Customer Reviews: Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, Second Edition
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on January 5, 2005
This book is useful either as a first-time guide to understanding CSS and its syntax (as well as usage), or as a complimentary title to other well-known CSS books like those from Eric Meyer. The combination I have gotten the most benefit from, was reading through Meyer's Definitive Reference (2e, O'Reilly) a couple times, and then brushing up on things with this book.

I think that Meyer's book (and he has more than one - I'm just talking about the one noted above) is a great coding reference and theory primer, while this book is more useful as a means of getting code on the page, trying it out and going back to see where your mistakes were.

One reason I say that is that the diagrams and explanations used in this book are a little bit easier to grasp and apply in some cases. It's a bit more accessible, both in terms of presentation and writing style, while not being "dumbed down" in the least. The way the book is organized is also preferable to other web references I've read (CSS and otherwise). All in all, highly recommended if you're looking to take your CSS skills from "I know how to apply styles to fonts and drag DIVs onto my page" to "I know how to code custom DIVs and classes that give me exactly the look I want while keeping the code accessible and small."
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on February 24, 2005
I own several CSS books and have skimmed through many more at the local book store. I must say this work is the best that I've seen for learing complex layout tecniques that work with multiple browsers.

There are many practical examples of two and three column layouts. Once you work through the examples, you will have a good knowledge base to create solid web page designs.

The chapters on cross browser support and troubleshooting are also very useful.

Buy this book if you want to learn CSS layout'll be glad you did.
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on October 11, 2005
This book fits in nicely between reference works like Eric Meyers "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" and technique books like Dan Cederholm's "Bulletproof Web Design". At first glance, this rather unassuming book contains pretty basic information about the applications of CSS. However, this book deserves a careful reading, as it is packed with excellent explanations and examples.

"Cascading Style Sheets" isn't full of flashy illustrations, but the examples are well thought out and present the ideas well. The chapter on layout ("Boxes, Boxes, Boxes") contains the best explanation I have seen on how layout boxes function in CSS. If you've been wrestling with understanding the difference between absolute and relative positioning, and how to use these values to make stable layouts, this book is for you.

The chapter on typography is an excellent resource for developers who may not have had the chance to study this essential subject. The authors present theory and application of good typographic practice (which is often ignored in current web design).

The chapter on browser bugs ("Cross-browser CSS") summarizes the current knowledge on cross-browser compatibility very well, and provides rock-solid workarounds for those thorny problems.

Last but not the least, the chapter "CSS Design Projects" will give you some solid examples to apply to your own designs.

There's quite a few good books out there right now on CSS, and quite a few not-so-good books; how is one to choose? Well, this book should be at the top of your shopping list--it's a rich, detailed, and extremely well-written book about the subtle craft of web design with CSS.
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on August 19, 2005
I own virtually all mainstream (and a few "offbeat") books on CSS. While I have been using CSS for sometime, I had never harnessed its real power before reading this book (and of course, all of CSS Guru Eric Meyer's books). In spite of CSS' quirks and the lack of standardized browser support, I will never go back to table-based HTML again! It is important to note though, that this book should be read cover-to-cover, and not initially used as a reference guide. Meyer's Definitive Reference (2e, O'Reilly) is a much better reference guide for those who are dabbling or just need a reference for modifying "canned" CSS. CSS is complex, and truly understanding and using it can be very daunting at times. But if you still cannot understand it after reading this book (read it twice if necessary...) I suggest you give it up. Important Note: At first glance, this book appears very dry (i.e. no color type, very few illustrations, no color images, etc.) but it is so well written as to be quite absorbing. I find it analogous to reading a novel by Raymond Feist or Anne McCaffrey without the plot of course -- it is that well written.
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on May 28, 2004
This would be my first choice, among the few excellent books on the topic available on the market, for people that need to get started on CSS. It's a good mix between some relevant theory, a reference and a good amount of practical examples. It could appeal a wide range of people.
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on February 23, 2006
Before reading this book, I had never understood the TRUE real reason for using CSS. The authors for this text do a fantastic job at explaining how HTML has become tainted with stylistic tags and hacks (was not the original intention for HTML, ie using tables for layout), and how CSS has come to the rescue to seperate visual presentation from content. This book is a great read to get a thorough and quick introduction to CSS. It flows well and has incredibly useful examples.
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on October 31, 2007
I had hoped to use this book as an introduction to using CSS and to help me update my online portfolio. While I did learn a good deal about CSS, this book was not nearly as easy to use as I had hoped.
First, a significant portion of the book is dedicated to a lengthy and repetitive sermon on why CSS is superior and should be used for all your presentation needs. It seems to avoid discussing the shortcomings of the system, or point out where you might need to resort to other solutions, such as JavaScript.
I am a person who learns by analyzing examples and learning to expand on the ideas in them. This, I think is where this book fails. The code samples in the book are incomplete and presented as fragments interspersed with explanation. The more advanced examples are so full of hacks to make presentation identical on all browsers, that they become unreadable. And the final straw was when I downloaded the dynamic-looking photo browser pictured in Chapter 12 and found that the dynamic functions simply don't work! (samples available at [...]
This is probably a good source for a designer already familiar with CSS. For a beginner, I recommend looking elsewhere.
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on July 6, 2006
Great for CSS beginers, I found everything here I needed to know to get started.
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on November 4, 2006
This book does an excellent job of explaining CSS. My main focus is seperating content from presentation being my sites are search engine friendly.
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on May 2, 2007
Do you want to learn really how powerful CSS can be? This book takes you from the ground up and helps you to understand not only the how to use css for layout but also why you use css. Starting off with the basics you get a good feel for how to write css in both the page itself as well as in an external stylesheet. The authors also explain the advantages and disadvantages of each way to include the styles. Then the book takes you through typography, which unless you are already an expert, you will gain a great understanding of exactly how the type settings really work with the text on a web page. Next, it dives into how to use the css to control your page layout with many different known techniques. You also will understand how these designs work so you can review them and walk away with the knowledge of how to leverage existing patterns and modify them to your needs. If you want to know how to design a page using css definitely get this book.
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