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HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide (7th Edition) 7th Edition

50 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321719614
ISBN-10: 0321719611
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Editorial Reviews


If your budget only allows for one HTML5 and CSS3 book, this book is a terrific way to invest your money. I’ve reviewed HTML5 for Web Designers and Introducing HTML5 on this blog. I think this book is better than either of those books. That’s not saying the two books mentioned are not excellent books, because they are. I’ve read both of those books carefully and I still learned new and helpful things from HTML5 and CSS3. Plus, the VQS style is inherently easy to use with each topic detailed in small step-by-step bits. It’s so easy to find the one thing you need to know at any given moment with a VQS book.

Another advantage this book over the others I mentioned is that it can get a beginner going but it also offers a lot of good information for the experienced HTML and CSS wonk. If you’re teaching either of these topics, this book is classroom gold.

Definitely recommended. - Virginia DeBolt,

About the Author

Bruce Hyslop began developing for the Web in 1997 and focuses on interface technical architecture, development, usability, accessibility, and advocating best practices. He is the author of The HTML Pocket Guide (Peachpit Press, 2010), a thorough discussion and reference of all HTML elements (HTML5 and prior). Bruce also teaches a CSS course at UCLA Extension and occasionally speaks on matters regarding front-end development. Over the years, he has overseen front-end teams or been a developer for more than 150 projects, including those for ABC, BBC, Disney, Logitech, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Nokia, Target, Toyota, and Yahoo!, among others.

Bruce is an independent developer and consultant to agencies, start-ups, and others, previously having spent a decade in the digital agency world. Formerly, he was the senior director of the Interface Engineering Group (IEG) at Schematic, where he oversaw company-wide efforts to define and implement best practices regarding HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and accessibility wherever they may be applied: the browser, desktop, mobile devices, and emerging platforms.

Bruce was an early adopter of Web standards. At a previous agency in the early 2000s, he lead companies such as Baskin-Robbins and Pacific Gas & Electric into the fray of modern client-side practices while managing development between offices in Los Angeles, China, and New York.


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Product Details

  • Series: Visual QuickStart Guide
  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 7 edition (December 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321719611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321719614
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Amir Khan "AK" on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an OK book in general, the printing quality and design are nice, but the title is misleading. The title is riding this trendy HTML5 wave, but the main focus of this book is not HTML5/ CSS3. The book is about overall web design and basic HTML/CSS markup with HTML5/CSS3 coverage.

This "quick guide" is actually a heavy 550 page brick, which covers stuff not even related directly to HTML5, e.g. how to size images in Fireworks and Photoshop, how to do FTP file transfer with FileZilla program and how to "Secure a domain name and publish your site".

Also it contains a lot of trivial stuff such as creating a link to another web page, making text bold, starting a new paragraph with P tag, or creating external style sheets file. Old school HTML4 and CSS2 topics cover about half of this brick. Yet, authors were unable to find any space in this book for many new HTML5-specific topics such as most HTML5 APIs, which are parts of HTML5 specification, e.g. Canvas, Web Sockets, Microdata, Web Messaging, Web Workers, HTML5+RDFa, etc.

Also there is no coverage for the new HTML5 syntax rules, no HTML5/CSS3 browser compatibility info, and no list of new tags.

The book does include new HTML5 markup coverage but this is not enough to claim that HTML5 is the main focus and you will "Learn HTML5 the quick and easy way" (back cover). It seems that instead of re-writing this book from scratch, authors just merged the old CSS QuickStart Guide 5th edition with HTML QuickStart Guide 6th edition providing some facelift updates. The very old Windows XP screenshots look odd in this brand new 2012 "HTML5 book".
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By C. Clark on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been working in web development (first as a hobby, then as part of my career) for the past 14 years. I purchased this book to add to my collection of books I turn to for reference. So, here are my thoughts:

It's a decent book for learning a little bit about HTML5 and CSS3. I say decent meaning it's not great but it's not terrible. If you're absolutely brand new to web development, there's plenty enough in there to give you a "quickstart", but not near enough information for you to perfect the languages. However, if you're experienced in development, this book will practically bore you to tears with the absolute basics of HTML and CSS markup. By the time you actually get to HTML5 and CSS3, you realize there's not a whole lot of depth about either iteration of the language in there, and you're ready to take a nap!

It's a learning manual. My understanding is that this series of books is used by some colleges and tech schools as course textbooks, and it shoes. There is a lot of markup (programming code) in the book, with screenshots showing what it looks like in the web browser. It doesn't go into a lot of detail about either HTML5 or CSS3 - it scratches the surface of both and leaves you wanting to learn more. One plus about the book is that it briefly covers development for mobile devices, though there are better books out there for that, such as HTML5 Mobile Websites: Turbocharging HTML5 with jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, and Other Frameworks. If you're new to web development and want to learn more, this is a good book for you.

It's not a reference manual.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert Y. Elphick on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the previous versions of this book by Elizabeth Castro and rated them with five stars. But this one does not meet the same standard. This volume is much more difficult to understand and does not flow from the essentials on to the more advanced stuff ina logical manner. It starts somewhere in the middle as if you already know the material. The appendices that I have heavily relied on in the past up to the sixth edition are missing in this version - bad mistake. Appendices are now available on the website but do not contain the required detail that was in the previous versions and should be in the printed book. Important new elements of HTML5 are missing such as <canvas>, how can a book on HTML miss this very important element.

What happened? Did Bruce Hyslop take Castro's text and try to update it for HTML5? If so, he failed. Bring back Elizabeth! The publisher did not do well to allow such a downgrade in what was once a great book that I used to recommend to my students. No more.

Perhaps the publisher will update and fix this volume. I hope so.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susanne C on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
HTML5 and CSS3 by Elizabeth Castro and Bruce Hyslop was one of the best books I have read for learning beginner to intermediate Web design.

Having read several books on HTML and CSS, and having read considerably more on PHP and Javascript, this book was delightfully accessible for getting up to speed on both the basics of Web design and the intricacies of the new HTML5 and CSS3 features.

First, the book is beautifully formatted---a friendly read--with lots of colorful and relevant images and high gloss paper. The content of the book was equally appealing, especially through the provision of many relevant links to components such as the HTML5 Shiv, HTML5 and CSS3 validators, Flash player--and numerous articles about specifications, Web browser compatibility, and so forth.

Of considerable value, I often found the book presenting a concept that needed further explanation, only to turn the page, to find the explanation clearly outlined in subsequent pages. I particularly loved the lead-ins and overall clarity of the book.

Of biggest appeal, perhaps, was not only the inclusion of CSS3 and HTML5 for building some visually impressive forms, but also the provision of very easy guidelines to follow for including native videos and audios (complete with Flash fallback and hyperlinks for older browsers) on the Website. The process couldn't be spelled out more clearly. Additionally, the section on mobile media provided a relevant introduction into designing for iPhone and the like. The CSS enhancements, such as rounded corners, drop shadows, gradient, and multiple backgrounds, also were informative, often including links to online tools that make the process simple by automatically generating the code for various vendors.
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