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A collage of various images including a cyclist silhouette at sunset, white daisies, a railway through a forest, frost patterns on glass, and an open book.

30 Exceptional CSS Techniques and Examples

In this article, I’ve pieced together 30 excellent CSS techniques and design examples that showcases the capabilities and robustness of CSS. You’ll see a variety of techniques such as image galleries, drop shadows, scalable buttons, menus, and more – all using only CSS and HTML. Clicking on the title will direct you to the documentation/tutorial, while clicking on the accompanying image will direct you to the demo page if it’s separate from the documentation.

1. Hoverbox Image Gallery

A pure css-based gallery; hovering over an image enlarges it. Hoverbox Image Gallery

2. Advanced CSS Menu

A creative and complex navigation scheme. Advanced CSS Menu

3. Sliding Photograph Galleries

An accordion effect; hovering over an image expands it. Stu Nicholls: CSSplay- Sliding Photograph Galleries

4. Lightbox Slides

Part of an article entitled “Supercharge your image borders” showcasing how you can use CSS styles to design images look more interesting. Bite Size Standards - Supercharge your image borders

5. Drop shadow on an image

An image effect demo and discussion based on a A List Apart article entitled, “CSS Drop shadows“. Drop shadow on an image

6. Cross Browser Multi-Page Photograph Gallery

Hovering over the tabs changes the category, while hovering over an image enlarges it. Stu Nicholls: CSSplay - Cross Browser Multi Page Photograph Gallery

7. CSS Photo Zoom

Uses a single image and adjustment of the background-position attribute. SimpleBits - CSS Photo Zoom

8. CSS gallery layout—smells like a table

Mimics a table layout, but uses lists. The gallery is also fluid width. Dnevnik eklektika - CSS gallery layout—smells like a table

9. Sticky Footer

A static footer with very little XHTML required. Sticky Footer

10. whatever: hover

A navigation menu that mimics Window’s Start menu. Peterned - whatever: hover

11. CSS-Only Accordion Effect

An accordion effect using div’s and :hover; the accordion effect can be vertical or horizontal. The CSS-Only Accordion Effect - CSSnewbie

12. Scalable CSS Buttons Using PNG and Background Colors

A technique that addresses vertical scaling, the use of many images, and lack of a hover effect. Scalable CSS Buttons Using PNG and Background Colors - David’s kitchen

13. Pushbutton Links

links that are styled to look like buttons without using images. - Pushbutton Links

14. Scrollable Table with Fixed Header

The table’s captions stay put, which is excellent for long tables. Scrollable Table with Fixed Header

15. Content Overlay with CSS

When you hover over the image, the container div is shown with more text. - Content Overlay with CSS

16. A CSS styled table version 2

A beautifully styled, table with semantic mark-up – uses a background image. A CSS styled table version 2

17. PNG Overlay

Another way to add flare to images (rounds the corners and adds a border and drop shadow) to make an even more effective image. PNG Overlay

18. Showing Hyperlink Cues with CSS

Simple tutorial on adding icons to different types of links. Ask the CSS Guy - Showing Hyperlink Cues with CSS

19. Simple Rounded Corner CSS Boxes

Uses only one image and very few lines of code and mark-up. MODx Content Management System - Simple Rounded Corner CSS Boxes

20. Sitemap Celebration

Tree-like navigation using nested lists, great for sitemap pages. Zab Design - Sitemap Celebration

21. Easy cross-browser transparency

Opacity technique without the use of JavaScript (but at the cost of using non-valid XHTML code). Bite Size Standards - Easy cross-browser transparency

22. Curved corners 2

Fluid width and height divs with rounded corners. HTML Dog - Curved corners 2

23. Creating a graph using percentage background images

List items <li> styled into bar graphs. Creating a Graph using Percentage Background

24. CSS Bar Graphs: Examples

3 bar graph examples – “Basic CSS Bar Graph”, “Complex CSS Bar Graph”, and “Vertical CSS Bar Graph” using div’s and definition list tags. CSS Bar Graphs: Example

25. Animated Rollover Arrow

The arrow follows along the entire width of the navigation bar smoothly, without the use of JavaScript or animated gif’s. Animated Rollover Arrow

26. A CSS-based Form Template

Showcases an accessible web form. Nidahas - Forms markup and CSS - Revisite

27. CSS Image Text Wrap

Using empty spacer div’s, the page’s text mimics a wrapping effect around the background image. CSS Image Text Wrap

28. Before your very eyes – a fade-in image

A demo using opacity and a single image that gradually fades in to cover the text. CSS Play - Before your very eyes - a fade-in image

29. Pure CSS Pop-ups

A pop-up technique that works even in IE 5 Mac. 11 pure css pop ups

30. CSS Gradient Text Effect

Uses background image overlays, and empty span tag, and position: absolute to create a gradient effect on text. 05 css text gradient

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