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152 of 159 found the following review helpful:
For the Beginner -- Approved by an ExpertSep 12, 2006
By Brett Merkey
Consider this a "getting started the right way with HTML and CSS" book. As such, it does a marvelous job.
I had a chance to get this beginner's book -- even though my bosses have been grossly overpaying me for years if I really were a beginner! Too many beginner books tend to over-simplify, which becomes a barrier to the more complex issues that a serious beginner will meet down the line. That is not the case here.
Step by step (sometimes even telling you what and when to click!) the book will take you through the basics of creating stylesheets for HTML. You will move from text format basics to moderately advanced layout issues and even print media stylesheets.
The text of the book itself is formatted in an interesting way that is easy to read and makes points clear. There are lots of images and diagrams. I liked the way many of the illustrations jutted out into the outer margin. The effect was a vivid enhancement and the book is bound in a way that lets it sit flat, making it easier to read while keying.
The author also performs a service by introducing, when appropriate, advanced issues and controversies that will surely interest the type of person motivated to go on in this field. The book includes appendices with a CSS Property Reference; CSS in Dreamweaver; and extended CSS Resources.
71 of 72 found the following review helpful:
Excellent book for newbies and intermediate coders alike...Oct 29, 2006
By Thomas Duff
I've read and reviewed a number of books on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and I've learned something from them all. But for whatever reason, this one showed up at just the right time and has me inspired and motivated on a new project... CSS: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland.
Part 1 - CSS Basics: Rethinking HTML for CSS; Creating Styles and Style Sheets; Selector Basics - Identifying What to Style; Saving Time with Inheritance; Managing Multiple Styles - The Cascade
Part 2 - Applied CSS: Formatting Text; Margins, Padding, and Borders; Adding Graphics to Web Pages; Sprucing Up Your Site's Navigation; Formatting Tables and Forms
Part 3 - CSS Page Layout: Building Float-Based Layouts; Positioning Elements on a Web Page
Part 4 - Advanced CSS: CSS for the Printed Page; Improving Your CSS Habits
Part 5 - Appendixes: CSS Property Reference; CSS in Dreamweaver 8; CSS Resources; Index
From the newbie perspective, this book works well. The first part of the book lays out the case for using CSS instead of pure HTML to format your pages and gain control of the style. It takes a subject that can be a bit intimidating and makes it very approachable. From there, you get a section on how exactly CSS works. This is much easier to digest than some of the more formal reference manuals I've seen in the past, and there's not as much focus on the minutia of every little variant that can happen. This is the material you'll use 95% of the time. Part 3 is where I started to get excited. I've been doing CSS for a while now, but over time I've built up designs that "work" but that could be done much better with what I've learned of late. I noticed a number of items that I want to try out on a new project I'm about to start, and I have a feeling that I'll be in a much better situation style-wise on this application than any of the other ones I support. Same with part 4 and the chapter on improving your CSS habits. I was/am guilty of a number of these things, and this information will go a long way towards making me a better CSS junkie (and will make anyone following after me much happier in terms of support).
I think what worked so well for me here was the consistent use of a single "site" for examples and illustrations. The CosmoFarmer site gave the information a thread to hang on to throughout the chapters, and progressions were logical. I appreciated the tutorials at the end of the chapter so that you could try out the new skills. But what I *really* liked were the references to other sites where you could get more information, as well as clarification on what browsers don't do things according to specs, and how to work around these bugs.
Armed with this book, a newbie would be able to become competent in CSS. And if you've been doing CSS for awhile, there's a strong chance that McFarland will deliver some nuggets that will take you to the next level. I know that'll be the situation in my case...
59 of 61 found the following review helpful:
Excellent book on CSSDec 27, 2006
By Andrew Violette
The problem with many of the CSS books that I have read is that most of them just reiterate the CSS specification. While this is useful knowledge, it doesn't cover what you need to know to build robust web applications that work consistently across the myriad of browsers on the internet.
This book covers the usual stuff with CSS: styles, precedence rules (the cascade), text and fonts, padding and spacing, the box model, positioning, tables, etc. It also goes into detail about how to apply this knowledge.
Some of the stuff that is included:
- building tabs with the Sliding Doors technique
- Entire chapter related to IE6 and how it diverges from the spec, and work-arounds (aka hacks) that can be used to correct these problems. Other browsers such as Opera and Safari are also covered throughout the book.
- Entire chapter related to floats and using these to create column-based layous. Work-arounds to problems and unexpected behavior are also covered.
- Entire chapter related to forms and how to use CSS for layout
The book is well edited and contains some really good graphics to explain the layout and positioning. Each chapter has a tutorial to help you work through the techniques.
63 of 66 found the following review helpful:
The best book on CSS I ownOct 26, 2009
By Robert D. Glover Jr.
This wonderful, supurb book, "CSS: The Missing Manual (Fully revised 2nd edition", has set the bar high for the standard of excellence as regards teaching CSS. I started trying to learn CSS a long time ago but due to the poor quality of the books on the subject, I never "got it". Tragically, I first tried to learn css from the ridiculously terse and totally incomprehensible book, "CSS Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))". I next erred on the other extreme by purchasing the insanely meandering, needlessly padded, and pointlessly "funny" book, "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML"
I really cannot say enough good things about "CSS: The Missing Manual (Fully revised 2nd edition". The author is so distinguished it's unbelievable. Not only can he really, really teach well-- in addition he really, really knows CSS inside and out.
At the end of each chapter he has a tutorial. After downloading all the code from the book's website, I do the tutorials using FireFox with the "FireBug" add-on enabled. "FireBug" is fantastic as a learning tool. It lets you easily change CSS operands and instantly see the effect. Another great FireFox plugin is "ColorZilla"-- it's "eyedropper" shows the RGB values of colors on the web page when you hover or click on a color. It's very validating to see "ColorZilla" display the exact same RGB color value that you can see via "FireBug" is the color setting for that element. Another useful plugin is "CodeBurner for Firebug" because it extends "FireBug" with reference material for CSS and HTML. Also, I find it very helpful to look at the source code of the book's downloaded tutorials via "jEdit", a free text editor which the book recommends. "jEdit" does a fantastic job of showing html and CSS in color, which makes it much easier to comprehend the CSS while doing the book's tutorials. The only shortcoming of "jEdit" is that it is a little clumsy to switch between edit windows. So, I use a 2nd text editor called "NotePad++" to show the "after version of the tutorial", and use "jEdit" to show the "before version of the tutorial". That way I can easily copy/paste the source code snippets as I go through the tutorial.
Thanks to this great book, "CSS: The Missing Manual (Fully revised 2nd edition", I finally at long last, feel confident of my CSS skills.
38 of 39 found the following review helpful:
Great Content, Kindle Formatting Kind of SuckyJan 13, 2010
By Michael A. Hansen
"Michael Aaron Hansen"
I think the book is great. I don't want to review it in detail here because others have done a great job of this already. It's easy enough for the beginner and detailed enough for the seasoned CSS coder to use it as a reference.
I would like to address the Kindle formatting of the book. It leaves something to be desired. I only mention this because until you get used to the poor formatting, it can be a little difficult to read on the Kindle. Here's an example from the introduction of the Kindle edition itself:
you'll learn about the basics of CSS. In
, you'll get right to work creating a
The Kindle edition is FILLED with this kind of formatting. The book is a great buy. Go ahead and get it. Just be aware that the Kindle version isn't well formatted. Not sure if this is Amazon's fault or the publishers. Hopefully one or both of them will fix this. It mars an otherwise excellent book.
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