CSS: List Items

Im trying to get a bunch of <li> to have a different color for each.

Here is my code so far:
#ex ul {
      margin-left: 0;
      padding-left: 0;
      display: inline;
}
#ex ul li {
      margin-left: 0;
      margin-bottom: 0;
      padding: 4px;
      border: 1px solid #cccccc;
      list-style: none;
      display: inline;
      font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
      font-size: 12px;
}
<div id="ex">
  <ul>
    <li>SS</li>
    <li>VS</li>
    <li>MS</li>
    <li>DA</li>
  </ul>
</div>

I cannot seem to get the <li> to have a separate background color from the other <li>.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
a204801Asked:
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Tom BeckCommented:
Here's a jquery solution and a css solution:
<head>
    <title>Untitled Page</title>
	<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <style type="text/css">
    #ex ul, #ex1 ul {
      margin-left: 0;
      padding-left: 0;
      display: inline;
    }
    #ex ul li, #ex1 ul li {
      margin-left: 0;
      margin-bottom: 0;
      padding: 4px;
      border: 1px solid #cccccc;
      list-style: none;
      display: inline;
      font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
      font-size: 12px;
    } 
    li.color1
    {
        background-color:#def
    }  
    li.color2
    {
        background-color:#fed
    } 
    li.color3
    {
        background-color:#edf
    } 
    li.color4
    {
        background-color:#fde
    }  
    </style>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    var colors = ['#def', '#fed', '#edf', '#fde'];
    $(document).ready(function(){
        $('#ex ul li').each(function(i){
            $(this).css('background-color', colors[i]);
        });
    });
    </script>
</head>
<body> 
<div id="ex">
  <ul>
    <li>SS</li>
    <li>VS</li>
    <li>MS</li>
    <li>DA</li>
  </ul>
</div>
<br />
<div id="ex1">
  <ul>
    <li class="color1">SS</li>
    <li class="color2">VS</li>
    <li class="color3">MS</li>
    <li class="color4">DA</li>
  </ul>
</div>
</body>

Open in new window

HagayMandelCommented:
What's wrong with basic CSS?

The CSS:
#ex #li1 {	background-color: #66FF00;}
#ex #li2 {	background-color: #CCCCFF;}
#ex #li3 {	background-color: #999933;}
#ex #li4 {	background-color: #0099FF;}
#ex ul {
      margin-left: 0;
      padding-left: 0;
      display: inline;
}
#ex ul li {
      margin-left: 0;
      margin-bottom: 0;
      padding: 4px;
      border: 1px solid #cccccc;
      list-style: none;
      display: inline;
      font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
      font-size: 12px;
}

Open in new window


The HTML:

<div id="ex">
 <ul>
    <li id="li1">SS</li>
    <li id="li2">VS</li>
    <li id="li3">MS</li>
    <li id="li4">DA</li>
</ul>
</div>

Open in new window

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Anuradha GoliSystems Development / Support SpecialistCommented:
apply different styles for each li with class , so that it can be re-used.
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Tom BeckCommented:
Nothing wrong with basic CSS, that's why I gave an example in my first post. I used class rather than id because I agree with @anuradhay about re-use.
Tom BeckCommented:
That excepted answer makes no logical sense.
a204801Author Commented:
tommyBoy,

Can you elaborate?  It works.  Im curious why it doesnt make sense.

Thanks, Mac
Tom BeckCommented:
Of course it works, it's essentially the same css solution I gave except that I used class instead of id.

Use IDs when there is only one occurence per page (like the menu itself). Use classes when there are one or more occurences per page (like the <li>s). That's the accepted logic when creating a stylesheet. If you used ids to identify every little element on the page then why even have a stylesheet. Just use inline styles instead. The next person that has to troubleshoot the page will thank you for eliminating that unnecessary level of abstraction.

<div id="ex">
 <ul>
    <li style="background-color:#def">SS</li>
    <li style="background-color:#fed">VS</li>
    <li style="background-color:#edf">MS</li>
    <li style="background-color:#fde">DA</li>
</ul>
</div>

Your sample code only shows a simple menu and the associated css. In a real world scenario, there will likely be another element on the page with a background color that matches that of the menu item. In that case, using classes would allow you to simply apply the class="color1" to that second element. By using id you have eliminated that possibility and must now create a new css definition to handle the same background color for the second element. Sound logical?
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