CSS Resets - are they really needed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have been passing out Morten rand- hendriksen's EW4 live lessons DVD's to our new staff and one thing he advocates is the use of CSS resets. I am aware of these such as Eric Meyers but we have yet to use them. Recognizing the browser differences we just added more space to accomodate them and said who cares if the margins are different as long as the content looks ok. I realize this is simplifying things a bit and its more than just margins, but in general we get acceptable results.

    We looked at a lot of sites and see resets are used in perhaps 30-40% of those we observed. I was wondering how many on this forum use resets and the reasoning or criteria for such use.

    On one hand we are taught to design for the range of browsers with minimal hacks and far flung coding to support browser nuances and accept browser rendering differences as long as the general appearance and content are intact. I like this minimalist and generalist idea.

    I am looking for opinions and guidance on this topic. Its a simple matter to use these resets if its worth the code weight.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:49 PM

All replies

  • I've used them on some sites (and the WebAssist Site Sculptor add-in used one) and often found them more effort than they are worth, in that you have to style everything they reset. These days, with browsers becoming more compliant, I tend to stick to the minimalist idea and put up with small inconsistencies. (SuperPreview is a great help in identifying small differences).
    Ian Haynes

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    Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:44 PM
  • It's your choice.  I generally don't use them, and only explicitly style what I need to style if there are noticeable browser differences.
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:13 PM
  • Heh, heh... you like picking these "religious war" topics, don'tcha?   ;-)

    Seriously, though, to use or not to use a CSS reset is one of those issues with proponents on either side, and a larger body of those who say, "CSS whats?", or just "Meh... who cares? Do whatever rocks your boat."

    I personally do use a custom modified version of the Meyer Reset. I have done so for years, and have no problem with styling everything myself. I find that it does help in overcoming browser inconsistencies, particularly within the IE family, and between those browsers and everything else.

    But, as others have noted, it's purely a personal choice. If you use one and find that it doesn't contribute anything, don't use it. However, if you use a template or other design that already has one, I would leave it in place, since the other styling will be predicated upon its presence.


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    Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:48 PM
  • Are CSS resets necessary? No, though some people find them useful. I don't becaues I don't want to have to redefine every single html element I might use. I also don't try for "pixel perfect" page layouts. I will on occasion use a global reset of specfiic html elements but that isn't what is usually meant by a reset. To me they add more overhead and can make it more difficult to troubleshoot display issues because something isn't behaving "normally".

    Some people absolutely love them just like others love using "grid" systems but to me they aren't worth the overhead.

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    Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:05 PM
  • I've been using a modified, heavy Meyer reset for about 5 years. Recently, however, I've tried a very minimalist reset with good results. I am encouraged and may minimize even further.

    Cheryl's point about having to define every element after having reset is a good one. It really is a pain. I've found it easier to deal with the exceptions.

    Early on, I removed some things from the Meyer reset. I generally set up all the H tags anyway, so resetting them doesn't really help anything. I also took out all the lists (ordered, unordered, definition) because I found it easier to find the instances where the list looked very bad and simply fix them. Otherwise, the browser defaults for lists are mostly okay.

    The one thing I haven't resolved is the font-size: 100%; reset. I hate to admit this publicly but I don't think I do the best job with font sizing and I'm wondering if this rule has contributed to my difficulties.

    Baltimore, MD USA -
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 2:44 PM