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CSS: The Missing Manual [Paperback]

David Sawyer McFarland
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 31 2009 0596802447 978-0596802448 Second Edition

Cascading Style Sheets can turn humdrum websites into highly-functional, professional-looking destinations, but many designers merely treat CSS as window-dressing to spruce up their site's appearance. You can tap into the real power of this tool with CSS: The Missing Manual. This second edition combines crystal-clear explanations, real-world examples, and dozens of step-by-step tutorials to show you how to design sites with CSS that work consistently across browsers. Witty and entertaining, this second edition gives you up-to-the-minute pro techniques. You'll learn how to:

  • Create HTML that's simpler, uses less code, is search-engine friendly, and works well with CSS
  • Style text by changing fonts, colors, font sizes, and adding borders
  • Turn simple HTML links into complex and attractive navigation bars -- complete with rollover effects
  • Create effective photo galleries and special effects, including drop shadows
  • Get up to speed on CSS 3 properties that work in the latest browser versions
  • Build complex layouts using CSS, including multi-column designs
  • Style web pages for printing

With CSS: The Missing Manual, Second Edition, you'll find all-new online tutorial pages, expanded CSS 3 coverage, and broad support for Firebox, Safari, and other major web browsers, including Internet Explorer 8. Learn how to use CSS effectively to build new websites, or refurbish old sites that are due for an upgrade.

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About the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is president of Sawyer McFarland Media, Inc., a Web development and training company in Portland, Oregon. He's been building websites since 1995, when he designed an online magazine for communication professionals. He's served as webmaster at the University of California at Berkeley and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center, and oversaw a complete CSS-driven redesign of Macworld.com. David is also a writer, trainer, and teaches in the Portland State University multimedia program. He wrote the bestselling Missing Manual titles on Adobe Dreamweaver, CSS, and JavaScript.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good teaching, poor reference Nov. 15 2010
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does a good job of teaching CSS 2.x.

It won't help you design a web site (see something like The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks, and Hacks and the CSS Zen Garden website for that), but you will understand the key concepts of CSS and probably use it in a more effective and methodical way as a result.

Sadly there isn't so much as a cheat sheet included so even if you fully understand CSS after reading this book, unless you are blessed with a photographic memory, you will need to find a good cheat sheet to list all the available selectors, properties, and property values. Fortunately there are several free ones available to choose from on the internet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Strong Introduction March 23 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok, first of all, contrarily to what David claimed on the back of the book, this isn't an entertaining read.

However, I won't fault this book for that. Imho, CSS is designed to be used by both artists and folks with an engineer background, but neither audience are likely to be extremely pleased with the end result so expecting a book about css to entertain anyone is expecting too much.

With that out of the way, this book is solid if you can stick with it.

It isn't really a reference and advanced css users won't find anything new in here, but if you are totally new to CSS or if you learned css on the go during projects and you feel that there are gaps in your css knowledge (I fell in the later category when I got the book), then I heavily recommend it.

The author takes his time explaining everything in some details, gives pertinent examples (without getting too engrossed in them at the expense of what he's trying to explain), gives plenty of illustrations to show what he's talking about (which is important for something as visual as CSS) and even includes a tutorial at the end of each chapter.

Also, the author doesn't lose track of the fact that his readers will want to apply what he's talking about in real world project so to that end, he discuss regular pitfalls of css development (ex: browser defaults) and how to address them. He also does a good job at discussing in what context some features are desirable.

The book does have some flaws...

In the tutorials, I find that the author doesn't put enough emphasis on the end result he wants to achieve.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not bad for learning CSS, but I could have probably used something with a slightly stronger reference bent (which of course would mean it's out of date in a year). As is, not bad for learning CSS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great lessons with a great attitude. Sept. 1 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great lessons with a great attitude.

Some errors that I needed to report, but the author is quite responsive.

Great value. Highly recommended.
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