CSS3: More Cascading, Freer Flow of Text

2 minute read
Angela Natividad avatar
The CSS Working Group just released an updated draft of "Multi-Column Layout," a version of Cascading Style Sheets Level 3 - otherwise known as CSS3.This draft enables authors to let content flow from one column to another. Users can also specify column width and vary the number of columns - dependent, of course, on the space available.Cascading Style Sheets is a function for adding fonts, colors and other styles to Web documents. Typically, content in Cascading Style Sheets flow into content boxes that correspond with the elements involved. But CSS3's multi-column layout creates a new container between the content box and the content - the column box.Before CSS3, it was a real pain to create multi-column layouts. You had to know exactly how much text you were going to have, and decide in advance what size each column would be. With CSS3, however, text will apply itself to the appropriate columns even as you write it. It's kind of like magic. And all columns in the multi-column elements will yield equal column widths, heights and gaps in-between.But CSS3 doesn't just improve Web column creation; it makes them mobile, too. CSS columns can also appear on multiple output devices, including speech synthesizers and mobile platforms. (Everything's going mobile - even Google Apps.)To note, CSS3 does not currently assist users in setting properties and values on the column boxes themselves. The background of a given column box, for example, cannot be said. Column boxes simply cannot read padding, margin or borders. Future specs, however, may include these and other functionalities.In other (but related) news, last December W3C rang in 10 years of CSS style.