Separation Of Content And Presentation

Problem Statement

We now know what HTML is. We know how to create a properly-formatted HTML document and we know how to browse the HTML references. We have everything we need to be HTML authors. However, if we look at our rendered HTML pages, we can't help but notice that they look a little plain. How do we make them look more attractive? And why can't we make our pages look better with only HTML itself? We'll solve those questions in this lesson.


  1. Identify the separation of content and presentation
  2. Identify the role of CSS

Identify the Separation of Content and Presentation

HTML lets us mark-up our content with semantic structure. This is what lets us build solid foundations for our content and it's the chief purpose of HTML.

It would be great to be able to say, "Browser, when you see a p tag with id of my-name, make the first letter be huge!" Or, to get your readers' attention, you might say, "Browser, if you see any tag with a class of warning surround it with a red box!"

HTML authors believe that creating marked-up documents and styling marked-up documents are entirely separate tasks. They see a difference between writing content (the data within the HTML document) and specifying presentation, the rules for displaying the rendered elements. We use HTML for content and for presentation we use CSS.

Identify the Role of CSS

CSS, or "Cascading Style Sheets," tell us how to write rules that define how browsers will present HTML. Rules in CSS won't look like HTML and they usually live in a file apart from our HTML file.

CSS handles all of the ways we want to customize our content's look and feel from margins and colors, to column-based layout!



We separate the content of our HTML pages from their presentation, which we style with CSS. By keeping the two separate, we not only utilize the best tools for each job, but we can change code for one without disturbing the code for the other.

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