Anne van Kesteren

Signatures on root

CSS signatures are an interesting concept (although I think that a general solution has more potential). Here a short note for all the people happily using XHTML in a HTML world: put the ID attribute on the root (or HTML) element. Thanks. Dave Shea already added one, now it is your turn.

HTML document authors can keep it on the BODY element, unless they style the root element in which case we have a problem. The HTML specification doesn't allow an ID attribute to be added on the HTML element.

XHTML 1.0 - Second Edition does. XHTML Modularization (and therefore Basic and 1.1) doesn't. XHTML Modularization - Second Edition doesn't, unless they address the issue. XHTML 2.0 does (and adds the CLASS attribute along with it). Related posts:


  1. All versions of Blog:CMS will include a skin variable for CSS Signature on the root element, enabled by default, including the upcoming Moosified Edition. I took care of that already. That means thousands of sites will use proper signatures, most of them unknowingly :)

    I did my part.

    Posted by Moose at

  2. Anne van Kesteren recently posted a statement about signatures on the root element, namely the html element…

    Posted by Dustin Wilson's Weblog: Root Signatures at

  3. I've done both and put an ID on the HTML and BODY tag. The IDs are different, of course. Is there a fixed format for CSS Signatures? Or can you make them up? I used "www-designdetector-com" for the body and "designdetector-com" for the root.

    My reasoning is simple. A lot of people expect to find it on the body tag. (Eg: some automatic scripts.) But others wish to style the root. So I cater for both. :-)

    The only problem is when you wish to give an ID to the page to style it differently, such as "about" or "gallery". Perhaps a div inside the body tag would get round that one.

    Posted by Chris Hester at

  4. BLOG:CMS v3.2.2 "Donald Trump Edition" already does include CSS signature :) It also features automatic import from WordPress, MovableType, Blogger, b2, EasyBlog, and NucleusCMS.

    Posted by rADo at

  5. Another proposition

    Multiple personal stylesheets

    Posted by Karl Dubost at

  6. For referrence, (though non-standard) Mozilla just added (in its nightly, meaning will be in 1.8 final)

    at rule, which allows site-matching like this, see: For the bug.

    Posted by Justin Wood (Callek) at