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CSS Shorthand at a Glance

What could be simpler and faster than using CSS to set up your website? Using CSS shorthand to set up your website. While not all browsers support all of CSS shorthand's features, enough of them are supported to allow you to write tighter code, and create a website that loads more quickly.

Author Info:
By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 32
February 08, 2005
  1. · CSS Shorthand at a Glance
  2. · Basic CSS rules
  3. · Font shorthand property
  4. · Background shorthand property
  5. · Margin shorthand property
  6. · Padding shorthand property
  7. · Border shorthand property
  8. · List-style shorthand property

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CSS Shorthand at a Glance - Margin shorthand property
(Page 5 of 8 )

The syntax for the "margin" shorthand property is the following:

margin: margin-top | margin-right | margin-bottom | margin-left;

Margin properties set the size of the margin between the outside of an elementís border and surrounding page elements. Letís list some examples for proper understanding:

h2 {

     margin: 5px;


h2 {

     margin: 5px 20px;


h2 {

     margin: 1em 2em 4em;


h2 {

     margin: 5px 20px 5px 20px;


In the first example, all of the margins for the <h2> element are set to 5px. In the case where only one value is specified, it will be applied to all sides of the element. In the second example, where only two values have been specified, CSS interprets the first as being the value for the horizontal margins, that is, those at the top and bottom of the element. The second value defines the right and left margin sizes for the element.

In the third example, where three values have been defined, the first value is set to "margin-top," the second is set to "margin-right" and the third is set to "margin-bottom," respectively.

When four margin values are defined for the element, theyíre automatically applied to the borders, moving around the element in a clockwise direction, that is top, right, bottom and left, respectively.

Letís see another interesting shorthand property, which consists of using padding.

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