Shorthand and Longhand – one is concise and the opposite actual. One got here to lifestyles out of the need for brevity, whilst the opposite stands company to maintain readability. Both means, they have got their functions, execs and cons, in an effort to talk.

This submit will shine some gentle on each CSS shorthand notations and longhand notations, whilst concluding which is absolute best to make use of for which scenario.

What’s Shorthand Belongings?

Shorthand belongings is a belongings that takes the values for different units of CSS homes. As an example, we will assign a price for border-width, border-style and border-color the usage of the border belongings by myself.


border: 1px forged blue;

is equal to:

border-width: 1px;
border-style: forged;
border-color: blue;

With this, we don’t must claim particular person belongings values one after the other (which is redundant, time- and space-consuming). It additionally resets the left-out homes within the declaration, one thing which will also be taken good thing about.

How does it paintings?

Like up to now discussed, we write a suite of different belongings values in shorthand, the order doesn’t topic if the entire belongings values within the shorthand are of a distinct type like in border. For homes with identical types of values like margin, order does topic. When doubtful, be mindful clockwise!

Now, what if we leave out a belongings or two within the declaration? Within the above instance, let’s say we left out border-style.

border: 1px blue;

We received’t be capable to see the borders anymore, now not since the shorthand belongings didn’t paintings however since the border-style which we disregarded, were given the default worth none. That is how that shorthand belongings were given rendered.

border: 1px none blue;

Now let’s drop the 1px for border-width and stay the opposite two:

border: forged blue;

We’ll be capable to see the borders, best with a thicker width and that’s since the border-width belongings were given the default worth medium.

border: medium forged blue;

This concludes it for us that when a belongings worth is disregarded in a shorthand declaration, that belongings takes on its default worth (despite the fact that it has to override any earlier worth assigned for a similar).

If there may be border-width: 1px; for a component someplace earlier than border: forged blue; for a similar, the border width goes to be medium (the default worth), now not 1px.

Some other factor price citing is that we can’t use values like inherit, preliminary or unset, that are to be had for the entire CSS homes, in shorthand notation. If we use the ones, the browser received’t be capable to know precisely which belongings that worth is meant to constitute within the shorthand – all of the declaration can be dropped.

The all belongings

There may be one CSS shorthand belongings that may set the worth for all CSS homes. CSS-wide values inherit, preliminary and unset are acceptable to all the homes and therefore those are the one values authorized by means of the all belongings.

div {
  all: preliminary

This may occasionally make the div part ditch ALL of the CSS belongings values it had, and reset the default worth in each and every of them.

⚠ Caution

Let’s now not misuse the all belongings. The will for it is going to rise up best in very uncommon cases, after we don’t seem to be ready to the touch any earlier CSS code of a component that we want to practice this belongings to.

Be aware: CSS belongings colour takes hexadecimal worth with shorthand notation if the 2 numbers of hex worth in each colour channel is similar. As an example, background: #445599; is similar as background: #459;.

What’s longhand belongings?

The particular person homes that may be integrated in a shorthand belongings are referred to as longhand homes. Some examples are; background-image, margin-left, animation-duration, and so forth.

Why must we use it?

Even if shorthand choices are at hand, they do have an obstacle. Bear in mind to start with we noticed how shorthand overrides any disregarded homes with their default values? It is a drawback if the reset isn’t desired.

Take the font shorthand belongings for instance. Let’s use it within the h4 part (which has a default browser genre font-weight:daring)

font: 20px "courier new";

Within the above shorthand code, no worth is there for the font-weight belongings, therefore the font-weight:daring(browser default genre) can be overridden by means of the default worth font-weight:customary inflicting the h4 part to lose its daring genre, which won’t has been meant.

So, for the above instance easy two longhand homes, font-size and font-family are highest.

Additionally, the usage of shorthand for assigning just one or two belongings values isn’t very helpful. Why give the browser additional paintings to interpret each unmarried belongings (together with the disregarded ones) within the shorthand, when just one is had to paintings?

Manufacturing apart, all through building level, some builders (particularly learners) might to find the usage of longhand notation so much more straightforward to paintings with than shorthand for higher clarity and readability.

shorthand vs longhandshorthand vs longhand


In this day and age with the potential of rapid coding (with the assistance of gear like Emmet) and minification, a top reliability on shorthand isn’t wanted, however on the similar time, this is a lot logical to kind margin:0;.

The context through which we desire our CSS notations will range and all we need to do is work out what notation will works absolute best for us and when.

The submit CSS Shorthand vs. Longhand – Which to Use gave the impression first on Hongkiat.

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