CSS Units of Measure: Going Beyond the Pixel

Working with CSS in Web documents, we often find ourselves using the fundamental screen unit, the pixel—a square, nondivisible part of every display device (well, visual screens anyway) that distributes little sources of light in a regular, perpendicular grid.Because the majority of Web developers’ work focuses on creating pixel-perfect manifestations of designs delivered in pixel-based, noninteractive image formats, we tend to forget that the Web offers more than just pixel values for expressing lengths and sizes with CSS. This knowledge is fundamental for dealing with responsive Web design, where understanding how CSS length units work is crucial to correctly assigning sizes to objects and aligning elements on the page.

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