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January 14, 2004

Style Master secrets and tips #1

This is the first in a series of occasional articles about some of the features of Style Master, particularly some of their more obscure aspects.

If you have used Style Master 3 for Windows or Mac OS X, hopefully you've noticed the syntax coloring feature. Today I'll talk a little bit about what it does, and how you can customize it

This morning someone wrote to me asking why some property names in a style sheet they were looking at had a red background.

I guess it is not immediately obvious that this is a warning that something is wrong with the syntax of the style sheet.

In Style Master 3 for Windows, Style Master will warn of incorrect property names. In Style Master 3 for Mac OS X, and the upcoming 3.5 for windows, Style Master will warn of incorrect values as well.

Here are some examples of when this feature can be very helpful.

What's wrong with this?

li {list-style-tpe: circle} ?

or this

body {scrollbar-arrow-color} ?

In the first instance, simple typing errors can be very hard to spot, especially in a sea of code.

In the second, scrollbar-arrow-color is not part of CSS, it is an internet explorer extension. As we promote standards based coding, it is important to point this out. At the very least it will stop you scratching your head for 30 minutes wondering why Mozilla 1.5 does not support scrollbar properties.

When it comes to property values, things get even trickier.

In our workshops, I've seen time and again people wonder why color: #fefef for example doesn't work. If an editor highlights a problem for you, it can save a serious amount of work.


In the Options (Windows) and Preferences (Mac OS X) you can choose the color and style for any of the syntax elements of a style sheet, including invalid properties and values.

Open the Preferences from the Style Master menu in Mac OS X, or the Options from the File menu of windows, and go to the syntax style tab. Select the kind of element you want to style, then use the style editor to change their style.

People comment from time to time that Style Master is just a glorified text editor, so why use it in place of other text editors that are more general purpose? Syntax coloring is just one of many reasons why specialized tools can make you much more productive. And save your hair :-)

January 14, 2004 | Permalink


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For those of you who use the excellent StyleMaster, John Alsopp has started a series on Style Master secrets and tips starting with the syntax coloring feature over at his dog or higher blog.... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 15, 2004 2:30:58 AM


Hi, how do you access the head area within Style Master?

Posted by: Stephen Kortz | Oct 8, 2004 4:27:08 AM