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7.1 Introduction to media types

One of the most important features of style sheets is that they specify how a document is to be presented on different media: on the screen, on paper, with a speech synthesizer, with a braille device, etc.

Certain CSS properties are only designed for certain media (e.g., the 'cue-before' property for aural user agents). On occasion, however, style sheets for different media types may share a property, but require different values for that property. For example, the 'font-size' property is useful both for screen and print media. However, the two media are different enough to require different values for the common property; a document will typically need a larger font on a computer screen than on paper. Experience also shows that sans-serif fonts are easier to read on screen, while fonts with serifs are easier to read on paper. For these reasons, it is necessary to express that a style sheet -- or a section of a style sheet -- applies to certain media types.