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CSS: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) Paperback – August 31, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0596802448 ISBN-10: 0596802447 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manuals
  • Paperback: 538 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596802447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596802448
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.


More About the Author

David McFarland is a Portland, Oregon based Web developer who's been designing and building Web sites since 1995. He is the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual. He is also a Macromedia-certified trainer, and a member of the faculty of the multimedia program at Portland State University.

Customer Reviews

Well written and easy to follow.
Greg Smith
I would highly recommend this book for anyone just getting started with CSS or for anyone with basic knowledge of CSS who wants to improve their skills.
Amazon Customer
I've created three websites since reading this book, and have only referenced back to it two or three times.
jjohnson.nsa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Glover Jr. on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Hansen on January 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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
Chapter 1
, 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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gary E. Albers on March 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is certainly no shortage of books about CSS. For more than a decade now, HTML, CSS and JavaScript have been the core client-side technologies required of competent website authors. Sure, many people get by using WYSIWYG editors (e.g., Dreamweaver) and/or a CMS (Drupal, Joomla, yui, etc.) to produce websites. But, for true design competence and flexibility, serious professionals need to master these three "languages." Typically, one learns (X)HTML first, followed by CSS and then JavaScript, in that order. At least that has been my path.

Over the last decade or so, as the benefits of the separation of structure and presentation have been accepted by the design community, CSS has become increasingly important. HTML documents that just a few years ago would have been implemented with nested tables and spacer gifs in the HTML markup now have their presentational aspects created in separate CSS files. Almost everybody acknowledges that is a good thing, and I agree. Unfortunately, many very good books on CSS over the last decade (and still on the market) devote a lot of space trying to convince developers WHY CSS styling is preferable to the old-time methods, thus minimizing the pages they can devote to HOW one actually uses CSS. There was clearly a need for that emphasis in the past, but let me suggest that the war has been won and it's time to move on.

This second edition of McFarland's book is, everything considered, the best book I've yet read on CSS, and I've read quite a few. At over 500 pages, it is thorough in its coverage and doesn't waste space rehashing the styling wars that have dominated the literature of the last decade. Explanations of topics are cogent and well illustrated.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lucien den Arend on December 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I bought the book, I knew what I needed to know and what I could expect as far as my knowledge of building websites reached. I'm not an expert, but certainly not a beginner.

I started my first website in 1997 and only started daring to use CSS in 2005 - eight years later. At that time I began to read books by Mulder (yes, one of the first) and later Cederholm, Meyer, Clark, Zeldman and found information on CSS on the internet. I learned some things I needed to know and the more I read, the more I understood what I didn't know. I'm not criticizing these books, but "CSS: The Missing Manual" explains backgrounds, which the other ones lacked - for me that is. I'm still reading it and not from front to back, but back and forth, and learning more than before. There's more about CSS3 in this book also, presented in a way that I understand.

This is not a book for the beginner, who still has to learn about HTML (but then... who's going to buy a book on CSS if he doesn't understand HTML?); but it is also not a book which can only be understood by the experienced.
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