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HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS, Fifth Edition Paperback – September 27, 2002

ISBN-13: 078-5342130072 ISBN-10: 0321130073 Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 5 edition (September 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321130073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321130075
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

It's important for anyone who creates Web sites--even those who rely on powerful editors like Dreamweaver or GoLive--to know HTML. The World Wide Web Consortium rewrote HTML as a subset of XML (dubbing it "XHTML 1.0") and the allowable code will eventually be stricter. Tags that are being phased out are labeled "deprecated"--current browsers can still handle them, but if you want your site to keep up with future browsers, not to mention conform to accessibility requirements, you will want to get on top of XHTML.

Of course, Elizabeth Castro manages to write books that not only speak to those who are already fluent in HTML, but are good for newbies too. She makes it a breeze to create sites that are visually stylish and technically sophisticated without the expense of buying an editor.

Among the topics covered in her new book, HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: using the (relatively newer) structural tags (like doctype and div); correctly using older tags (like p and img) that have been modified in XHTML; writing XHTML so that formatting is done by the style sheets; writing those style sheets (cascading style sheets, a.k.a. "CSS"); creating a variety of layouts; and dealing with tables, frames, forms, multimedia, a bit of JavaScript (including mouseovers), WML (for mobile device displays), debugging, publishing, and publicizing your site.

As with all Visual QuickStart Guides, this one features clear and concise instructions side by side with well-captioned illustrations and screen shots that show both the source code and the resulting effect on the Web page. The index is extremely detailed, making this a great reference.

Also great for reference are the outstanding appendices. The first is an extensive list of tags and attributes, indicating which are deprecated and/or proprietary and on which page they are discussed. A similar appendix shows CSS properties and values; given the future of Web coding, this chart alone is worth the price of the book. Other handy charts cover intrinsic events, symbols and character Unicodes, and an expanded color chart that goes way beyond the virtually archaic Web-safe palette. All of which makes this a definite must-have for every Web designer's bookshelf. --Angelynn Grant

From the Back Cover

As both the Web and the browsers used to navigate it mature, work-arounds that compensate for the myriad factors that affect Web page appearance no longer cut it. Users expect Web pages to look beautiful regardless--and with the Fifth Edition of this popular Visual QuickStart Guide, you can make your Web pages comply. By following the generously illustrated, step-by-step instructions that are the hallmark of the Visual QuickStart series, you'll create beautiful code that works consistently across browser versions and platforms (including hand-held devices and cell phones) in no time.

This updated edition includes a new section on foreign-language and multilingual Web sites as well as ample coverage on how the use of HTML is changing. What hasn't changed, however, is the book's popular format: Task-oriented, step-by-step instruction that builds on your growing knowledge. Info-packed appendixes, a comprehensive index, and plenty of screen shots and code examples make HTML for the World Wide Web, Fifth Edition, with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide a must-have reference. Whether you're just getting your feet wet (no prior HTML knowledge is required) or design Web sites for a living, you'll turn to this best-selling guide again and again for answers to all of your HTML-related questions.

Customer Reviews

Perfect book for beginners that want to learn HTML and CSS!!!
Dan McKinnon
If you're getting a reference book everything rests on your ability to find the answer and quickly undestand the answer so you can apply it.
Dinah Sanders
This is an excellent book that gives details in a clear manner with lots of easy to follow examples.
Kathy L. Fielder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just finished teaching an introductory HTML course using this textbook. I wanted to choose a book that taught proper (X)HTML syntax, and the choice ended up being between this book and the O'Reilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide. I selected this one due to this book's more "visual" approach, its brevity, and its cost (about half the cost of the O'Reilly one).
However, many of the students were confused and frustrated by the layout of the text. The material is more or less presented in a "step by step" fashion, and in most cases the text the student is to change is highlighted in pink to make it easy to spot. However, there are many instances where one area of the code is highlighted, yet more than that area of the text needs to be changed in order for the page to look like the example. Additionally, the author will periodically go off on "side bars" about other things that can be done with a particular topic (table borders, frames, etc.) without notifying the reader that this doesn't have anything to do with the exercise they're trying to work through. Many students were thrown off by this because they didn't see the stuff they just typed in referenced on the next page. There were also several instances where parts of the source code were left off, trusting the reader to infer where it should be placed. This is something that is relatively easy for someone who already knows HTML already to do, but can be frustrating for beginners.
On the brighter side, the content of the book is very comprehensive for such a small text (it even includes a chapter about writing web pages for wireless devices), and it contains helpful (X)HTML tags, CSS properties, special characters, and hex color references in the appendices.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kathy L. Fielder on October 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've been wanting to learn HTML for a long time now. I stumbled on Elizabeth Castro's 127 page Visual QuickProject guide, "Creating a Web Page with HTML" in a book store and bought it. It was a really good introduction, but didn't go into the level of detail that would make someone really able to use HTML, so I purchased this book. This is an excellent book that gives details in a clear manner with lots of easy to follow examples. I also liked the order in which she presents things. I never felt like I needed to get to the end of the book to understand what I read in the beginning (which happens frequently with technical manuals). I really feel that I now have a good grasp on (X)HTML and CSS.

I would recommend that if you have absolutely no experience with HTML or CSS that you also get the QuickProjet Guide and go through that one first. I think having that as a foundation helped in a few places where I might have been a little lost with the detailed reference otherwise.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By U2girl on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I decided that I wanted to learn Web Design and so logically, I am starting out with HTML. This book had rave reviews as most of the VQS books, so I was anxious to get started with it.

Just so you know, the approach that I took with this book is since it is set up in a step by step format, I decided to build a page along with the examples so that 1) I could practice, which would help me remember better and 2) to make sure that everything worked. Well, at first things were going great. Then I ran into a section of code that did not work. I spent at least a 1/2 hour of my study time trying to figure out what in the heck I did wrong, only to find out that if I had read a little further that IE does not support this code. Why in the heck wasn't that said at the outset before I starting inputting the code??!!

Then don't even get me started on Chapter 8 on CSS. I spent so much time on this getting really frustrated because the code did not work on selectors. I started even doing searches on the net to find out what I was doing wrong. Apparently, additional code is needed. Keep in mind there is nothing in the examples on the page to show that this code is needed. I feel this is pretty much NEED TO KNOW information especially since this book is targeting the beginner. If you are anything like me, time is a commodity and I don't have time to waste on trying to figure out information that should already be in the book. I am still in Ch 8 and sitting here debating if I want to continue to use this book to learn HTML/CSS. It's hard now to continue because I have lost interest feeling that I may possibly be wasting valuable time typing useless or depracated code.

From what I have read, I do not understand why there are 5 stars all over the place for this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Piasecki on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I purchased the book for one specific reason. To learn a bit about (X)HTML and CSS. This book did exactly that.

If you are looking for a book that will hold your hand step by step to create a website from start to finish THIS IS NOT THE BOOK FOR YOU.

This book is a learning tool for you to process yourself and apply as need be. If you are a programmer, like another review author found herein, you may be used to finding HOW-TO articles to execute specific tasks. You may find them here, but not in a specific order that will plainly walk you through any sort of step-by-step. The book is exactly what it states. A visual quick start guide that will help you understand what HTML and CSS are and how to use it.

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More About the Author

I moved to Barcelona in 1987 to study bilingualism but found a job in a computer company instead. After managing the translation of many different computer programs (FreeHand, PageMaker, Illustrator, and more), I started a publishing company to translate and publish computer books in Spanish. In 1993, moved back to the US to write my own books. Started with Netscape, and then moved on to HTML, Perl, XML, Blogger, iPhoto, and most recently EPUB. You can find more personal info about me at my blog A Year in Barcelona ( My regular blog is Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis ( I spend a fair bit of time on Twitter (@lizcastro). And my full website is

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