CSS — A few things I didn’t learn in the ‘tutorials’

I’ve spent some time trying to figure out some new styling in CSS that isn’t always standard in the ‘book’ or tutorials.


Before the fun… An important task I wanted to solve is when we have a parent element whose children extend outside of the its div/box/region. What does this mean? We’re basically forcing an element to self-clear its floating children.

/* Parent CSS Tag */
.parent:after {
content: "";
display: table;
clear: both;
<!-- Here we’ll clear any floats in the HTML -->
<div class=“parent">
<div class=“floated-child1"></div>
<div class="floated-child2"></div>
<div class="floated-child3"></div>


This had me plagued (for a hot 5 minutes). I was all excited to style my own input borders and be all crafty however every time I focused on the element I’d notice a little blue border around it. The solution is in the outline property.

Bottom with ‘outline’ property set to ‘0px’
/* Set that nice yellow background to the input box */
input[type="text"] {
background-color: rgb(250, 255, 189);
/* The main point here is to set the border attributes to give it that nice grey smooth look */
input.outline {
padding: .5em .75em;
width: 30%;
display: inline-block;
font-size: 1.25em;
font-family: "Avenir Next W01", "Avenir", sans-serif;
font-weight: 700;
border: 0.25em solid #eee;
border-radius: 0.5em;

color: rgb(0,0,0);
/* Set the buttery blue border color on focus */
input[type="text"]:focus {
border-color: #09f;
/* Here's the missing link, if you want that light blue hazy outline gone on your input field then set the outline to 0px*/
input[type="text"]:focus.no-outline {
outline: 0px;

PS. A friend just let me know the importance of the outline is that it is an accessibility feature, many companies may require this when creating forms.

2. Lively up your buttons!

The box-shadow can do a lot more then simply make a typical shadow on an element. Try this out for some fun with buttons just using box shadow.

A) The key takeaway here is to note the 4th box-shadow value which is the spread or distance of the shadow. I.e, { box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px 4px pink; }

B) We can also chain multiple box-shadow’s to the same element!

.btn {
padding: 1em 1.5em;
background-color: #F012BE;
color: #FFF;
border-radius: 5px;
text-decoration: none;
transition: all 300ms;
- For this desired effect we don't include blurr, only the spread.
- In the example below we chain 2 box-shadow properties together.
- 1st box-shadow is solid white 2px box around the entire element.
- 2nd box-shadow starts the pink box after the 2 white pixels
.btn:hover {
box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px 2px #fff, 0px 0px 0px 6px #F012BE;

3. Simple (yet fun) Animation

I haven’t dug too deep into animations in CSS so I wanted to start figuring out how keyframes and animating work.

.container {
width: 285px;
height: 420px;
margin: 0 auto;
/* Notice in the annimation property it calls 'ball-float' which is defined beneath .ball-container the @keyframes selector */.ball-container {
position: relative;
background-image: url(../images/basketball.png);
width: 285px;
height: 285px;
top: 0px;
animation: ball-float linear 3s infinite;
/* This moves the ball down 100px closer to the shadow */
@keyframes ball-float
50% { top: 100px } /* can use to and from instead of 50%/100% */
100% { top: 0px }
/* Use the shadow-react keyframe you declared below */
position: relative;
height: 16px;
background: #999;
opacity: 0.3;
border-radius: 100%;
margin: 0;
top: 100px;
animation: shadow-react linear 3s infinite;
/* Here we shrink and darkening the shadow as the ball falls */
@keyframes shadow-react
50% { margin: 0px 20% 0px 20%; opacity: 0.7; }
100% { margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; opacity: 0.1; }

Have any new CSS tricks I need to know? Please send me a pull request here adding yours: https://github.com/robhitt/four-css-tricks

You can check these all out live right here: https://www.robhitt.com/blog/four-css-tricks/

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