CSS Browser Detection - The complete guide!

by Afonso Ferreira Gomes

Different browsers, different CSS interpretations! There will be a time when you'll need to hide some CSS rules from a particular browser, or even all the CSS file! In this articles I'll try to compile all possible types of Browser detection technics and provide examples. So let's start with the easier one!

Browser detection for Netscape

Netscape 4 is probably the dumbest browser when it comes to CSS support, extremely limited and many times erroneous! As the browser's market share of Netscape is below 0.5% it became natural to hide the CSS file from it! The method used for this is the import directive that will make the browser to display a version of the site completely without CSS. 

Here's the directive you have to call: 
(style type="text/css")@import url(wise-designscom.css);(/style)

Browser Detection for IE Mac computers

This browser "died" when Microsoft announced there would be no more updated versions of it. Now this browser fell in desuse and there are a wide range of CSS technics that IE/Mac doesn't interpret well! Therefore many webmasters started to code their CSS sites so that they would work correctly on this browsers. Contrary to Netscape users, these weren't neglected.

The hide technic:

/* Hide from IE-Mac */ 
#header {padding-bottom:3em} 
#footer {padding-top:1.5em} 
/* End hide */

IE/Mac won't see these commands but will display the content even without those rules! Now... if you have a specific area of your site that isn't vital to your visitors you can just hide it completely from this browser without having the trouble to even try and make it look better within the possible! Here's how:

#noiemac {display: none} 

/* Hide from IE-Mac */ 
#noiemac {display: block} 
/* End hide */

The first rule hides it all from IE/Mac (e.g <div id="noiemac">content to hide here!</div>)

The second CSS ruledisplays the section cause Ie/Mac can't see it!

Browser Detection for Internet Explorer

For this one we'll have to use the "child selector". This rule consists of two elements, the parent and his child! Let it be html>body, body being the child of html the parent! As IE don't understand it, it will come a time when this knowledge will come to be handy!

The typical example of the header margin:

#header {margin-bottom:4em} 
html>body #header {margin-bottom:1em}

IE will use the 1st rule cause it's blind to the 2nd and all other browsers will use the 2nd one!

Browser Detection for Internet Explorer 5

At first this one was strange to me! How the hell we have to set different rules for different VERSIONS of the same browser? Well, the truth is that IE5 doesn't get right the box model! When we specify the width of an element in CSS, that doesn't include the values of padding and borders. IE5 include these values in the width, which leads to widths become smaller in it!

Let's see the following example:

#header {padding: 2em; border: 1em; width: 12em}

For all browsers this width would be 12em! 
For IEe the width would be 6em!! God! How is that possible? Simple: 12em (Width) - 4 (padding left + padding right) - 2 (border left + border right)! 

Is there any solution for this problem? Sure! A clever guy, named Tantek Çelik (you'll hear of him a lot if you read many tutorials of CSS! This is kind of the most important discovery since the wheel on CSS community!) invented the box model hack

He said that to make browser detection work , and send a different CSS rule to IE5 you would use the following:

#header {padding: 3em; border: 1em; width: 18em; voice-family: ""}""; voice-family:inherit; width: 12em}

IE5 will use the first width value of 18em! 6em of which will be taken up by the padding-left + padding-right + border-left + border-right. This would ultimately give the element a width of 12em in IE5.

The 18em value will then be overridden by the second width value of 12em by all browsers except IE5, which, for some reason, can't understand the CSS command that comes immediately after all those squiggles. It doesn't look pretty, but it does work!

I hope this articled helped you understand the different situations related to browser detection in the CSS world! At first it was confusing to me but with 2/3 hours of reading anyone would be able to understand this ... and understand well! For more quality articles and tutorials please visit my site at http://www.wise-designs.com ! I'll be expecting you there!!

About the Author: Afonso Ferreira Gomes is the webdesigner for Wise Designs Webmasters at http://www.wise-designs.com. The site's objective is to help any webdesigner in his work by providing templates, tutorials, articles, scripts, graphics and all the resources anyone can think of!

Create PDF eBooks Instantly!

Still No PDF Download Option For Your Customers Because Your Brain Just Shrivels Up When You Try To Buy/Use Adobe Acrobat software?

Now, You Can Point And Click Your Way To Instant, Hassle-Free PDF Publishing ... Using One of The 33 Free To Nearly Free Tools!

Order Now and Receive Master Resell Rights, Keep 100% of The Profits!
(This Offer May End At Any Time)

Easy PDF Publisher's Toolkit

Create PDF Files From Any Printable Document in a Few Simple Clicks!

"Finally There's an EASY Way To Publish Stunning PDF Files,
Without Wasting a Lot of Time and Money"

Easy PDF Publisher's Toolkit

Translate Page!


Sign-Up for The Business Junction Newsletter and Get "FREE" Newsletter Sign-Up Software, Specials Updates, Product Updates and MUCH MORE!


| Home | AdvertiseAffiliates | Contact Us | Contents | Disclaimer & Terms Of Use |

Free Bonus Gifts | Free Software | Hot Software | JV Giveaways | Link Partners |

Link To Us | Newsletter | Newsletter Articles (The Best From Our Archives) |

Privacy Policy | Site of the Week | Software Directory | Software Spotlights | Special Offers | Turnkey Web Sites |

The World's Largest Digital Package!
(16,090+ Products & Getting Bigger Daily)

Our Other Premium Packages!
EXTREME Niche Combo Package (8,585+ Products)
Private Label Rights Package (3,230+ Products)
Graphics & Web Design Package (3,915+ Products)
Internet Marketing Package (2,615+ Products)
Sports, Leisure, and Health Package (2,540+ Products)
Social Media Marketing & SEO Package (1,265+ Products)
Affiliate Marketing Package (825+ Products)
Blog, Podcasting, & RSS Package (745+ Products)
Article Marketing Package (260+ Products)
Auction Marketing Package (210+ Products)
Joint Venture Marketing Package (65+ Products)
Pop-Ups Package (35+ Products)

Copyright 1996 - 2015 TheBusinessJunction.Com

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder
(All Rights Reserved: No material from this site may be copied for use on another site or
used for any commercial purpose without prior written permission. Violators will be prosecuted!)

The Business Junction does not offer technical assistance with any software sold from our website. All software comes with its own instructions, help and/or 
installation files. Note that most software is designed for Windows platform. If it does not specifically state that it is compatible with Mac platform, do not purchase.