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Big CSS Guide Update including Mobile Email Clients

DAVID GREINER - AUG 6, 2009

During a busy afternoon a few weeks back I was working on some design tweaks to the monthly Campaign Monitor newsletter. One change I wanted to make was best suited to a background image. I started coding this up, then realized I was probably treading on shaky ground. Did they even work in Gmail? I was sure Outlook 2007 had a strong dislike for them too. And how will this look on that fancy new Palm Pre everyone was talking about.

To make the matter even more complex, I realized there are literally five or six different ways to code a background image. Should I use the background-image CSS property, or can I get away with some CSS shorthand. What about using good old fashioned background= value on the table cell.

Rather than muck around with trial and error, I turned to our trusty CSS guide to see what advice it had for me. In no time at all I had my answer (try to avoid background images, but if you must use the old school approach). While we’re often told by designers just how handy the CSS guide is, it wasn’t until my recent experience that I realized how right they were. But while the guide was useful, it was now a full year old, was missing some CSS properties and didn’t include any testing on mobile email clients.

This week a few of us have been hard at work overhauling the CSS guide to meet all these shortcomings. We combined our own ideas for improvement with some other great suggestions from a number of customers over Twitter. The new guide now includes the following updates.

The mobile email client results have been extremely interesting so far. I plan on writing a more detailed analysis of the CSS support in the mobile email world soon where I can expand on some of the discoveries we made.

Check out the all new CSS Guide. We hope it helps you as much as it’s helped us.

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