CSS

This is a quick CSS tutorial to show you how to create a menu list using either the CSS border style or a background image. The trick is to apply a bottom border to the <li> element, then use the absolute position property to shift the nested elements down to cover the border. It is very flexible — you can easily change the layout by altering the border or background image. It even works when the browser’s font size is being scaled (increased or decreased).

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Guest Post By: Juul Coolen

The web, and consequently its visual appearance, is dynamic by nature. For one, browsers interpret pages and show them accordingly. In a standards-compliant world every browser would adhere to the standards as set out by the W3C so pages look the same in any browser, but we all know the actual state of affairs. Granted, things have significantly changed over the last couple of years. ‘Bad’ browsers are phasing out (albeit slowly), handing over control to the designers by means of CSS. Which doesn’t mean total control, though. Especially when (enviously) looking at the area of print, there is one facet in particular we would love to be able to borrow: typography in all its glory. Or the way Jeffrey Zeldman puts it:

"The less sophisticated lament on our behalf that we are stuck with ugly fonts."

Last December, I posted a list of the best designs in 2007. Now, it is time for — Best of CSS Design 2008 (a new list of 50 websites hand-picked from Best Web Gallery). This year, more designers are using the large background technique and utilizing Javascript frameworks (such as jQuery and MooTools) to enchance the user experience. I also came across a few designs that mixed Flash with CSS; perhaps a new trend we should look for in 2009?

Did you like my previous CSS tutorial on how to create gradient text effects? I’m using the same trick to show you how to decorate your images and photo galleries without editing the source images. The trick is very simple. All you need is an extra <span> tag and apply a background image to create the overlaying effect. It is very easy and flexible — see my demos with over 20 styles, from a simple image icon to a rounded corner to a masked layer (both decorative and complex).

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This article contains 10 visual tutorials intended for web designers and newbies on how to apply Javascript effects with jQuery. In case you don’t know about jQuery, it is a "write less, do more" Javascript library. It has many Ajax and Javascript features that allow you to enhance user experience and semantic coding. Since these tutorials are focused on jQuery, I’m not going to get into the details of the CSS.

Note: the version used in this article is jQuery 1.2.3

View jQuery Demos

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