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Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design [Paperback]

by Eric Meyer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 8, 2002 073571245X 978-0735712454 1

There are several other books on the market that serve as in-depth technical guides or reference books for CSS. None, however, take a more hands-on approach and use practical examples to teach readers how to solve the problems they face in designing with CSS - until now. Eric Meyer provides a variety of carefully crafted projects that teach how to use CSS and why particular methods were chosen. The web site includes all of the files needed to complete the tutorials in the book. In addition, bonus information is be posted.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

If you were looking for someone to help you understand how to use CSS effectively in real-world projects that would be compatible across browsers, who would you go to? That one's easy -- Eric Meyer -- the guy web professionals call the CSS master or guru! Eric always wanted to add a third leg to the "two-legged stool" of CSS books he has written. I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of working with Eric to make a practical project-based guide to CSS a reality.

Eric targeted this book at folks who have a pretty good knowledge of HTML and at least a basic knowledge of CSS. For those of you in that category, you'll love this book. You really get to work right along side Eric as he takes you through the progressively more advanced projects. This is one book you'll truly want to have on your desk if you want to incorporate CSS into your work!

In order to provide you with the resources you need on CSS in particular and web development in general, it's important to me to hear what you think about this book -- and what you'd like to see in future offerings. Please share your thoughts by emailing me at


Linda Bump Sr. Acquisitions Editor, New Riders Publishing

From the Back Cover

There are several other books on the market that serve as in-depth technical guides or reference books for CSS. None, however, take a more hands-on approach and use practical examples to teach readers how to solve the problems they face in designing with CSS - until now. Eric Meyer provides a variety of carefully crafted projects that teach how to use CSS and why particular methods were chosen. The web site includes all of the files needed to complete the tutorials in the book. In addition, bonus information is be posted.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders Press; 1 edition (July 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073571245X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712454
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric A. Meyer starting working on the web in late 1993. A past member of the CSS Working Group, he is the author of several acclaimed CSS books as well as many articles on CSS and web standards. More recently, he co-founded the conference series An Event Apart with Jeffrey Zeldman and speaks about web standards all over the world. In recognition of his work, he was inducted into the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in 2006.

A longtime resident of Cleveland, Ohio--which is a much nicer city than you've been led to believe--Eric used to be a weekly radio presence on WRUW 91.1-FM with a show covering the Big Band era. He now spends most of his free time reading, searching out great dishes, and playing with his wife and daughters.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Done September 3, 2002
I've read one of Eric Meyer's other books about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets - The Definitive Guide) and loved it for its informative style and still use it occasionally as a reference. His latest book takes a different approach, not a reference book but more one that takes information about CSS and applies it here to real life examples, which makes it much easier for the average CSS author to learn and see how the CSS styles shown relate to what is being done on the site it affects. The book consists of 13 chapters or "projects," ranging from converting an existing page to CSS, to styling a press release or events calendar, to even creating your own online greeting card. There's a companion web site, which lets you download the files to be used with each project.
The book is wonderfully laid-out with lots of gorgeous color drawings and figures, which aid the reader in understanding each change. The step by step instructions are easy to follow and with each CSS code change or addition shown in red, also easy to understand and follow along with. I was amazed at the wide range of effects that can be done using CSS, as shown with each project.
This book is an excellent "tutorial" for those wishing to learn more about CSS.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes CSS make sense November 16, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unlike most of the CSS books floating around out there currently, "Eric Meyer on CSS" gives you practical projects to work through, and apply CSS to, talking you through the whys and wherefores all the way. It takes you all the way from transforming an existing HTML table-based layout into a more streamlined structure using CSS, all the way up to bleeding edge design concepts that will be more and more feasible as the browsers catch up to web standards.
I would not recommend this book to someone who has absolutely no experience or knowledge of CSS (maybe check out the tutorials in your HTML editor, or look at some of the online tutorials at before diving into this book).
And, for intermediate users (you've been using stylesheets for awhile, maybe just to handle typography), I'd recommend also getting Eric Meyer's "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" for a more in-depth study of the CSS specs, though you can make it through most of the concepts presented here with just the information given with a little extra mental effort and perseverance.
The writing style is conversational and entertaining, and there are clear reasons given for everything. Meyers is definitely trying to teach you to fish rather than hand you a mackeral and send you on your way.
I really enjoyed that the book was in full color, and had a lot of visual aids -- New Riders is great for this.
If you're interested in the possibilities of web design using CSS, this book is well worth the price of admission.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but perhaps it is just the best of a bad lot October 5, 2003
Like many others, I bought the book based on on-line raves. I thought it was great at first but now the blush is off the rose. The book IS a more informative and user-friendly intro to CSS than the others I have (many are "look what I made, mommy" books by designers...nice visuals but not the best learning tool). Some of the lessons were a struggle so, fortunately, there were the free tutorials from to help with the rough spots.....never thought of myself as a slow learner until now.
Then, just when you think CSS will answer all your prayers, you get seriously gored by the infamous NN4 incompatibilities and then IE problems crop up.
What this and every other book lacks is a decent chart reference which shows browser incompatibilities like the great cheat sheet programming cards from BUT, I shouldn't have to buy this kind of critical tool, it oughta be a pullout or be in the appendix.
Until a better book comes out, prospective buyers should go ahead and get this one PLUS Meyers Programmers Reference (ISBN #0072131780). Round it out the Visibone cheat sheets for quick reference and to keep those nasty NN4 and IE4 nightmares from giving you an ulcer. Between all this stuff and the W3C School site (PS:which also has HTML and CSS validator links and other very cool stuff), even I was able to master CSS...but it takes more books and programmer's aids.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MaKo on "Eric Meyer on CSS" July 27, 2002
As an avid reader of Eric Meyer's other books I was a bit hesitant at first: I usually work with references, and as a 'code warrior' I'd rather read the W3C specifications than a nice little article about how cool it is to colour a heading.
I was in for a surprise: The projects make it actually easier to see the connections between the theory and code on one side, and the results/web page on the other side.
Now I have a book that entices me with neat ideas - and the images that show me how it could look. Every project leads me step by step through the process of changing a bland pure HTML page into a CSS page, and how I could change and tweak it even further.
Make no mistake: this book is still full with code and theory, but Eric Meyer combines this with his typical writing style: concise, clear, to the point and with a certain lightness and wit that is in all of his writings.
This is not a book for beginners, but if you know about HTML and CSS and want to do more, learn new things and prepare for the future: that book was worth the wait.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Passed CSS with muster
This book was used in my CSS class. It helped considerably. Also, it gave me more confidence to work more with the CSS on my job than handing it to the designers.
Published 8 months ago by Sharon T. Wallace
2.0 out of 5 stars Masterubg tge kabgyage of Web Design
The book is basically a cookbook on converting an existing table based web-site to a combo table/CSS format. Read more
Published on June 10, 2011 by catnao
5.0 out of 5 stars Still an excellent resource for how to use CSS to do displays the...
While somewhat dated, this book remains an excellent resource for how to use cascading style sheets (CSS) to create web content that is functional, efficient and artistic. Read more
Published on May 19, 2010 by Charles Ashbacher
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
I initially checked this book out at the library and then later bought it. It's interesting but not that great. There are more than a few pieces missing from Mr. Read more
Published on October 6, 2009 by alj
5.0 out of 5 stars Barebone Basics of CSS, but challenging too...
In 2003, I tried learning CSS via Dreamweaver, and I must say it scarred me from ever attempting to learn CSS for awhile, until now. Read more
Published on February 15, 2009 by annelovesamazon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginner Book
I highly reccomend this and the "More Eric Meyer on CSS". They walk you through the thought process and coding process of Web Page Design. Read more
Published on December 5, 2008 by William E. Mcnamara
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to begin with CSS but a little obsolete.
This book is good to practice CSS. To be used before the Meyer's second one ("More Eric Meyer On CSS"). Read more
Published on August 5, 2008 by Fontaine
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for starters
I have found better books out there, but this one is okay. Good to get you started.
Published on November 5, 2007 by David J. Sweeney
4.0 out of 5 stars Look over a Master's shoulder
Awesome learn by example book IF you already have a little background in CSS, and even then if your knowledge is elementary you might be lost on some of the finer points. Read more
Published on July 28, 2006 by Riccardo Audano
5.0 out of 5 stars Second to none!
I wanted a quick crash course in CSS; instead this book gave me a comprehensive start that led me on a path to a solid foundation in designing with Cascading Style Sheets. Read more
Published on June 5, 2006 by Yuri
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