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CSS List Menus
      by Rabbell : 11 June 2006

Ever seen those CSS list menus? Fancy making one? Of course you are! Well, this is a handy tutorial if you want to create a quick CSS menu and be able to control its appearance.

Step 1
In your HTML page, create a div and place an unordered list in the div, like this:

<ul id="nav">
<li><a href="home.htm">Home</a></li>
<li><a href="about.htm">About Us</a></li>
<li><a href="products.htm">Products</a></li>
<li><a href="services.htm">Services</a></li>
<li><a href="contact.htm">Contact Us</a></li>

As you can see from the code, I linked all of our list items to generic HTML pages. When you use the above code in your site, you will probably want to link it to specific pages on your site. Also notice that we've given the list an id called nav. I'll revisit id names shortly, so don't worry too much about it now. Anyway, let's proceed to Step 2.

Step 2
In the head section, between your <head> and </head> sections of your page, copy and paste the following code:

<style type="text/css">

The code you pasted looks bizarre when you glance at it, but, when you look at it in detail, it is quite simple. First, I specify the properties for width, margin, padding and background color. For each of those properties, I assign them values. Declaring a style - called .menustyling - is only part of styling an html object. You need to call it, and you do that by using the id name along with a div tag:

<div class="menustyling">

If you replace the div tag in your list's HTML with the above code, you probably will not see much change. The main advantage of wrapping your list around a div tag is that making future modifications to your list's background color, margin, padding, etc. is very simple. You simply change the code in the menustyling block. You don't ever touch the list's properties. This decoupling of style information from the content is what makes CSS a very powerful tool in your toolbox.

Step 3
Next you'll want to remove those bullet points from the list, and we may as well fix the padding and margin for the list also. Add the following code directly below the earlier code you pasted between the <head> tags:

.menustyling ul{

Can you spot the difference between what you pasted above and what you already had pasted? They both have the same name - menustyling. But, notice that the second version of menustyling contains the ul tag in its header. That means that any ul content placed within the menustyling umbrella will have the styles specific in the .menustyling ul class.

What you should have now is a simple list as shown in the image below:

[ how your list should look ]

To see a live demo of the above list, click here to view the list in a new window.

Onwards to the next page!

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