WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: turning off style sheets


From: John Foliot - bytown internet
Date: Oct 25, 2002 12:22PM


Most "modern" browsers do support syle sheets, and the W3C urges you to use
them for all of your display considerations. The issue is more, what
happens when a browser which does not support style sheets hit's your
site... what are *they* being served up? Does the content make sense
semantically and structurally? If so, then Bob's yer Uncle. Generally, the
only user agents which do not support style sheets left are the text only
variety, such as Lynx, but also as mentioned elsewhere other smaller devices
such as cell phones and PDAs. In both instances, the only content which
"get's through" is the text. Ensuring that it is structurally marked up
using appropriate tags (<h1>, <ul>, <ol>, etc.) is the goal of the

Now to the next question - can you remove style sheet support in a "regular"
modern browser... to which I'll answer "sorta". I have collected a number
of small testing tools which assist in the process of testing web pages
under development. These tools all take advantage of the DOM of the IE
browser, extending the "right click" functionality of the browser. One of
the tools "removes" style sheets, however only linked styles... inline
styles are not affected. Anyway, see

Good Luck.


> Dear list:
> I often see responses that are couched in terms of "what if style
> sheets are turned 'off'." I have two questions about this:
> 1) For the browsers I know, (IE, some Opera, NN old and new,
> Mozilla), one doesn't so much turn stylesheets 'off', as much as one
> substitutes one's own preferences in a given area (larger text, high
> contrast colors, etc.) Is there in fact a way to turn stylesheets
> OFF entirely in modern browsers, or is it always a case of
> substituting some or all of one's own preferences into a local
> stylesheet?
> 2) Besides accessibility / colorblindness type issues, is there a
> good reason why a user might be doing this? I'm not trying to be
> snotty, I just honestly want to understand if there's a specific
> need being addressed.
> 3) As long as this is hardcore requirement, isn't CSS-positioning
> completely off the table, or is 'graceful degradation' acceptable?
> If the only reason to bend over backwards to create presentation
> solutions that don't fall over when style sheets are removed is that
> edge-condition nitpickers are going to give you a hard time for it,
> I will be hard to persuade that it's worth the additional effort.
> Lori Kay Brown
> User Interface Engineer
> SiteScape, Inc.
> -------- Original Message --------
> ==> From: "Leo Smith" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> ==> Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 14:21:04 -0400
> Glenda,
> Jukka's suggestion is a good one that should work for you, even if
> users do not have style sheets enabled. Essentially, all that you
> are hiding with the CSS is the bullet. If CSS is off, then you will
> simply get the bullet followed by the section (2)(i) which you will
> enter textually.
> You are preserving the structural markup of a list (albeit an
> unordered versus an ordered one), whilst getting the presentation
> that you are looking for, with the addition of a bullet when style
> sheets are switched off - not a big deal.
> My 2 cents...
> Leo.
> On 24 Oct 2002, at 10:08, Glenda Watson Hyatt wrote:
> > Thanks for the suggestion, Jukka. However, what happens when a
> uses > is not viewing with stylesheets and thus can't find
> subsection (2)(i)? > I guess I will stick with invalid markup [<p>
> within a <li>], till I > can find a better solution. > > Cheers, >
> Glenda > > > As a workaround, though, you might consider using <ul>
> markup with > > the numbers as explicit content, and a CSS rule that
> suggests > > suppression of bullets: <style type="text/css"> ul li {
> > > list-style-type: none; } </style> > > ... > > <ul> > > <li>(1)
> foo > > <li>(2) bar > > </ul> > > > > --
> Leo Smith Web Designer/Developer USM Office of Publications and
> Marketing University of Southern Maine 207-780-4774
> ---- To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives, visit
> http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/