Automatic update of style sheets Control + F5

Is there a way to force a Control+F5 on a user? We publish our code and the style sheets look horrible until they do a control+F5, but other than putting a message on the screen, how do we trigger the style sheets to update?

thanks!
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Starr DuskkASP.NET VB.NET DeveloperAsked:
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Jeffrey Dake Senior Director of TechnologyyCommented:
There are several ways to accomplish this.  One way I have used is by using a checksum on the file and adding that as a parameter.  When the file has new css in it, the checksum changes so the browsers know to re-download the file.  

Here is a pretty good article with several other techniques you could use as well.
https://css-tricks.com/strategies-for-cache-busting-css/

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Julian HansenCommented:
A URL is defined by the path to the file AND any parametes that are specified so

http://www.yourserver.com/css/style.css
and
http://www.yourserver.com/css/style.css?v=1.0
are seen as different URL's to the browser. If the browser has cached the first and you put the second in your html file the browser will reload the file.

The paramter on the end of the URL does not interfere with normal file download so adding it is benign.

Usual strategies are to include a version number on the end of the url (as shown above) and to change this on each iteration of the css file.

You want it to be static for a specific version so you don't lose the benefits of caching - but when a change is made simply update the version number. Depending on your code environment this can be automated.
Starr DuskkASP.NET VB.NET DeveloperAuthor Commented:
thanks!
Julian HansenCommented:
You are welcome.
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