When learning about CSS and Cascading priorities, the topic of User, Author, and User Agent style sheets becomes a bit confusing for newbies and most of the front-end developers. It is actually a fairly easy topic to grasp.
According to w3.org, CSS declarations are applied in this order (from lowest to highest priority):
– user agent
– user normal
– author normal
– author important
– user important
First, what is the difference between user agent, author, and user styles?
User Agent – is your browser such as IE or Chrome or Firefox. It has its own default style sheet and has the lowest priority.
Author – is the maker of the website who embeds all the styles of a website in CSS files or inline into the html.
User – is you or the end-user viewing a website. You can override the author’s styles by defining your own styles or CSS. Typically this is done. if you need to have larger font sizes, varying colors, etc. for accessibility reasons.
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