How to Make a CSS Stylesheet in Notepad

Updated on May 21, 2019
Msmillar profile image

Ms. Millar has been an online writer for over eight years. She is well versed in website development with several websites she has created.

What is CSS

CSS stands for cascading style sheet. A CSS code is used to style an HTML document. When you create a website a browser reads the HTML file and any CSS code, javascript, etc., written within the HTML. It then displays it according to what those codes tell it to do.

Sometimes the CSS code is written directly into the HTML. This is called an internal style sheet. The code is written between the <head> and </head> tags using the <style> tag.

Other times the CSS code will affect only a specific phrase, word or paragraph. This is called an in line style sheet. It is written on the same line that it is to affect using the <style> tag and the attribute that is to be applied.

When the website has several pages in it an external CSS is used. This is the type of style sheet we will go over today. The external style sheet can be applied to several HTML documents. When the CSS code is altered it will affect all the pages. An entire website can be formatted from one style sheet. This saves a lot of time, otherwise you would have to modify every single page of a website.

By entering the <link> tag the browser reads the file you have entered a link to, and applies it across all the pages of the website.

The <link> tag is a pointer that is placed inside the <head> and </head> tags of the HTML document.

Any text editor can be used to write a CSS style sheet. Today we will use Notepad.

Further Reading

Further reading about the internal stylesheet.

Further reading about the inline stylesheet.

HTML to CSS file to Screen

With an inline CSS code the browser reads the HTML, and when it comes upon the line with the CSS code the browser applies the instructions.
With an inline CSS code the browser reads the HTML, and when it comes upon the line with the CSS code the browser applies the instructions. | Source

HTML With External Style Sheet

This HTML code points to an external stylesheet in folder "stylesheet.css".
This HTML code points to an external stylesheet in folder "stylesheet.css". | Source

Basic HTML And CSS Tags, Elements, Properties For A Webpage

(click column header to sort results)
<>, </>
The open and close brackets used on elements to indicate to the browser this is the beginning <> and </ > this is the end of the specified elements. IE what you want to see on your web page and how you want to see it. The <> starts the statement and </> closes it.
<body>Here you have told the browser this is the beginning of the body. When you have entered what you want in the body section you MUST close with the </body>.
<p>, </p>
The opening and closing paragraph tags. This will display as the paragraph section.
<p>Write your content between these brackets.</>
<h1>, <h2>, <h3> up to <h10>
Use these tags to indicate which heading you want displayed. The number 1-10 indicates which size heading you desire. <h1> being the largest.
<h1> Is the largest heading</h1>. <h2>Is the next size down.</h2>. <h3>Is even smaller.</h3> And so on.
A declaration specifies the property and the value of an item how you want it to show up.
{color:red: font-size:12px;} or {font-style:italic:}
Colon : and the Semicolon ;
Your declaration property MUST have a : (colon) after it. The value MUST have the ; (semicolon) after it as shown.
{color:red; font-size:12px;}
<style> </style>
These are the start and close style tags. They tell browsers how you want the HTML display to look. This is where you would use an Internal or In-line style.
<head> <style>h1{color:red; font-size:12px;} p{color:blue; font-family:georgia; font-size:12px;}</style>>/head>
<link> </link>
These are the start and close link tags. You would place your link to an external style sheet between these tags.
<head><link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"href="mystyle.css"></head> . This links to an external style sheet with the name and extension "mystyle.css"
The elements, tags and styles, are written in lower case.

HTML Element Basics

As you can imagine, there is a plethora of choices to add, alter and personalize your web page. The point I'm trying to make here is to give you enough information to get something you have created to display on your internet explorer like a web page. Once you have learned how to display it, then you can start manipulating it to look the way you want it to.

To present a page you have created to the world on the World Wide Web you would need to purchase a website to place your page on, and hire hosting to display it when someone types your web address into the search bar. But that's getting way ahead of ourselves. Let's get the HTML element basics working first!

The table above displays and explains the basic HTML and CSS elements and some of the property elements you want to see when you display your web page.

If an external link is placed after the internal style sheet in the HTML <head> section the external will take precedence over the internal style sheet.

First we will create the basic HTML document and view it on your browser.

The following HTML document has some of the most common elements you will find. You will get to know them very well over time because they are the foundation of the HTML page. Using Notepad we will create a web page and link an external CSS to it.

Click start -> All Programs -> Notepad

Enter the following code:

Plain HTML Document

<!DOCTYPE html>
<h1>Creating Your Own Webpage is Inspiring<h1>
<body>When you open your browser and type in the location of your HTML document, your page pops up just like a webpage because it IS 
a webpage!</body>
<p>The various tags  you put into your HTML document will affect how your webpage is displayed.  It's really up to you how creative you 

want to be.</p>

Tags Defined

After you have written the HTML code save it somewhere like your desktop for easy retrieval. Use the file extension .htm or .html.

The code you just entered tells the browser, line by line, what to display.

The first line is important because it tells the browser what type of document it is reading.

Entering <!DOCTYPE html> tells the browser it's an HTML document.

The <html> tells the browser, here's the start of the web page. </html> tells it, this is the end of the web page.

The <body> tag tells the browser that this is what I want to appear on the screen. The body tag ends with </body> tag.

Entering <h1> tells the browser this is the first heading. Indicating number one will make the heading appear larger than the rest of the text. H2 is smaller than h1, h3 is smaller, h4 is even smaller and so on.

Paragraphs start with <p> and end with </p>.

Now open your browser. I will be using Internet Explorer.

At the top of the page, on the left, click -> File -> Browse, and browse to where you saved the HTML document. Click on the document and press OK. The page is now displayed in your browser!

Plain HTML
Plain HTML | Source

Create a CSS File

Now open a new Notepad document. Click Start ->All Programs -> Notepad. This is going to be the CSS file that we put a link to.

Enter the following code:


Click Save and name it something like "mystyle" (minus the quotes). Save it as a .css file type.

Link the Stylesheet

Change the Color of the Text

Now we will add a link to the .css file you just created in the HTML document that will change the background color, the font type and the size of the font displayed.

Locate your HTML document and open it.

Add the following <link> to the HTML after the <head> section. (Insert the name in which you saved your .css file if it is different than the suggested mystyle.css): <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="mystyle.css">

This tells the browser you're using a style sheet and it is in the format of text/css and to retrieve it in "mystyle.css"

So now your HTML looks like the code below.

HTML With Link to Stylesheet

<!DOCTYPE html>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="mystyle.css"></head>
<h1>Creating Your Own Webpage is Inspiring<h1>
<body>When you open your browser and type in the location of your HTML document, your page pops up just like a webpage because it IS  a webpage!</body>
<p>The various tags  you put into your HTML document will affect how your webpage is displayed.  It's really up to you how creative you  want to be.</p>

Check Out the Results

Save your HTML with the same name as you chose before and click ok if it asks to overwrite the current one.

Open up your browser click on File -> Open -> Browse-> and browse to your HTML file and click on it it, click ok and your page should appear. It should look similar to the picture below.

Just changing the name of the color in your .css file will change the output and the same goes for the font and size of the font.

HTML Document With Notepad Stylesheet Linked
HTML Document With Notepad Stylesheet Linked | Source

Website Development Short Cut!

As you have learned, writing HTML is meticulous. Every semicolon, every bracket, every closing / must be in place or the browser won't display it correctly, or at all. This can be HIGHLY frustrating when your page won't display, or displays wrong, and you have to go through line after line of your code looking for what you missed (Yes, what you missed. Browsers don't read wrong.)

If you will be writing more than one page of HTML, or just don't want to forget how to write it, you can simplify the process by saving a template, or commonly called a frame of the HTML that you know works. Then, when you need to write an HTML page all you need to do is open your frame and fill in the details! See an example of a frame below (you can copy the following frame if you wish).

HTML Frame

<!DOCTYPE html>



<h1>   </h1>

<p>     </p>



This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • How do I make an internal style sheet with HTML on a Notebook?

    With a Notebook computer, you would open notepad (If it's installed) and create the HTML page as written. Any word processing program can be used to write HTML. The important part is saving the code you wrote. When you save it be sure to use the extension .html

© 2012 Joanna


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Huzaif Mhd 

    13 months ago

    Great article.


    RichEndTech Blog

  • profile image

    Huzaif Mhd 

    13 months ago

    Hi there,

    Really great article about css.


  • Syeda Zainab profile image


    4 years ago from Rawalpindi, Pakistan

    very good post.

    Read this to get more information


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)