List attributes you didn't know existed

I think most people know that you can change the type of an <ol>, so you can get something like this:

  1. List Item
  2. List Item
  3. List Item

But, did you know you can also easily reverse the order of a list so it counts down instead of up? Or, what about starting it at a different number (or letter)?

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The ::first-letter pseudo-element

I can’t figure out why I don’t see more use of ::first-letter other than people not knowing about it. Things like drop caps and initial letters are super common print, and have been forever. There are a few places I see it pop up on the web, but it’s far and few between.

And while there is the possibility of an initial-letter property (it’s partially supported by Safari at the time of writing), we can pull off the effect we need with the ::first-letter pseudo-element really easily.

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The Do's and Don'ts of letter-spacing

Another week, another article about something design related! If you missed the past few, I strongly suggest checking them out, as these little things can make a big impact on your overall design. And, have you noticed that they’re all typography related?

People don’t give typography enough credit! I’ll save the rest of that rant for another day though. For the time being, let’s look into what you should, and shouldn’t, use letter-spacing for on the web.

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Using a typographic scale

Continuing my look at design tips that can help out front-end devs a little, one issue that I see cropping up often is a lack of contrast with font sizes. And by contrast, often I’ll see some color differences or something simple, but almost all the font sizes are the same, or there is no flow or rythm to the design. Having a typographic scale can help with this.

There are a lot of very in-depth and, sometimes overly complicated examinations of using a modular scale on the web. It can find it’s way into line-height, and even your padding and margins. It can reach into all aspects of your design, and for those who aren’t already knowledeable on the subject, it can be overwhelming. If you want to get deeper into the design world, it’s probably worth exploring. But if you’re a dev who just wants to make their site look a little better, you don’t have to go crazy.

Here, I’m going to look at the simple basics of it by looking at:

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You need to fix your `line-height`

I’ve been doing some diggin into my audience lately, and the most common issue is one relating to design. So because of that, I’m going to start talking a little bit more about design stuff here, but from the point of view of a developer, since that’s what most of you are. Little tips and tricks that can help you improve your designs, whether it’s small tweaks to work you’re doing, or just for your own personal projects.

In this article, we’re looking at line-height. It’s one of the problems that I see plague pretty much every site I see that didn’t have the direct input of a designer, and it has a massive impact on the aesthtic, and more importantly, the readability of a site.

Sometimes it’s a question of someone just not even bothering with it, but more often, it’s a bad use of it once we’re outside the ‘normal’ or body text. So to help you out, we’ll be looking at:

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transform-style opens up some cool possibilities

I don’t do a lot of fancy transitions with CSS. I’m a fan of minimilism in general, so simple layouts with simple effects tend to win me over. Because of this, I haven’t spent much time playing with anything 3D related with CSS very much. I’ve toyed around with persepective a little, but that’s about it.

That is, until I saw a tweet (that I’ve since been unable to refind) that had a cool effect in it. I was intrigued, and tried to replicate it for fun, but I wasn’t able to do it until I discovered tranform-style.

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Centering content without a container

Using a .container or .wrapper with a fixed width on it is a popular way to center content on the screen. Something like this:

.container {
  max-width: 1200px;
  margin: 0 auto;

It works wonderfully, but now that we have grid, I’ve stopped creating .container on my site. They aren’t needed. It’s just extra markup for nothing.

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There is a turn unit in CSS

Following up on my posts inspired by tweets that I come across (front-end dev twitter is amazing for finding little tips and tricks and stuff like I like to post here), here is an amazing thing I came across by none other than Wes Bos:

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A Cool Trick For Checking For Alt Attribute

A little while ago I came across this tweet:

I love that idea so much, and had to write up on it.

Let’s break down exactly how this is working before we dive into a bit more info on why you might even want to bother with this.

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CSS Scroll snapping just blew me away

CSS seems to be stealing more and more functionality from things we traditionally had to use JavaScript for. This is good because not only does it help performance and reduce dependencies, it also makes our lives easier 😊. It also reduces the barrier of entry for people to make cool and fun websites, which is awesome.

I’ve been a huge fan of scroll-behaviour: smooth since I discovered it, and in a similar vien I’ve recently stumbled across scroll snapping and it’s pretty incredible, and now that support has dropped on the most recent version of Chrome, I think that it’s worth taking a look at it.

Here, is an example of how it works. Try scrolling and see what happens (you’ll have to be on a desktop for this, as I mention lower down, browser support hasn’t hit mobile yet).

See the Pen CSS Scroll snapping basic example by Kevin (@kevinpowell) on CodePen.

Cool, right?

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