Corporate Web Standards

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

  • Use style sheets to control layout and presentation
  • All pages using CSS must be usable when CSS is disabled or not supported. for example, when an HTML document is rendered without style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document
  • Allow users to override the formatting, if required.  For example, allow the font size or colour and contrast to be changed to suit an individual's needs.
  • Style sheets must not overwrite the corporate settings for corporate navigation or body text
  • Ensure CSS is compliant with latest technologies, such as extensible HTML (XHTML) and it works with Dynamic HTML (XHTML) and Javascript, and can be read and used by other languages and applications.

Cascading style sheets (CSS) give the designer of a web page the ability to separate the styling elements from the content. They are of fundamental importance to the usability of a page.

It is essential that pages are still usable (graceful degradation) when CSS are not supported by a browser.

CSS are the preferred method to control layout and formatting. Do not use tables as a means to control the layout or formatting of a page.

Influences on this standard

UK Government Guidelines

Central Office of Information guidelines - Delivering Inclusive Websites "Consistent design (is)

achieved through the use of Cascading Style Sheets where the web developer can reuse the same layout and design for each page in the website. This can be helpful users with cognitive impairments, and benefits all users".

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

W3C guideline 5

"Tables should be used to mark up truly tabular information.... Content developers should avoid using them to lay out pages."