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Need help with some CSS

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I'm just getting into CSS and have some of the bare basics down. I have an image as my background and so I wanted semi-transparent background divs so that you could read the text but still see the background. The problem that the text in the div has the same level of transparency. I have looked on the internet to try and find an answer but some of the stuff is a little over my head. I was wondering if there were some tricks to making my text 100% opaque in a semi-transparent div. (Some of the answers involved putting another div on top of the semi-transparent div but I'm not yet good enough with positioning.)

This other problem is along the lines of the transparency issue. In order for my alpha filter to work there needs to be a width and/or height value in my code. I only want the length of the text to be in the transparency and not the entire width of the screen. Is there a way to find out how wide my section of text is? (Any form of the accepted measurements is fine with me.)

I think this might be more a Javascript thing but it's worth a shot anyway. The feature I'm wondering about is on this page. It's the show/hide that I'm referring to. I would like to add that function to one or more of my sites and was wondering how I could do it. (I have no experience in JavaScript what so ever. I'm going to get into that when I get my grasp on CSS.)

Thanks in advance for any help that can be offered.

I'll include my stylesheets and pages that I'd like to implement these functions on.

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