- Series: Missing Manuals
- Paperback: 538 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (August 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596802447
- ISBN-13: 978-0596802448
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 153 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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CSS: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) 2nd Edition
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I would like to address the Kindle formatting of the book. It leaves something to be desired. I only mention this because until you get used to the poor formatting, it can be a little difficult to read on the Kindle. Here's an example from the introduction of the Kindle edition itself:
you'll learn about the basics of CSS. In
, you'll get right to work creating a
The Kindle edition is FILLED with this kind of formatting. The book is a great buy. Go ahead and get it. Just be aware that the Kindle version isn't well formatted. Not sure if this is Amazon's fault or the publishers. Hopefully one or both of them will fix this. It mars an otherwise excellent book.
To start out, I did a couple of web tutorials on CSS. Then I read Hakon Wium Lie's book, which is a terrific reference resource, but not the best "learning" book. Nor does it clearly illustrate the full potential of CSS (which is ironic, since Lie helped define CSS specification). But it did get me moving down the right path and improve my Flare output. Wanting more, I read a couple of other books. But they were geared more toward advanced techniques for users who already understand CSS's capabilities. I needed to step back a bit and find the right book directed at intermediate users. Based on the Amazon reader reviews, I decided to give McFarland's CSS: The Missing Manual a try. And I'm really glad I did.
For beginners, McFarland assumes you know a little bit of HTML, but that's about all. He guides you through CSS and its awesome capabilities with an easy, conversational writing style and clear examples that explain the interaction between CSS and HTML. The book teaches you gradually, and in a very logical order. You are always building on stuff you already learned in earlier chapters. Best of all, he provides tutorials so you can apply your new knowledge right away with practical, real-world examples. He also explains how to minimize your CSS markup to get the most versatility out of the last amount of code. His chapters on floating elements, managing divisions, and multiple columns is worth the price of the book, alone. He also provides common fixes so your CSS works with quirky web browsers (IE6, etc.). He also has a chapter dedicated to managing print output, so your web pages print nicely, which is invaluable to us who manage single-source content for multiple output formats. Upon finishing this book, I was able to completely overhaul and streamline my CSS files, and get much better results from my print and online output.
If you are a beginner with CSS, start here. I promise you, this book will get you up to speed quickly. If you are an intermediate user, this book is a great refresher, and it covers all of the same techniques I found in books for advanced users, but with examples and tutorials that are much easier to follow. In short, this book's content is clear, thorough, and straightforward. Isn't that what you want when you are trying to learn something new?
CSS is very, very cool. And this book is a superb learning guide that will help you realize its full potential. If you are a tech writer or a web designer, this book deserves a place on your shelf.
I struggled with simple things just when I'd have something working, it would fail in one of the browsers. In trying to learn CSS, other books were filled with hacks and fragmented information that might work for one site, on one browser. But this book was refreshingly different. It teaches CSS in a very informative way, starting from ground zero and working up to advanced topics.
Reading this book has helped me to understand how CSS works, the correct way to develop using it, and how to work through the browser incompatibilities in a reliable way.
Although this book could be used as a reference, I found it a great instructional read as I read it from page one throughout.
The writing is excellent and thorough. This book along with using Stylizer (a separate realtime CSS editing software) has given me a great grasp on developing reliable CSS for my web sites.
It's great how at the end of a chapter, you build something to use what you just learned and also progress through the book with your skills.
I haven't even read the whole book yet but it's post it note with all the bits and piece that I reference frequently. This is a must buy when you want to learn CSS or to have a reference book nearby.
First the good stuff:
The book contains great insights into CSS and into default browser behaviour. It contains information about styling all the various HTML elements etc. This part of the book is still very relevant.
The bad stuff:
The book dedicates a lot of space to bugs and workarounds in IE6. In 2014, the oldest IE most of us have to support is IE8, and CSS 2.1 works reasonably well from IE8 and forward.
The book also has some chapters on fluid / liquid design - a design technique that uses floating elements to achieve a somewhat scalable design. However, in 2014 the state of the art design technique is called "Responsive Design". Responsive design is not covered in this book. Responsive design uses a combination of element resizing and stacking to achieve its goal. While resizing is covered in this book, and stacking to some extent, it is not covered in combination. At least not explicitly.
This book is good, but it could use a re-edit which cleans up IE6 stuff, and talks about responsive design instead.