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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2009
An excellent addition to Cederholm's previous titles, "Handcrafted CSS" offers more solutions for forward-thinking web craft. If you are new to Web Design or CSS this is not the place to start. It is intended for experienced presentation coders who have a solid foundation in web standards. This title is bundled with a companion DVD. Both the book and DVD are also sold separately.

About the DVD:
The video is about an hour long and provides a pleasant overview of the material covered in the book. Topics include workflow practices, graceful browser degradation (Bulletproofing) and notably; progressive enhancement using CSS3 properties. If you've attended one of the author's speaking engagements within the last few years the material may be familiar. Mr. Cederholm presents the concepts in a thoughtful and entertaining manner. There is not a lot of information contained in this DVD but the ideas are clear and the advice is sound. If you are looking for deep instruction I would not recommend the DVD as a stand alone purchase. It's a nice companion to the book.

The book explores the above topics in greater detail. Offering thoughtful techniques and methods for achieving common and interesting designs. Mr. Cerholm encourages coders - by example - to optimize presentation for best and worst case scenarios. He also emphasizes that designs don't have to look the same in every browser. Not only is this OK, but accepting this notion will open up creative possibilities for elegant, forward-thinking solutions. It's worth noting that the chapter contributed by Ethan Marcotte about fluid grids is thought-provoking and useful as well. Other topics include Font Embedding and an introduction to JQuery.

This is not an encyclopedic resource of CSS solutions. More a collection of ideas intended to encourage thoughtful problem solving for a fluid design medium. Like "Bulletproof" this is a quick read. The material is presented in a logical and simple manner. If you seek to inspire your CSS technique to a higher level of "Craftsmanship" you will enjoy this book. Recommended for serious Web Presentation Designers.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2009
While there are many excellent authors with books and blogs about web design and coding, Dan Cederholm is one of the very few that consistently provide clear and understandable instruction on the how and why of web design craftsmanship. As a web coding technician, I use his first book, "Web Standards Solutions", often to educate other coders on the proper way to use and code tables in HTML and CSS - it is simply the best.

His latest published effort, "Handcrafted CSS, More Bulletproof Web Design", is another sterling example of his skills in explaining how to code web pages using best practices in CSS and semantic, standards-based design and coding techniques. What sets this volume apart is the DVD that comes bundled with it, where you get a personal tutorial on 10 essential Bulletproof CSS guidelines, tips and techniques. Just watching this I learned a couple of techniques that I didn't know already and will apply immediately at my job.

And the book of course, is another well written, clearly illustrated volume that steps you through the process and reasoning behind crafting well written and semantic CSS for accessible and usable web design.

This book is definitely a must have for web designers and coders from novice to professional!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
While it presents like a tutorial book it is not.

There are downloadable examples of the completed code and examples of parts of the code throughout the book but that's it. I feel it would be nice to be able to complete the 'Tugboat' example from scratch as you read the book. This is what I thought I was going to get. Even if on could complete it in modules then assemble it from there...

Just think of this book as a collection of ideas and techniques with a focus on the 'craft' aspects of web design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2010
Currently I am a student of web design and learning fast so I have purchased and read many books on the subject recently. This book is by far my favorite out of all of them. If I was teaching classes on CSS and HTML this is what I would want my textbook to be. I haven't even finished this book and I'm calling it my bible. There are so many "ah ha" moments that it will pay for itself very quickly. I have Dan Cedarholm's other books and I've read "Bulletproof Web Design" already, haven't gotten into "Web Standard Solutions" yet. If you haven't read any of his work yet I'll tell you that it is easy to read and understand, he writes in plain English and is kind of entertaining in a way. If you are only going to buy one book on web design buy this one, it is packed full of clever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2009
If you make web sites, you need to OWN this book. It's one that you'll refer to time and time again. This book (along with Design With Web Standards) is a must have. The video edition is especially awesome. There are some things that are best said, rather than written. Dan knows his craftsmanship, you'll undoubtedly view web design in a whole different light after reading this book and watching his tips on the companion video.
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on November 28, 2009
Dan Cederholm's latest book packs a lot into a quick read. If you're familiar with CSS, you can finish the book in a few hours, yet pick up several helpful techniques and really be inspired by the author's point of view: that websites don't need to look identical in every environment, and that designers should "progressively enrich" their designs with details that can be appreciated in capable browsers. At the same time, websites do need to be robust enough to withstand the unexpected.

Many of the techniques discussed allow the designer to move from extra markup and images to pure CSS solutions for things like rounded corners and alpha transparency. This should make the approach an easier sell to clients (who may want complete consistency across browsers) because it is faster to implement, easier to maintain, and more flexible if changes need to be made in the future.

The weakest chapter, I thought, was the Chapter 6 - The Fluid Grid. The writing is a little overly folksy, for my taste, and with most new browsers using "page zoom" rather than just "text zoom" as a default, I'm just not sure how essential or helpful the presented technique is. However, even this chapter describes an novel approach to sizing a site's grid and major layout sections, which may prove useful or just make you consider grid sizing in a new light.

In sum, this is an excellent addition to your web design library.
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on March 13, 2010
as someone just taking the plunge from print to web, dan's book great at giving us the why's and how-to's of CSS web design. this book's dive into CSS3 properties, the fluid grid, form styling, etc. are great.

its also nice to be able to download the templates that the book refers to so you can see everything in action. my only complaint is how it just dives right into the code samples without a simple "how to use this book" paragraph. i ended up just creating a new "practice" xhtml file & CSS file to play with the examples. just don't expect this book to be like a "tutorial" where at the end, you'll wind up with a beautiful, functioning site you put together through the chapters. expect things to sort of jump around a bit, and plan to experiment on your own rather than being hand-held through a process.

i also really liked his real-world help with "frameworks", setting up a group of files to jump-start new projects, complete with solid, functioning code you can start implementing in your own work right away.

overall i learned a lot & the video portion was a nice wrap up to watch at the end.
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on February 24, 2010
This has got to be one of the best computer books I have ever picked up. I have had the thing for less than a day and I already love it. The do's and do not's are very clearly laid out. The book is interesting, very easy to read, the code works and it is very informative. I have been so impressed with the book that I have not even gotten into the dvd yet. I would bet its great also. Even better, is he VERY CLEARLY explains the code, I feel like I really understand why things work. Normally I just copy the code out of the book and hope it works. This book actually breaks down the mechanics of the css, it has also given me some great ideas on how and why I want to lay my website out in a certain way. Its not a huge book, so 30$ may seem pricey, but, trust me its worth every penny. The other 3 CSS books I have on my shelf will probably just stay there!

Thanks for writing such a good book and please keep up the good work!
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on June 7, 2011
I am a graphic design student, and I was looking for something to clarify and go further with, in my understanding of CSS. I purchased the book mostly because another student recommended it to me. After watching the DVD, which came with the book, I knew that I would walk away with a lot more understanding. I really like the way the author communicates the concepts and demonstrates with many examples. The use of color in the code examples is a great way to pinpoint the area of importance. It's a very well written book, and with the CD, I feel like I understand CSS much better now. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about CSS.
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on December 14, 2009
I consider myself to be very capable when it comes to CSS layouts. I've only been through the first few chapters. While the later chapters to seem to have content that might challenge me (in a good way), the first few have not so much challenged me as much as provided a refreshing step-by-step walk-through of how one might approach the layouts of a few simple modules.

The video portion is an interesting addition by teaching the same content through a screencast-like approach. While I don't think it is a necessary component, I found it to be a nice contrast for when you're tired of just reading through the content.
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