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At my recent Web 2.0 Expo talk, I exhorted developers to get comfortable outside the Firebug/Firefox safety zone. By rotating between Opera, Safari and even IE as our primary development environments, we can really get to know those browsers - and perhaps learn to utilize their non-standard features. Switching things up, however, can inhibit productivity until you learn your way around each browser's tools.

To that end, I offer these step-by-step instructions for finding computed styles in all four A-grade browsers. I chose the display of computed styles as my "debuggers are cool" use case because it's an obscure but useful feature for CSS debugging. Most of the time I can debug styles by looking at my debugger's snapshot of the current cascade for a given element. But sometimes that's not enough. If I've assigned a value of "inherit" to the font-family of an element, then the cascade snapshot won't tell me what font is actually applied to that element. (Not being a designer, I often can't tell the difference between various sans-serif faces, especially at small sizes.) Luckily, computed styles can give me the information I need.

As these examples demonstrate, debugging tools have come a long way in the last couple of years. Let's make the most of them for all of our UI-layer needs.



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http://blogs.pathf.com/agileajax/2008/05/developers-note.html




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