Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 revision 1
CSS 2.1 Specification

W3C Working Draft 28 January 2003

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Bert Bos <bert @w3.org>
Tantek Çelik <tantekc @microsoft.com>
Ian Hickson <ian @hixie.ch>
Håkon Wium Lie <howcome @opera.com>

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This specification defines Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 revision 1 (CSS 2.1). CSS 2.1 is a style sheet language that allows authors and users to attach style (e.g., fonts, spacing, and aural cues) to structured documents (e.g., HTML documents and XML applications). By separating the presentation style of documents from the content of documents, CSS 2.1 simplifies Web authoring and site maintenance.

CSS 2.1 builds on CSS2 [CSS2] which builds on CSS1 [CSS1]. It supports media-specific style sheets so that authors may tailor the presentation of their documents to visual browsers, aural devices, printers, braille devices, handheld devices, etc. It also supports content positioning, table layout, features for internationalization and some properties related to user interface.

CSS 2.1 corrects a few errors in CSS2 (the most important being a new definition of the height/width of absolutely positioned elements, more influence for HTML's "style" attribute and a new calculation of the 'clip' property).

CSS 2.1 corrects a few errors in CSS2 (the most important being a new definition of the height/width of absolutely positioned elements, more influence for HTML's "style" attribute and a new calculation of the 'clip' property), and adds a few highly requested features which have already been widely implemented. But most of all CSS 2.1 represents a "snapshot" of CSS usage: it consists of all CSS features that were implemented interoperably at the date of publication.

Status of this document

This document is produced by the CSS working group (part of the Style Activity, see summary).

The CSS WG is aware that this draft does not yet address all the comments raised on the previous draft. The next draft should follow in a few weeks and is expected to be the final one.

The (archived) public mailing list www-style@w3.org (see instructions) is preferred for discussion of this and other drafts in the Style area. When commenting on this draft, please put the text "CSS21" in the subject, preferably like this: "[CSS21] <summary of comment>"

For this specification to exit the CR stage, the following conditions shall be met:

  1. There must be at least two interoperable implementations implementing 'all' the features. An implementation can implement a superset of the features and claim conformance to the profile. For the purposes of this criterion, we define the following terms:


    An individual test case in the test suite.


    passing the respective test case(s) in the CSS test suite, or, if the implementation is not a web browser, an equivalent test. Every relevant test in the test suite should have an equivalent test created if such a UA is to be used to claim interoperability. In addition if such a UA is to be used to claim interoperability, then there must one or more additional UAs which can also pass those equivalent tests in the same way for the purpose of interoperability. The equivalent tests must be made publicly available for the purposes of peer review.


    a user agent which:

    1. implements the feature.
    2. is available (i.e. publicly downloadable or available through some other public point of sale mechanism). This is the "show me" requirement.
    3. is shipping (i.e. development, private or unofficial versions are insufficient).
    4. is not experimental (i.e. is intended for a wide audience and could be used on a daily basis.)
  2. A minimum of sixth months of the CR period must have elapsed. This is to ensure that enough time is given for any remaining major errors to be caught.

  3. Features may/will be dropped if two or more interoperable implementations are not found by the end of the CR period.

  4. Features may/will also be dropped if adequate/sufficient (by judgment of CSS WG) tests have not been produced for those feature(s) by the end of the CR period.

This is a public W3C Working Draft for review by W3C Members and other interested parties. It is a draft document and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use W3C Working Drafts as reference material or to cite them as other than "work in progress."

Patent disclosures relevant to CSS may be found on the Working Group's public patent disclosure page.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR.

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