {
color: orange;
}
</style>
</head>

However, if the internal style is defined before the link to the external style sheet, the <h1> elements will be "navy":

Example:

<head>
<style>
h1 {
color: orange;
}
</style>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="mystyle.css">
</head>


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