Techopedia Explains Style SheetThe term style sheet was originally used in the print publishing industry as a basis or template for creating media. It was basically a sample sheet that showed how news and magazine articles would be laid out on a page. This was carried over to desktop and online publishing software where the style sheet functions very much in the same way, except that, this time, instead of a visual guide, it affects the actual document automatically.
In digital desktop publishing and digital media, the style sheet is an abstraction and acts as a tool for separating presentation and content so that the person creating the content does not have to worry about its presentation, if the latter is done by a different person. This means that an expert on visual presentation can work on the style sheet and another expert on content creation can work on his/her side without worrying about how the content looks. This is a common feature of desktop publishing software like Adobe InDesign, PageMaker, etc., as well as of word processing software like Microsoft Word.
Some formatting elements provided by style sheets include:
- Emphasis (bold, italics, underline)
- Tab stops and indentation
- Superscript and subscript
- Drop caps, letter cases and strikethroughs
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