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How to Use a Starburst on Your Web Page

A "starburst" is a Web graphic that depicts a star or an explosion. Within the starbust is some exclamatory advertising text like "Free!", "New!", or "Sale". The starburst draws the viewers attention to the exclamatory advertising text.

A starburst can be entirely graphic, that is, the starbust and the text are all in one graphic image. An entirely graphic statburst has the advantage that it's easy to create, and you have complete control of the appearance of the text. It has the disadvantage that, when you need to change the text, you need to edit the graphic in an image editing program.

In this article, I show you how to use a starburst graphic with text that you type in and it appears within the starbust. This has the advantage that you can change the text without editing the graphic. This would be a great advantage if you need to change the advertising text frequently, for example if a sale price changes frequently.

Our method to accomplish this task is to use the starburst graphic as the background image for a DIV element. The text will be placed within another DIV element that is nested inside the DIV with the starburst background. We'll use style to define the location and appearance of the text.

Shown below is the DIV with a starburst graphic configured as its background.

<div style="width:129px; height:95px;
background-position: 0px 0px;">

In the DIVs style attribute, the width and height properties are set to the same dimensions as the Width and height of the starburst graphic.

Note - in this article, Iím placing the style code inline. Normally style code is placed in an external file which is linked to the webpage. If you're going to use only one instance of a starbust on your web site, then inline style code is best. If you're going to use multiple instances of a starbust, then external style code is best.

Shown below is the parent DIV with the child DIV, containing the text, nested inside.

<div style="width:129; height:95;
background-position: 0px 0px;">

<div style="position:relative;
left:40px; top:24px; width:80px;
font-family:'Comic Sans MS';
line-height:10px;">FREE<br /> BONUS WITH ORDER!

Properly setting the style properties of the DIV containing the text requires careful attention and experimentation. You must set the font-size and line-height properties such that the text is not too large to fit within the starbust. Then you need to set the left and top properties to position the text correctly within the starbust.

Note that the DIVs position property is set to relative. This means that the left and top values are the distances from the DIVs upper-left corner to the upper-left corner of the parent DIV.

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