Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

CSS: The Missing Manual: The Missing Manual [Kindle Edition]

David Sawyer McFarland
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $27.99 What's this?
Kindle Price: $15.39
You Save: $12.60 (45%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $15.39  
Paperback --  
Shop the new
New! Introducing the, a hub for Software Developers and Architects, Networking Administrators, TPMs, and other technology professionals to find highly-rated and highly-relevant career resources. Shop books on programming and big data, or read this week's blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the tech industry. > Shop now

Book Description

Web site design has grown up. Unlike the old days, when designers cobbled togetherchunky HTML, bandwidth-hogging graphics, and a prayer to make their sites look good,Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) now lets your inner designer come out and play. But CSSisn't just a tool to pretty up your site; it's a reliable method for handling allkinds of presentation--from fonts and colors to page layout. CSS: The MissingManual clearly explains this powerful design language and how you can use it tobuild sparklingly new Web sites or refurbish old sites that are ready for an upgrade.

Like their counterparts in print page-layout programs, style sheets allowdesigners to apply typographic styles, graphic enhancements, and precise layoutinstructions to elements on a Web page. Unfortunately, due to CSS's complexity andthe many challenges of building pages that work in all Web browsers, most Web authorstreat CSS as a kind of window-dressing to spruce up the appearance of their sites.Integrating CSS with a site's underlying HTML is hard work, and often frustratinglycomplicated. As a result many of the most powerful features of CSS are left untapped.With this book, beginners and Web-building veterans alike can learn how to navigatethe ins-and-outs of CSS and take complete control over their Web pages'appearance.

Author David McFarland (the bestselling author of O'Reilly's Dreamweaver: TheMissing Manual) combines crystal-clear explanations, real-world examples, a dashof humor, and dozens of step-by-step tutorials to show you ways to design sites withCSS that work consistently across browsers. You'll learn how to:

  • Create HTML that's simpler, uses less code, is search-engine friendly, andworks well with CSS

  • Style text by changing fonts, colors, font sizes, and adding borders

  • Turn simple HTML links into complex and attractive navigation bars-completewith CSS-only rollover effects that add interactivity to your Web pages

  • Style images to create effective photo galleries and special effects likeCSS-based drop shadows

  • Make HTML forms look great without a lot of messy HTML

  • Overcome the most hair-pulling browser bugs so your Web pages work consistentlyfrom browser to browser

  • Create complex layouts using CSS, including multi-column designs that don'trequire using old techniques like HTML tables

  • Style Web pages for printing

Unlike competing books, this Missing Manual doesn't assume that everyone in theworld only surfs the Web with Microsoft's Internet Explorer; our book providessupport for all major Web browsers and is one of the first books to thoroughlydocument the newly expanded CSS support in IE7, currently in beta release.

Want to learn how to turn humdrum Web sites into destinations that will captureviewers and keep them longer? Pick up CSS: The Missing Manual and learn thereal magic of this tool.

Editorial Reviews


"Almost 500 pages of CSS help, with more than 100 pages of practical tutorials to guide you through the process of implementing and refining CSS to save you many a wasted hour. At GBP25, you'll be hard pressed to find a better guide to designing with CSS." .NET, February 2007

About the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is the president of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc., a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he teaches JavaScript programming, Flash, and web design at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Electronic Art, the Academy of Art College, and Ex'Pressions Center for New Media. He was formerly the webmaster at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center.

Product Details

  • File Size: 11029 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 24, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596526873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596526870
  • ASIN: B0026OR2QI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Beginner -- Approved by an Expert September 12, 2006

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.

Was this review helpful to you?
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
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.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on CSS December 27, 2006
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The prefect place to start with! September 8, 2006
I started builing my own site early this year with Dreamweaver 8 and "Missing Manual: Dreamweaver 8" helps me a lot. After a while, I find it very difficult to maintain and change with all those "table formating" and I decided to change to pure XHTML with CSS.

After spending months of time on looking at numbers of web sites and books. I can now recommand you to do following (if you are new to XHTML and XSS):-

(1) Read "First Head HTML with CSS and XHTML (you will then know all the basic, with fun); and

(2) Read "Missing Manuel: CSS" (you will then able to build your site as good as the best that you can found).

Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Way to Learn CSS September 6, 2006
A few months ago, I got Head First HTML. Reading it motivated me to update all of the web sites I maintain. This book will likely motivate me to update the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) I use in my web pages. Between the informal writing style and the great step by step tutorials, this book makes learning about CSS quite painless and in fact fun. Whether it's formatting text, creating margins and borders, adding graphics, site navigation or formatting tables, there's a wealth of information here. I used to think CSS was something somehow scary and too difficult to learn. And now I instead realize it's a way to make web sites look awesome without having to resort to JavaScript, Perl or any other web site language (although clearly they can be beneficial too).

The book also contains reference material in the book's appendices, including a CSS Property Reference and online CSS Resources. This book does an excellent job in describing a "web language" every web designer (both pro and amateur) should know.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the beginner or for the reference library
I keep this book close by while designing. It is easy to understand, has pictures for those of us that like to see whats being described and is overall a great tool. Read more
Published on May 9, 2013 by wilson0464
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Great CSS Manual Today
I bought this book about 4 years ago and it is still my CSS manual on my shelf today. As a former marketing consultant and current Internet marketing manager, I can definitely say... Read more
Published on September 21, 2012 by Mark Harmon
5.0 out of 5 stars Well organized with plenty easily understood explanations,examples and...
As someone who has been using table based html layouts and who has real problems trying to switch over to css based layouts, this book has been an absolute miracles. Read more
Published on May 22, 2011 by jcdeveloper
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you are not a beginneer
I have found that this book is really good, there was some facts about CSS coding I was not formalier with even though I have taken a
HTML class and other coding classes. Read more
Published on April 18, 2011 by unique
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Read, Very Informative
Flat out, the best manual I've ever read. Well worth the relatively low price.

This book is one of the easiest to read of all manuals I've ever purchased (and I've... Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by K. Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about CSS
I highly recommend this book to beginners, intermediate students even to the pros. David is very precise with his explanations, illustrations and exercises. Read more
Published on January 2, 2011 by jarcom
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect technical book
I've read thousands of technical texts in my life and this is by far one of the best I've ever seen. You can tell David was pumped about writing this book. Read more
Published on July 22, 2010 by Data Virtue
5.0 out of 5 stars Web Design
Get this book if you want to get a grasp of CSS. Goes through the basics first and then progresses through most of the CSS aspects. Read more
Published on April 3, 2010 by Robert B. Mobley
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good to Excellent - CSS and HTML
All the information to get you up and running building your own sites with css and html is laid out in an easy to follow step by step manner. Read more
Published on February 17, 2010 by Rudy Andl
5.0 out of 5 stars covers all the bases
i bought this book for my wife and i'm sincerely impressed about the improvement she had with this book.

It covers all the basics and more, very recommended
Published on February 1, 2010 by Carlos Solis
Search Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category