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Writing browser specific CSS – Conditional Comments !

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Working around with cross browser compatibility needs you to be equipped with techniques which enables you to write seperate css for various browsers.

Due to its relatively poor level of standards support, Internet Explorer tends to be the subject of most CSS hacks. Luckily, as of version 5, it deliberately supports a rather safe-to-use hack called “conditional comments”. Conditional comments are specially constructed HTML comments that Internet Explorer on Windows may treat differently from other browsers, optionally based on IE’s version number. They can cause Internet Explorer to ignore the markup between comments or to include part of a comment as if it was regular markup. Conditional comments apply specifically to browsers using Internet Explorer’s Trident layout engine, meaning IE-based browsers like Maxthon and Avant handle them like Internet Explorer does while browsers using other layout engines see them simply as regular comments. Internet Explorer on the Mac uses a different layout engine and doesn’t support conditional comments.

The syntax for conditional comments is as follows:

<!--[if condition]> HTML <![endif]-->
<!--[if !condition]><![IGNORE[--><![IGNORE[]]> HTML <!--<![endif]-->

condition is one of the following:

Any version of IE
lt IE version
Versions less than version
lte IE version
Versions less than or equal to version
IE version
Only version version
gte IE version
Versions greater than or equal to version
gt IE version
Versions greater than version

version is the version of Internet Explorer, typically 5, 5.5, 6, or 7

HTML is the HTML to be included if the condition does or doesn’t match, depending on the type of conditional comment. When included, the HTML is placed right where the conditional comment is in the source.

For negative conditions, <![IGNORE[--><![IGNORE[]]> can be replaced with --> if the condition is simply IE. The longer version is only needed when Internet Explorer might parse the contents.

The <![IGNORE[ ... ]]> directive is not available in XML, so it is illegal to use it in XHTML. A solution would be to split it up into two special conditional comments: <!--[if !condition]> XHTML <![endif]--> <!--[if !IE]>--> XHTML <!--<![endif]--> where XHTML is the same both places. Note that Internet Explorer 7 and below don’t yet recognize XHTML as a form of XML, so this is merely forward-looking.


Written by Ranjith

February 19, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Posted in UI

One Response

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  1. thanks much, dude


    September 22, 2008 at 6:29 am

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