Top Features of CSS3

With a motive to bring some innovation in Cascade Style Sheets, CSS3, was developed as the latest version to make Web design simpler and easier with more features and functions. Soon after its release, CSS3 features became the talk of the town as it was not compatible with some of the browsers. However, with technical advancement, almost all browsers in the market are supporting and implementing complete CSS3.

Features of CSS3

With a new feature of CSS3's modularized specification, it has further eased out the process for browser developers as it permits them to support incremental modules without doing any heavy modifications or refactoring of the browsers' codebases. This concept of modularization makes it much simpler and faster to implement individual CSS3 modules.

1. CSS Columns

Column-based layouts were quite difficult to work upon in earlier versions of CSS. Javascript or server-side processing was used to implement columns in CSS to split and process the content into different elements which were way too complicated than what it is worth as it used to consume a lot of valuable time of developers. CSS3 CSS columns can be used to implement this function which is quite fast and easy.

2. CSS Animations and Transitions

Animations and transitions were previously limited to specific browsers but now they are available in almost all majorly used browsers including IE (since version 10). There are generally 2 methods of creating CSS animations. The first one is extremely easy, CSS properties are animated in this with the transition declaration. With transitions, multiple effects can be given such as you can generate hover or mouse down effects, you can activate the animation by using javascript for changing the style of an element. You can observe the transition below by hovering over the planet - this will create the rocket to close in.

The second way for implementing animations is a little bit complicated – In this specific effects of the animation needs to be described by using the code>@keyframe rule. This permits repeated animations that are independent of any actions performed by the user or on javascript to get triggered after receiving any instructions. 

3. Multiple Backgrounds

CSS can be used to give interesting effects to the designs by using multiple backgrounds. Different images can be stacked as backgrounds of the same element for a collage look. Each image can be moved from one place to another in an element and can also be animated independently. All CSS rules concerning multiple backgrounds can make use of a comma-delimited list of properties for separating specific background images.

4. Box Sizing and border images

One dreadful thing for all CSS learners and beginners is the implementation of the box model. The standard sizes of boxes and borders need to be in place and the CSS design having a specific width and height. This should not get affected by padding and borders of CSS. This small shortcoming was degrading the entire designs created through CSS. With CSS3, this issue got resolved simply by implementing the box-sizing rule. The border-box can be customized as per the user requirements which makes elements function just the way you expect them to do.

The border-image property allows you to exhibit custom-designed borders with specific height and width around elements. The borders are enclosed in a single image (sprite), with each part of that image representing different parts of the border. 

5. Webfonts

There was a time when there were no many designing tools available and we were restricted to use only a few available fonts. Now looking at the present scenario, we have so much to choose from. Google Fonts and type kit, are the two most common services used to embed beautiful fonts in the webpages by simply including a stylesheet available in their library. There are multiple options available for Webfonts like icon fonts such as font awesome, which has pretty vector icons, instead of numbers and letters. This was implemented by using the code>@font-face rule, which permits you to enter the name, characteristics and source files for fonts that you want to use. These fonts can be saved for using them later and you can refer them in your font/font-family declarations.

6. Media Queries

This is something that forms an important part if you want to get a good web design. These are a relatively new addition in CSS but they have transformed the way websites are being built. Previously we used to work on designing part in such a way that it can fit in a regular website and should be wide enough to get accommodated in the smallest monitor resolution, and a separate mobile website. These days, with CSS3 responsive designs, are created which adapt themselves based on the type of device, its resolution, and orientation. Media queries are relatively easy to use – you just need to include CSS styles in a block protected by a code>@media rule. Each code>@media rule block gets activated when one or more conditions are fulfilled. 

7. Gradients

The gradient is a feature that is used to provide smooth transitions of colors without distorting the original quality of the image. They look amazing on retina displays, as they are produced on the fly. Gradients can be linear or radial. Also, they can be set on a repeat mode. They are there in the market for a long time but in the latest version, there are few new syntax additions. They are prefix-free and are easily available.

8. Advanced Selectors

In the new advanced version of CSS, i.e., CSS3 advanced selectors are incorporated to make layouts look cleaner and to make stylesheets look more awesome.

9. Calc() function for calculating values

Another advanced feature of CSS3 is the calc() function. It lets you perform simple arithmetic calculations in CSS with so much ease. In this, you can even work with multiple units simultaneously like percentages and pixels. 

Conclusion

With new advanced features in CSS3, many popular websites are using it now and it is supported by almost all web browsers present in the market which was previously limited to very few numbers. With CSS3, you can change the justification of text, can style the hyphenation of words and can even make whitespace adjustment of the document. It is the best and powerful tool for web designers.

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