Core CSS Files and Drupal Inheritance

So I am exploring subtheming. and because i am a bit OCD, i have to understand the whole underlying thing. so i have been looking at the core files; not to hack but to see what the overrides and intercepts are actually affecting. Here are the core CSS files in   Drupal 7







then, if you enable the stark theme, you will see a little bit more styling. stark contains:


if you remove the reference to the css file for stark in the .info file you will see what the default css styling looks like. this helped me to see, literally, the consequence of the styling in layout.css. and since i am a monkey, i need to see it… and because i am an idiot.

4 thoughts on “Core CSS Files and Drupal Inheritance”

    1. unless I misunderstand your question you can find that the navigation markups are contained in several of the css files. That is, there doesn’t seem to be any single reference to .navigation.

      find /var/www/html/ -type f -name “*.css” -print0 | xargs -0 grep -l navigation

      this search string might be of some assistance. it will find navigation in any of the files specified in the directory specified that end in .css.


      1. Yes, that is my understanding, too. There is a cascade from the core modules down to the core themes and then down to the contributed themes and on down to subthemes. And then the lowest level of the cascade wins.

        My problem is that I cannot find .navigation in any of the above CSS files. Nor can I really detect a pattern in where to look for such references.

        The only reference I could find in the forums, is that the whole CSS thing has grown a bit like Topsy and there is no pattern.;

        Thanks for getting back to me, anyway.

        BTW, I live in Queensland, Australia. Nice to make your acquaintance.

        Regards, Brian.


      2. I’ve had a lot of conversations with people with a lot more drupal experience than i have and you’re on the mark. since drupal core has developed out of different contrib modules, the whole things suffers from a lack of consistency. it’s a great product but you have to get used to its quirks. that’s one of the reasons that i started blogging about it. it helps me keep track of the “mess” that drupal in many ways is. but I think that drupal also has a great future and i’m lining up behind it. and i’m an MCSE who has had a pretty good career so far in MS product support, implementation.

        great to make your acquaintance as well. i’ve been to sydney. i was there for about 3 weeks in 2006 doing some work at the regional office in north ryde. it was a great place. feel free to ask me questions. i may not be able to help but i will try. that helps me too.

        take care, pj mcghee


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