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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is CSS3?
3.
What are CSS3 features?
3.1.
1. New Selectors: More ways to target HTML Elements
3.2.
2. Expanded color options and Gradient Effects
3.3.
3. Rounded Corners
3.4.
4. Transformations of Shapes and Text in 2D and 3D
3.5.
5. Shadow effect 
3.6.
6. Transitions and Animations: Smooth and Dynamic Visual Effects
3.7.
7. Adjusting Opacity
3.8.
8. Flexbox: Powerful Layout Capabilities for Responsive Design
3.9.
9. Multi-Column Layout
3.10.
10. Media queries: Conditional styling for different screen sizes
3.11.
11. Word Wrapping
3.12.
12. Font Flexibility
3.13.
13. Compatibility: Cross-platform support and vendor prefixes
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
Name some CSS3 features.
4.2.
What are Adjacent sibling selectors?
4.3.
What is the flexbox property in CSS?
4.4.
What are media queries?
5.
Conclusion 
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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CSS3 Features

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Introduction

Hello Ninja, Do you want to make some of the most outstanding web applications? Do you want to implement some of the new CSS3 features? 

This article will cover some of the most prominent CSS3 features that would make your website visually more appealing and attractive. But before diving into the CSS3 features section, let us understand a little about CSS3.

CSS3 features

What is CSS3?

CSS3 or Cascading Style Sheets Level 3 is an improved and refined  Versions of CSS with certain advanced features like media queries, transitions, 3D transformations, shadows, gradients, border images, and many more to make your website visually more appealing. CSS3 helps create more complex designs that help define the appearance of web pages.

CSS3 is supported by almost all modern web browsers like google chrome, firefox, safari, Opera, etc.

css3

Here, you can also read about the major difference between CSS, CSS2, and CSS3.

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What are CSS3 features?

CSS3 new features are used in designing better layouts and attractive web pages easily. It makes the HTML elements look more appealing to the eyes. Now, let us study the application of each feature in detail. 

css3 features

1. New Selectors: More ways to target HTML Elements

CSS3 has introduced new selectors to target HTML elements to create more efficient stylesheets. Examples of new Selectores are:

  • Attribute Selectors: These selectors help you to target elements based on attributes like class or id.
     
  • Adjacent Sibling Selectors: The adjacent Sibling Selectors allow you to target a component that is the immediate successor of another element. To target the first paragraph after a heading, we can use the “h1+p” selector.
     
  • Child Selectors: These target elements that are direct children of another element. For example, to target the lists of an ordered list, we use the selector “ol>li.”
     
  • Nth-child selectors: These are used depending on their position within a parent element. For example, “li: nth-child (even).”

2. Expanded color options and Gradient Effects

CSS3 comes with expanded color options and gradient effects. The expanded color options include colors beyond the traditional web-safe colors. This is achieved with the help of new color formats like RGBA and HSLA. 

We can also add linear or radial gradients to HTML components to enhance the look of the web pages. The advanced CSS3 gradient effect allows developers to add multiple color breaks within a gradient that adds to the flexibility of the gradient effect.

3. Rounded Corners

With the earlier versions of CSS, it was pretty challenging to have rounded corners for images and elements. The CSS3 feature of “border-radius” to create rounded corners has simplified this issue. We can have more appealing HTML components with rounded corners by specifying a value greater than 0 to the border-radius. Today, we can see rounded corners to most of the web content, all thanks to CSS3.

Example:

.round_sq{
border-radius: 12px;
}

 

The above example applies a border-radius of 12px on the targeted HTML element with the class name round_sq.

4. Transformations of Shapes and Text in 2D and 3D

CSS3 comes with a critical transform property that can be applied to rotate, translate, skew, flip, zoom, shrink, and scale HTML elements. 

For 2D transformations CSS3 provides rotate(), scale(), skew() and translate() functions. While for 3D transformations, we have rotateX(), rotateY(), and rotateZ(). These functions can be used to create more interactive and stunning web designs.

  • rotate(): To rotate an element clockwise and counterclockwise around the z axis, we use the rotate() function in CSS3.
     
  • scale(): To resize any HTML element on a 2D plane, we use the scale() function inCSS3.
     
  • skew(): To give a shear transformation to a specific angle, we use the skew() function in CSS3.
     
  • translate(): To change the position of any HTML element along the horizontal or vertical direction, we use the translate() function in CSS3.

5. Shadow effect 

The CSS3 has an important box-shadow property to add shadows to text and shapes, thus adding a sense of depth to them. Along with the box shadow, we can add a horizontal and vertical offset, blur amount, shadow color, shadow spread, and inset. This makes the web pages visually more engaging.

Example:

.container{
box-shadow : 1.5px 1.5px 5px #312577;
}

 

The above CSS code adds a shadow with a horizontal and vertical offset of 1.5px, 5px blur radius, and #312577 color to an HTML element with the class name container.

6. Transitions and Animations: Smooth and Dynamic Visual Effects

CSS3 transitions and animations are an advanced styling feature that allows web developers to add smooth and dynamic visual effects to their web pages. While the transition property is used to create gradual changes in CSS property, with animations, you can create more complex effects by specifying the keyframes, which in turn target the values of CSS properties at specific time stamps. Both transitions and animations can be used to create interactive web pages.

Example:

HTML

<div class=”container”></div>

 

CSS

.container {
     width: 50px;
     height: 50px;
     background-color: yellow;
     transition: width 1s ease-in-out;
     animation: rotate 4s linear infinite;
}
 @keyframes rotate {
     from {
         transform: rotate(0deg);
    }
     to {
         transform: rotate(360deg);
    }
}

7. Adjusting Opacity

Using rgba colors, the CSS3 opacity property can be applied to alter the opacity of HTML elements. Instead of editing the picture with the required opacity and adding it to the HTML file, we can simply write a single line of code in CSS. 

Example:

div{
opacity: 0.7;
}

 

The above example applies an opacity of 0.7 on the targeted div element.

8. Flexbox: Powerful Layout Capabilities for Responsive Design

CSS3 comes with a very versatile and powerful flexbox property to organize the contents within an HTML element in an efficient way to create a responsive layout. The features of Flexbox include the following:

  • Flexible container: The HTML component containing the flex items can be adjusted to fill the entire space or shrink as per the requirement.
     
  • Flexible items: The flex items can also be positioned as needed.
     
  • Alignment: Flexbox provides alignment options to align its items center, spaced, or wrapped.
     
  • Responsive design: This property enables us to create flexible layouts for different screen sizes.
     
  • Direction control: We can change the direction of the Flexbox from column to row and vice versa using the direction control feature of the Flexbox. 

9. Multi-Column Layout

multi-column property css3

CSS3 multicolumn layout property is used to create column layouts similar to that of a newspaper or a magazine article. With this property, content can flow to the next column automatically, depending upon the space available. We can also define the column width, column count, gap, and property. We can thus have the content in a more readable and presentable layout.

10. Media queries: Conditional styling for different screen sizes

media queries for responsive website css3

The contribution of media query properties toward the responsive design of a webpage is worth mentioning. This CSS3 feature allows conditional styling to create designs and layouts for different screen sizes like laptops, desktops, tablets, mobiles, etc. Thus a consistent user experience across different screens is achieved through media queries.

11. Word Wrapping

CSS3 word wrapping feature allows developers to control and manage long words when they exceed the container's width. 

We can have two values with the word-wrap property: normal and break-word. While the normal value allows lengthy words to extend beyond the container's width, the word-break value breaks long words and wraps them to the following line.

Example:

.box {
width: 150px;
border: 1px solid red;
word-wrap: break-word;
}

12. Font Flexibility

CSS3 has introduced many new font-related features, including font flexibility. This feature allows us to specify the range of font styles, thus giving us absolute control over how the text appears on the web page. We can also add our own variations to the font styles using the font-stretch property.

13. Compatibility: Cross-platform support and vendor prefixes

CSS3 features are supported by almost all web browsers and operating systems. Sometimes when the older versions of web browsers do not support the CSS3 features, tools like Vendor prefixes can be used by developers to address the cross-platform compatibility issues. Thus the consistency and appearance of the web pages are maintained across different platforms and web browsers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Name some CSS3 features.

The advanced CSS3 features include new selectors, 3D transformations, engaging animation, media queries, Flexbox and grid, multicolumn layout, opacity and box-shadow property, browser compatibility, etc.

What are Adjacent sibling selectors?

The Adjacent Sibling Selectors is a feature of CSS3 that helps web developers to target an element that directly follows another element. For example, we can use the “h1+p” selector to target the first paragraph after a heading.

What is the flexbox property in CSS?

CSS3 comes with a very versatile and powerful flexbox property to efficiently structure the contents within an HTML element to create a responsive design. We can also define the alignment, direction, and flexbox properties.

What are media queries?

Media queries property is used to apply conditional styling to create designs and layouts for different screen sizes like laptops, desktops, tablets, mobiles, etc. A consistent user experience across different screens is achieved through media queries.

Conclusion 

Kudos, Ninja, on making it to the finish line of this article! We have discussed the important CSS3 features. We understood the new selectors, advanced 3D transformations, Multiple column layouts, shadow effects, and many more features that CSS3 offers developers.

We hope this blog has helped you design an amazing project using CSS3 features. Do not stop learning! We recommend you read some of our other Unix articles: 

1. Fundamentals of HTML

2. Fundamentals of CSS

3. CSS interview questions

4. Introduction to CSS

Refer to our Guided Path to upskill yourself in DSACompetitive ProgrammingJavaScriptSystem Design, and many more! If you want to test your competency in coding, you may check out the mock test series and participate in the contests hosted on Coding Ninjas Studio!

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