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9 cool things you can do with CSS functions

CSS has gone way beyond simple aesthetics to create incredible functionality. Here are 9 cool you can do with CSS that you're probably unaware of.
21. jan. 2020 • 4 minute read
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How web developers can use CSS to its full potential

The potential of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) has exceeded expectations of what was once considered achievable with the language. Thanks to the continued adaptation of  developers , the capabilities of CSS have improved vastly beyond the simple display of HTML elements.
Why should we be fans of CSS? Because it constantly revolutionizes itself while trying to strive for its renowned form of simplicity. The end result is the creation of browser functionality that is arguably above and beyond what can be created with JavaScript.
This is why we're going to provide an insight into the nifty capabilities of CSS. There are hundreds of cool, creative CSS functions out there that can add style and flair to your development — we've decided to cover 9 of them today in a bid to help you stand out from the rest of the developer crowd. 
All of these functions are fun to play around with and you can implement them without the need to utilize JavaScript. Try out the tutorials and links below to get the best out of these CSS functions.  

1. Typewriter effect

The CSS-only typewriter effect is an inventive, clever way to animate typing and add a bit of life to any webpage. Although it is not an entirely novel concept, the animations are continuing to progress. There are now plenty of really cool typewriting animations you can play around with to enhance your creativity.
This tutorial  provides a comprehensive analysis on how you can add typewriting animation text to your webpage. It provides all the code required and also provides a great comparison to what is capable in JavaScript.

2. Animations with  cubic-bezier()

The  cubic-bezier()  function allows developers to exert better control over CSS animations. Typical CSS animation functions often do not have the polished look and feel that developers are after. This is where an easing function, such as Cubic Bezier, comes to the rescue.
Essentially, the function defines a continuous curve and has the effect of smoothing down the start and end of an animation. Don’t worry if you are a little confused, this  excellent tutorial  provides an in-depth analysis of the Cubic Bezier function and explains how it can add sharpness to your animation.  

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3. Intelligent grids with the  calc()   function  

Grids are an excellent creative and design tool. They add great visual impact to any modern website. If you are just starting out with grids,  here is a great tutorial  to help you understand how CSS can be implemented to construct grids.  
If you are further advanced, the  calc()  function provides a great complementary method to improve the application of grids. Unfortunately, the use of fluid grids has become synonymous with errors. The introduction of the  calc() function has looked to iron out a lot of these issues. Check out how this function, combined with flexbox,  dramatically improves grid layout.

4. Bring into line  position:fixed  Elements with CSS  calc()

The application of the  calc()  function is not limited to grids. It is also extremely useful for aligning elements that hold a static position.  
It is often difficult to get the  position:fixed  element to line up with something how you want it to. We found  a nifty tutorial , which shows the dexterity of the  calc()  function. In this example, the function is utilized to manoeuvre a floating bubble to sit aligned within a content wrapper. This CSS function is a great asset when you have an awkward value that needs proper setting.

5. Pure CSS Tooltips

Pure CSS allow the creation of tooltips without the need for additional HTML elements or JavaScript. CSS Tooltips are great at achieving simplification and there are several tricks you can utilize to up your game as a developer.
The best place to start for Pure CSS tooltips is to watch this  YouTube video . You you can learn how to use ::before  and  ::after  CSS selectors, which have the ability to enclose text or content onto a page from CSS before or after the content of the element.
If you wish to progress your Pure CSS tooltips further, to create a more universal result,  this blog  improves upon the solutions that are offered in the video.

6. Custom Data attributes and the  attr()  Function  

The  attr()  function gives the value of an attribute of the selected elements. Data attributes are plain HTML attributes, which make them reachable from CSS.
Here is a  great example  that shows how you can use generated content in CSS with the  attr()  function. The example goes into detail and explains how you can use attribute selectors in CSS to modify designs according to the data presented.

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7. CSS Counters

CSS counters allow developers to manipulate the look of content according to its location. Notably, every browser type supports this CSS function, even though it is used infrequently. CSS counters are great for numbering headings, pagination and displaying numbers below imaging.
An example of CSS counters in action is  this great video . It demonstrates how to create dynamic multi-level tables and lists without JavaScript. It is a quality starting point to understand the capabilities of CSS counters.

8. Frosted Glass with CSS filters

The frosted glass effect, supported by Safari, utilizes the background filter and allows developers to generate the effect of blurring everything behind an element. It works by copying everything that will be blurred. Then, using a CSS or SVG blur filter, the blurred content is cropped to the correct size.
If you are operating on Safari,  view the code here  and understand how the frosted glass effect can be applied.  

9. Using HTML elements as Background Images

This crafty CSS function is supported by Firefox and allows the  element() CSS function to use an arbitrary HTML element as background images.
An ideal situation to use this CSS tooltip would be to extract an image in an HTML5  <canvas>  and then utilize this as the background.
Check out everything you need to know about the  element()  function and its application  here .

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