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Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321508973
ISBN-10: 0321508971
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Recognized as a Dreamweaver, accessibility, CSS and XHTML expert by the worldwide Web community, Stephanie Sullivan frequently presents at conferences, where her insightful, down-to-earth, and entertaining sessions garner top ratings. Stephanie's tutorials and educational articles appear regularly on sites such as Adobe's Developer Center. Greg Rewis is the Worldwide Senior Evangelist for Web Tools for Adobe and spends over 200 days a year on the road, talking with customers, giving product demonstrations at trade shows and seminars, speaking at industry conferences, and leading specialized advanced training sessions featuring Adobe's Web Tools product line.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders Press; 1 edition (April 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321508971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321508973
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,218,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dreamweaver is the software that eases the construction of websites by providing for "what you see is what you get (almost)" construction. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a web building tool for separating content and format in web site design, making the updating of sites easier and taking up less memory space on the host computer.

This book attempts to teach the reader how to use Dreamweaver to create sites that use CSS. After a chapter laying out the fundamental rules for CSS, the authors provide a number of tutorials including building a new style sheet (the repository of the CSS rules), migrating a table-based layout to CSS, using liquid and then elastic CSS layouts, and finishing using a combination of Dreamweaver and Spry, another web design tool, to create a site.

The book says it's aimed at the Intermediate/Advanced level and based on my experience, I guess that I'm at the Beginner level. I've constructed table-based websites with Dreamweaver that work well and look good. I understand the fundamentals of CSS. But this book left me in the dust. In the first tutorial, the authors took me step by step through the process of using Dreamweaver, telling me exactly which menus to use and which submenus to fill in, and though I had to refresh my memory from time to time by looking at (X)HTML and CSS texts, I was able to complete the tutorial. But as the authors moved to later chapters, the instructions on using Dreamweaver became less and less specific, so that by the half-way mark, the reader was being told what code was desired without any handholding through the menus. For an occasional user like myself, it was just too much and I soon found myself flipping back and forth, and using menus even though I had no idea why I was making the selection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really does a great job explaining how to build websites using CSS and Dreamweaver CS3. I've bought a couple of other books and this one is by far my favorite. The layout of the book provides step-by-step instructions snd includes many "color" screen shots so you can easily see that you are keeping-up with the instructions. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn how to design websites using Dreamweaver CS3. Here's the Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 - Laying the CSS Groundwork
Chapter 2 - Using the Fixed, Centered Starter Pages
Chapter 3 - Migrating a Table-based layout to CSS
Chapter 4 - Using the Liquid CSS Layouts
Chapter 5 - Creating a More Cocmplex Design with Elastic Layouts
Chapter 6 - Building a Gallery Site with CSS and Spry
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the best CSS & Dreamweaver book that I have ever read. I am an advanced user, very comfortable with CSS code and the Dreamweaver interface, but I still learned so many great tips and techniques.

Where this book shines is in teaching someone how to build standards compliant, accessible, search engine optimized, visually appealing, and cleanly coded websites using the Dreamweaver interface. I am not aware of any other book on the market that does that. Other Dreamweaver books seem to focus solely on the features of Dreamweaver without regards to standards, work flow, or the kind of code that the Dreamweaver will create if left to its own devices. It does not make sense, in my mind, to learn the product in a way that can't be used in the real world. Any reputable web designer uses the techniques discussed in this book, not all the built in options that make learning web design easy.

In regards to work flow, this book takes a case study approach. Each chapter is a project with a comp and an end goal. The reader gets to walk through all the pitfalls and browser issues that they would normally see when coding up their own sites. I think this makes the techniques easier to learn and makes the book an enjoyable read.

This book is not for beginners, if you aren't fairly comfortable with HTML and CSS, I would recommend Head First HTML, XHTML, and CSS. For advanced users, this book is really a fantastic teaching tool and reference.
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The book begins with some background information on the (X)HTML Document, CSS and the concept of laying out HTML pages with CSS. Three of the seven chapters give a step-by-step examples (with downloadable sample files) for a Fixed Layout, Liquid Layout, and Elastic Layout Web sites. In Chapter 4, the authors demonstrates how to use Dreamweaver CS3 to migrate a Table-based Layout to CSS Layout. In Chapter 6, Stephanie and Greg show how to build a Gallery Site with CSS and Spry.

The book has a very pleasant style and layout with color images and side notes. Even with its technical context, the examples were very easy to read and follow, even if you're not doing the examples online. Stephanie and Greg also presented a few great tips and tricks for using Dreamweaver CS3 and CSS, eg, the faux column technique which gives the illusion of two equal height columns.

I've been a Dreamweaver user for a few years. Late last year I learned about Dreamweaver CS3 (through Adobe's eSeminar series) and learned CSS from another great book by O'Reilly called "Learning Web Design ". It was a good, but rough, background to start designing websites with Dreamweaver CS3 and CSS. I've been waiting for this book for a long time. I read three chapters in the first week and was able to learn a lot of new techniques and tips I already used on my next design project.

However, a few things can be added to this book to make it even better. Definition and explanation of CSS best practices and Web standards would be helpful, specially in understanding some design decisions in the examples. Also, Dreamweaver CS3 has many many choices for HTML layout. This book only covers three of them.
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