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HTML: The Complete Reference Paperback – December 14, 2000

55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Most HTML books don't bother to give beginners an introduction to the workings of the World Wide Web because the Web doesn't directly influence writing HTML documents. Powell provides this information because it eventually makes it easier for readers to understand why their HTML Web sites behave as they do. The result is a book well suited to beginning, intermediate, and advanced readers. Beginners learn HTML from the very basics. Intermediate users will gain the knowledge to become advanced, and even old pros will discover new details and updated information.

Powell begins the book with introductory chapters that discuss HTML and Web background and set the limits of what HTML coding alone can accomplish. From there he moves into lessons in basic HTML and progresses chapter by chapter to such high-end topics as advanced layout techniques, how to standardize Web-page presentation among browsers with style sheets, programmed Web pages, and client-side scripting and programming. The six appendices finish the book with a wealth of easy-to-use quick-reference information. --Elizabeth Lewis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


I have found HTML: The Complete Reference to be the best all-around HTML book, even for beginners. -- Scott McMahan,, July 10, 2000 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Reference
  • Paperback: 1208 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill Osborne Media; 3rd edition (December 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072129514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072129519
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,732,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jim Moran on January 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are still some folks around like myself who prefer to design Websites and pages using raw HTML "coding." Windows Notepad is still my top HTML editor of choice. However, whether folks prefer to "code their own" or use standard HTML editing programs, there are clear advantages of becoming familiar with the basics of HTML programming that will pay dividends in the long run. Not all HTML editors are created equal and sometimes inside knowledge is helpful in the Web development process.
HTML: The Complete Reference is a huge 2 1/4 - inch book packed with helpful and important HTML Web design information. Here readers will take in a broad scope of Website programming features that will improve, freshen up, and add functionality to any Website. Learn how to use fonts, colors, backgrounds, frames, tables, layers, style sheets, client-side programming, plug-ins, audio and video clips, and more. Plenty of scripting examples are provided to permit immediate results in the Website design process.
This reference book includes all the latest tags, Web browser and programming compatibility considerations, and background information needed to produce outstanding Websites. The book reads better as a reference guide than a novel. However, one can learn quite a bit by simply thumbing through it on a casual basis. A particular Web design feature could leap out from a page and arouse interest that could lead to a great design idea!
This book recommended for experienced programmers only, who are well acquainted with the in's and out's of Web design concepts. It's a great reference book to have on hand when a programming matter arises or when some changes must take place to liven things up!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I decided I wanted to learn all I could about HTML I went looking for a good book on the subject. I never buy the first thing I see and I spent many hours researching for the best I could find. My search narrowed down to just a few and this book won the toss. I am truly impressed at what I found here. I purchased several books on related topics (javascript and such) and after reading all of them, this book was, by far, the easiest to use. Mr. Powell's writing style allowed me to retain more than I expected I would. I immediately put into use many of these tags to take my website from average to very efficient (and cool if I do say so myself). The reference section allows me to quickly find more about the tag I am trying to use. Don't let the enormous size of this book intimidate you. It reads easy and a great deal of the book is reference relating back to what you learned earlier.
If you are using a WYSISYG editor to make your website and want to get past those limitations. This IS the book you want. If you don't buy this book RIGHT NOW, you will someday wish you had. Do it while it's fresh in your head.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Foraker on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
When learning a new subject, I sometimes find it helpful to begin with a Visual Quickstart or Sam's Teach Yourself, then an intermediate text (if needed), and finally an O'Reilly Nutshell or Wrox Professional to deepen understanding and use as a reference.
Powell's Complete Reference on HTML performs the task of all three levels.
The first 212 pages, "Web Basics," save beginners the need for an "HTML for Dummies." The next 475 pages provide a well-organized presentation of HTML mechanics including presentation, layout, cascading style sheets, client/server side programming, DHTML, XML, and web hosting. Throughout this material, sample code is presented and explained to illustrate the concepts presented. Finally, 430 pages of appendices provide reference level detail that will remain valuable indefinitely.
The later chapters (programming, DHTML, XML) are overview in nature. (ASP is discussed in five pages.) This is appropriate, for each of these subjects requires a text of their own. The overviews are valuable as they present these subjects in the context of HTML and how they can work together. They also give the reader a basic platform from which to study in greater detail.
Certainly worth mentioning also are the numerous tips and valuable remarks sprinkled throughout the book. In my case there were several one-line statements worth the purchase price.
This book is a well-written and thorough text that a beginner can use to learn HTML and an advanced web developer can use as a reference or to polish up. I can't compare this with others books on the subject. It hasn't been necessary to read any.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
"HTML: The Complete Reference, Second Edition", by Thomas A. Powell
Our NST/Engineers company reviewers found this over 1000 page compendium to be an ideal training text and desktop reference for a wide spectrum of web page designers. Individuals working to improve company intranet and extranet communications will be well-served by the examples given of code and scripting followed by what you can expect to see. Professionals seeking guidance in advanced HTML, DHTML, XML, and related internet savvy can expect to increase their understanding of these cutting-edge technologies.
We found excellent coverage of the pitfalls of page preparation without knowledge of the differences between popular browser capabilities. The browser versions expected to be in common use for the next few years of Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, WebTV, and a few others, and how to allow for their different interpreting capabilities , is covered throughout the book.
Hundreds of pages of appendixes explain what you can and can't do with HTML elements and style sheets. The function, power, and use of Java Script in its several variations are explained with examples. Author Thomas A. Powell, an expert Web consultant and Internet applications teacher at University of California at San Diego, explains the centrality of HTML while predicting changes that XML and other methods may bring in the future. He cites lots of free online Web sites, at all levels, to augment material in the book.
We found the writing style, loaded with useful examples and stabs of humor, to be an easy read. This is a body of knowledge that must be understood at higher than an entry level by industrial, academic, and small business practitioners alike who see the need for an effective Web presence.
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