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How to solve Browser Compatibility issues

What are browser Compatibility issues?

I will try to explain it in the simplest possible way. Suppose you make any website and it looks perfectly alright in your default browser. Now you try opening the same website in some different browser, and you see some difference in its appearance. You again open the same website in a third browser and it again looks a bit different (as compared to the other two browsers). Now you start wondering, how to make the website appear same in all the browsers.

Yes.. You are now dealing with browser compatibility issues. It is the most common problem that every web-designer goes through. Every Website Developer / Designer spends most of his/ her time struggling to solve browser compatibility issues.

What Causes Browser Display Differences?

  • Different Browsers
  • Different Browser Versions
  • Different Computer Types
  • Different Screen Sizes
  • Different Font Sizes
  • HTML Errors
  • Browser Bugs

For a detailed description on each of the above listed topics, please visit this link.

How to solve browser Compatibility issues?

There are a set of rules and regulations that you need to follow in order to make your website look consistent across all the browsers, like using a correct DOC type, Validating your HTML and CSS etc. But here I am not going to discuss about all these rules.

Today I am going to share two major utilities with you which will solve almost all your browser compatibility issues. They are:

  1. Reset CSS
  2. CSS Browser Selector javascript

Reset CSS

Normally every browser assigns some default styles (like default line heights, margins, paddings, and font sizes, headings, and so on) to HTML elements. Because of this default styling adapted by the browsers, every html document appears to be a bit different in different browsers.


The use of Reset CSS file removes and neutralizes the inconsistent default styling of HTML elements, creating a levelled baseline across all major browsers and providing a sound foundation upon which you can explicitly declare your styles.

There are many reset style-sheets available on the internet today. You can find a good collection of different reset CSS files here. You can download and use any reset CSS stylesheet depending on your choice and requirement. Alternatively you can download my choice of reset CSS as a separate stylesheet; or copy and paste the following stylesheet code on top of your default stylesheet.

@CHARSET "UTF-8";

body,div,dl,dt,dd,ul,ol,li,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,pre,form,fieldset,input,textarea,p,blockquote,th,td { 
	margin:0;
	padding:0;
}

table {
	border-collapse:collapse;
	border-spacing:0;
}

fieldset,img { 
	border:0;
}

address,caption,cite,code,dfn,em,th,var {
	font-style:normal;
	font-weight:normal;
}

ol,ul {
	list-style:none;
}

caption,th {
	text-align:left;
}

h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {
	font-size:100%;
	font-weight:normal;
	position:relative;
}

q:before,q:after {
	content:'';
}

abbr,acronym { 
	border:0;
}

Go to this link for more information on reset CSS.

CSS Browser Selector Javascript

CSS Browser Selector is a very small javascript with just one line and less than 1kb which gives you the ability to write specific CSS code for each operating system and each browser.


By including this javascript file in your HTML document, you can assign a class for a specific browser, and you are free to use your own style rules for that particular browser.

Click here to see a demonstration of CSS Browser Selector Javascript.

Lets assume a situation that you have created a webpage with font size of 16px.This web page appears to be the same in all the browsers, but in safari browser, you feel that the font size appears to be a bit bigger. To solve this issue, you can include the CSS Browser selector javascript between your <head> and </head> tags like this:

<head>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="js/css_browser_selector.js">
</head>

After this, you can define the style rules for safari browser like this which will solve your issue.

.safari body{
	font-size: 15px;
}

As you can see the code above that we have defined a seperate class “.safari” for the safari browser. In the same way you can define the class “.ie” for Internet Explorer, and “.opera” for Opera browser. Following list shows you all the possible browser codes which you can use as classes for that particular browser.

  • ieInternet Explorer
  • ie8Internet Explorer 8.x
  • ie7Internet Explorer 7.x
  • ie6Internet Explorer 6.x
  • ie5Internet Explorer 5.x
  • geckoMozilla, Firefox (all versions), Camino
  • ff2Firefox 2
  • ff3Firefox 3
  • operaOpera (All versions)
  • opera8Opera 8.x
  • opera9Opera 9.x
  • opera10Opera 10.x
  • konquerorKonqueror
  • webkitSafari, NetNewsWire, OmniWeb, Shiira, Google Chrome
  • safariSafari, NetNewsWire, OmniWeb, Shiira
  • safarii3Safari 3.x
  • chromeGoogle Chrome

Similar to this you can specify the class for different operating systems also. Following list shows you all the possible operating system codes which you can use as classes for that particular operating system.

  • winMicrosoft Windows
  • linuxLinux (x11 and linux)
  • macMac OS
  • freebsdFreeBSD
  • ipodiPod Touch
  • iphoneiPhone
  • webtvWebTV
  • mobileJ2ME Devices (ex: Opera mini)

For getting more information on CSS Browser Selector javascript, go to its homepage. To download Browser selector javascript click here


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25 responses

  1. the best one i’ve read , do you believe this is the future?

    July 26, 2010 at 8:39 am

  2. leyk

    I have read the css browser selector and i am confused on two things (First of all i am using Joomla and the menu on the left goes behind the text on IE7)
    1. Where exactly am i going to paste the .js file?
    2. Where exactly am i going to create the class files. Is it on index.php or some other file?

    Please please help…any help..thanks….

    January 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    • Hi You can put the js file in the head section of the document. (Inside the <head> and </head> )

      And you can create the classes in the css stylesheets. You can create a separate stylesheet, with all the classes, defined only for resolving the browser compatibility issues.

      You can write an embedded style also (Inside the <head> and </head> ) using the <style type=”text/css”> and </style>
      .

      February 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

  3. great…….its one the nice trick to solved browser compatibility issues. its awesome.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  4. dinesh thakur

    hi………the code u have given me do u think that it will support all browser. pls guide me

    January 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

    • dinesh thakur

      pls guide me

      February 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  5. dinesh thakur

    hi

    February 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm

  6. dinesh thakur

    pls tell me how can i use this code

    February 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    • hassan

      Just copy it to your style sheet and see what happen. I think u can solve.

      April 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

  7. Anonymous

    very good blog bro,

    April 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

  8. Anonymous

    hello,
    I developed a site,it looks better in google chrome but some variations in internet explorer.Please suggest the ways to resolve it .

    June 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  9. Can you Provide your site url. Thanks.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

  10. thsnks !!!

    December 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm

  11. Sneha Tonde

    Thanks a lots….it’s works…

    February 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm

  12. Bharath Ram

    Awesome work man.. Thanks a lot..

    February 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm

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    its just the anchor tag link thatr does not open well in IE8 but opens in firefox. what solution do u suggest?

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