HTML and CSS Reference
languages that make up the web.
Text editors allow you to do just that—edit text. You would expect them all to be quite similar, but actually, text edit-
ors come with many differing features. Most come with features that speed up your writing of CSS (and other web
technologies). Some come with File Transfer Protocol (FTP) clients and What You See Is What You Get
A WYSIWYG editor allows you to build a website without your having any knowledge of code. Although this idea
sounds great, in reality, it's not! When you are using these tools—dragging elements into the positions you
want—the editor is given the responsibility of generating the code for you. These types of editors are rarely up to
date with the latest coding standards and can never do as good a job of coding a website as you or I. Generated
code is almost always bloated (more code than needed) and doesn't exercise the best practices you learn in this
topic, leading to a poor experience for the visitors to your website. Should your text editor also come with a
WYSIWYG editor (such as Adobe Dreamweaver), that's fine; just choose to ignore it and make use of the text edit-
or feature instead.
If you don't already have one, I recommend using a basic text editor to begin with. TextEdit (for Mac users) or Note-
pad (for Windows users) already come installed on your computer and are perfectly acceptable to use. They don't of-
fer any features beyond editing your text, but that's all you need to start.
Throughout CSS3 Foundations, I use a text editor for Mac called Espresso ( www.macrabbit.com/es-
The web could exist without CSS, but it would never be as accessible or pretty as it is today. Its importance—in par-
ticular the new features introduced in CSS3—grows significantly as the ways in which people access the web
change. CSS continues to advance, with many exciting features being introduced. Now is a great time to jump in and
start learning how to use it.
With the necessary tools to begin creating CSS and web pages, in the next chapter you will get started with the pro-
ject files built on throughout CSS3 Foundations . You'll take the page seen in Figure 1-1, and turn it into the styled
page seen in Figure 1-2.