CSS: The Missing Manual [NOOK Book]


Web site design has grown up. Unlike the old days, when designers cobbled together
chunky HTML, bandwidth-hogging graphics, and a prayer to make their sites look good,
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) now lets your inner designer come out and play. But CSS
isn't just a tool to pretty up your site; it's a ...

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CSS: The Missing Manual

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Web site design has grown up. Unlike the old days, when designers cobbled together
chunky HTML, bandwidth-hogging graphics, and a prayer to make their sites look good,
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) now lets your inner designer come out and play. But CSS
isn't just a tool to pretty up your site; it's a reliable method for handling all
kinds of presentation--from fonts and colors to page layout. CSS: The Missing
clearly explains this powerful design language and how you can use it to
build sparklingly new Web sites or refurbish old sites that are ready for an upgrade.

Like their counterparts in print page-layout programs, style sheets allow
designers to apply typographic styles, graphic enhancements, and precise layout
instructions to elements on a Web page. Unfortunately, due to CSS's complexity and
the many challenges of building pages that work in all Web browsers, most Web authors
treat CSS as a kind of window-dressing to spruce up the appearance of their sites.
Integrating CSS with a site's underlying HTML is hard work, and often frustratingly
complicated. As a result many of the most powerful features of CSS are left untapped.
With this book, beginners and Web-building veterans alike can learn how to navigate
the ins-and-outs of CSS and take complete control over their Web pages'

Author David McFarland (the bestselling author of O'Reilly's Dreamweaver: The
Missing Manual
) combines crystal-clear explanations, real-world examples, a dash
of humor, and dozens of step-by-step tutorials to show you ways to design sites with
CSS that work consistently across browsers. You'll learn how to:

  • Create HTML that's simpler, uses less code, is search-engine friendly, and
    works well with CSS

  • Style text by changing fonts, colors, font sizes, and adding borders

  • Turn simple HTML links into complex and attractive navigation bars-complete
    with CSS-only rollover effects that add interactivity to your Web pages

  • Style images to create effective photo galleries and special effects like
    CSS-based drop shadows

  • Make HTML forms look great without a lot of messy HTML

  • Overcome the most hair-pulling browser bugs so your Web pages work consistently
    from browser to browser

  • Create complex layouts using CSS, including multi-column designs that don't
    require using old techniques like HTML tables

  • Style Web pages for printing

Unlike competing books, this Missing Manual doesn't assume that everyone in the
world only surfs the Web with Microsoft's Internet Explorer; our book provides
support for all major Web browsers and is one of the first books to thoroughly
document the newly expanded CSS support in IE7, currently in beta release.

Want to learn how to turn humdrum Web sites into destinations that will capture
viewers and keep them longer? Pick up CSS: The Missing Manual and learn the
real magic of this tool.

Now that Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) have finally come of age, web designers can take complete control of the appearance of their web pages. This text clearly explains this powerful design tool and how to use it.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449379490
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/21/2009
  • Series: Missing Manual Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 583,089
  • File size: 20 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is the president of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc., a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he teaches JavaScript programming, Flash, and web design at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Electronic Art, the Academy of Art College, and Ex'Pressions Center for New Media. He was formerly the webmaster at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center.

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Table of Contents

The Missing Credits


Part One: CSS Basics

Chapter 1. Rethinking HTML for CSS
     HTML: Past and Present
            HTML Past: Whatever Looked Good
            HTML Present: Scaffolding for CSS
     Writing HTML for CSS
            Think Structure
            Two New HTML Tags to Learn
            HTML to Forget
            Tips to Guide Your Way
     The Importance of the Doctype

Chapter 2. Creating Styles and Style Sheets
     Anatomy of a Style
     Understanding Style Sheets
            Internal or External-How to Choose
     Internal Style Sheets
     External Style Sheets
            Linking a Style Sheet Using HTML
            Linking a Style Sheet Using CSS
     Tutorial: Creating Your First Styles
            Creating an Inline Style
            Creating an Internal Style Sheet
            Creating an External Style Sheet

Chapter 3. Selector Basics: Identifying What to Style
     Tag Selectors: Page-Wide Styling
     Class Selectors: Pinpoint Control
     ID Selectors: Specific Page Elements
     Styling Tags Within Tags
            The HTML Family Tree
            Building Descendent Selectors
     Styling Groups of Tags
            Constructing Group Selectors
            The Universal Selector (Asterisk)
     Pseudo-Classes and Pseudo-Elements
            Styles for Links
            More Pseudo-Classes and -Elements
     Advanced Selectors
            Child Selectors
            Adjacent Siblings
            Attribute Selectors
     Tutorial: Selector Sampler
            Creating a Group Selector
            Creating and Applying a Class Selector
            Creating and Applying an ID Selector
            Creating a Descendent Selector

Chapter 4. Saving Time with Inheritance
     What Is Inheritance?
     How Inheritance Streamlines Style Sheets
     The Limits of Inheritance
     Tutorial: Inheritance
            A Basic Example: One Level of Inheritance
            Using Inheritance to Restyle an Entire Page
            Inheritance Inaction

Chapter 5. Managing Multiple Styles: The Cascade
     How Styles Cascade
            Inherited Styles Accumulate
            Nearest Ancestor Wins
            The Directly Applied Style Wins
            One Tag, Many Styles
     Specificity: Which Style Wins
            The Tiebreaker: Last Style Wins
     Controlling the Cascade
            Changing the Specificity
            Selective Overriding
     Tutorial: The Cascade in Action
            Creating a Hybrid Style
            Combining Cascading and Inheritance
            Overcoming Conflicts

Part Two: Applied CSS

Chapter 6. Formatting Text
     Formatting Text
            Choosing a Font
            Adding Color to Text
     Changing Font Size
            Using Pixels
            Using Keywords, Percentages, and Ems
     Formatting Words and Letters
            Italicizing and Bolding
            Letter and Word Spacing
     Formatting Entire Paragraphs
            Adjusting the Space Between Lines
            Aligning Text
            Indenting the First Line and Removing Margins
            Formatting the First Letter or First Line of a Paragraph
     Styling Lists
            Types of Lists
            Positioning Bullets and Numbers
            Graphic Bullets
     Tutorial: Text Formatting in Action
            Setting Up the Page
            Formatting the Headings and Paragraphs
            Formatting Lists
            Adding the Finishing Touches

Chapter 7. Margins, Padding, and Borders
     Understanding the Box Model
     Control Space with Margins and Padding
            Margin and Padding Shorthand
            Colliding Margins
            Removing Space with Negative Margins
            Displaying Inline and Block-Level Boxes
     Adding Borders
            Border Property Shorthand
            Formatting Individual Borders
     Coloring the Background
     Determining Height and Width
            Calculating a Box's Actual Width and Height
            Controlling the Tap with the Overflow Property
            Fixing IE 5's Broken Box Model
     Wrap Content with Floating Elements
            Backgrounds, Borders, and Floats
            Stopping the Float
     Tutorial: Margins, Backgrounds, and Borders
            Controlling Page Margins
            Adjusting the Space Around Tags
            Emphasizing Text with Backgrounds and Borders
            Building a Sidebar
            Fixing the Browser Bugs
            Going Further

Chapter 8. Adding Graphics to Web Pages
     CSS and the <img> Tag
     Background Images
     Controlling Repetition
     Positioning a Background Image
            Precise Values
            Percentage Values
            Fixing an Image in Place
     Using Background Property Shorthand
     Tutorial: Creating a Photo Gallery
            Framing an Image
            Adding a Caption
            Building a Photo Gallery
            Adding Drop Shadows
     Tutorial: Using Background Images
            Adding an Image to the Page Background
            Replacing Borders with Graphics
            Using Graphics for Bulleted Lists
            Adding Rounded Corners to the Sidebar
            Creating an External Style Sheet

Chapter 9. Sprucing Up Your Site's Navigation
     Selecting Which Links to Style
            Understanding Link States
            Targeting Particular Links
     Styling Links
            Underlining Links
            Creating a Button
            Using Graphics
     Building Navigation Bars
            Using Unordered Lists
            Vertical Navigation Bars
            Horizontal Navigation Bars
     Advanced Link Techniques
            Big Clickable Buttons
            CSS-Style Preloading Rollovers
            Sliding Doors
     Tutorial: Styling Links
            Basic Link Formatting
            Adding a Background Image to a Link
            Highlighting External Links
            Marking Visited Pages
            Creating a Vertical Navigation Bar
            Adding Rollovers and Creating "You Are Here" Links
            Fixing the IE Bugs
            From Vertical to Horizontal

Chapter 10. Formatting Tables and Forms
     Using Tables the Right Way
     Styling Tables
            Adding Padding
            Adjusting Vertical and Horizontal Alignment
            Creating Borders
            Styling Rows and Columns
     Styling Forms
            HTML Form Elements
            Laying Out Forms Using CSS
     Tutorial: Styling a Table
     Tutorial: Styling a Form

Part Three: CSS Page Layout

Chapter 11. Building Float-Based Layouts
     How CSS Layout Works
            The Mighty <div> Tag
     Types of Web Page Layouts
     Float Layout Basics
     Applying Floats to Your Layouts
            Floating All Columns
            Floats Within Floats
            Using Negative Margins to Position Elements
     Overcoming Float Problems
            Clearing and Containing Floats
            Creating Full-Height Columns
            Preventing Float Drops
     Handling Internet Explorer Bugs
            Double-Margin Bug
            3-Pixel Gaps
            Other IE Problems
     Tutorial: Multiple Column Layouts
            Structuring the HTML
            Creating the Layout Styles
            Adding Another Column
            Adding a "Faux Column"
            Fixing the Width
     Tutorial: Negative Margin Layout
            Centering a Layout
            Floating the Columns
            Final Adjustments

Chapter 12. Positioning Elements on a Web Page
     How Positioning Properties Work
            Setting Positioning Values
            When Absolute Positioning Is Relative
            When (and Where) to Use Relative Positioning
            Stacking Elements
            Hiding Parts of a Page
     Powerful Positioning Strategies
            Positioning Within an Element
            Breaking an Element Out of the Box
            Using CSS Positioning for Page Layout
            Creating CSS-Style Frames Using Fixed Positioning
     Tutorial: Positioning Page Elements
            Enhancing a Page Banner
            Adding a Caption to a Photo
            Laying Out the Page

Part Four: Advanced CSS

Chapter 13. CSS for the Printed Page
     How Media Style Sheets Work
     How to Add Media Style Sheets
            Specifying the Media Type for an External Style Sheet
            Specifying the Media Type Within a Style Sheet
     Creating Print Style Sheets
            Using !important to Override Onscreen Styling
            Reworking Text Styles
            Styling Backgrounds for Print
            Hiding Unwanted Page Areas
            Adding Page Breaks for Printing
     Tutorial: Building a Print Style Sheet
            Remove Unneeded Page Elements
            Removing Backgrounds and Adjusting the Layout
            Reformatting the Text
            Displaying the Logo
            Displaying URLs

Chapter 14. Improving Your CSS Habits
     Adding Comments
     Organizing Styles and Style Sheets
            Name Styles Clearly
            Use Multiple Classes to Save Time
            Organize Styles by Grouping
            Using Multiple Style Sheets
     Eliminating Browser Style Interference
     Using Descendent Selectors
            Compartmentalize Your Pages
            Identify the Body
     Managing Internet Explorer Hacks
            Design for Contemporary Browsers First
            Isolate CSS for IE with Conditional Comments

Part Five: Appendixes

Appendix A. CSS Property Reference

Appendix B. CSS in Dreamweaver 8

Appendix C. CSS Resources


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2009

    Excellent book

    I read 3 other books on CSS before I purchased this one. This one cleared up the confusion I still had on some parts of CSS. It is easy to read and flows in a logical manner, and explains why you use something, and warns you of issues that relate to it. It clearly explains how certain elements work with others. Something the other books did not do. I highly recommend this book to beginners and advanced CSS users.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2008

    CSS: The Missing Manual has style

    I loved this book! It held my attention, moved fast, I learned a lot and I had fun doing it. I expected a book on Cascading Style Sheets to be a bit on the dry side but found McFarland¿s writing style not only easy to read but very enjoyable. His sense of humor would occasionally have me laughing out loud. The book is filled with information that is presented clearly. Some of the things about CSS that have left me a bit baffled in the past suddenly made sense. The book begins with a brief overview of HTML that includes the reasons why Cascading Style Sheets are a better way to style web pages. It covers what HTML tags to eliminate and why to replace them with CSS. The chapters are set up with the information presented first and end with hands on tutorials complete with downloadable files. Being able to actually write CSS and apply what I¿d learned was a great reinforcement. CSS is covered from basic to advanced techniques in a way that keeps building on skills just learned. The attention focused on making it work in a variety of browsers including older ones was wonderful. For people like me that are not true professionals, browser variances are always a mystery. Not only are solutions to problems presented but the logic behind fixing them is shared. The book also is loaded with CSS resources that include links to tutorials, bulletin boards and other sites for further education or help. You can find them both appropriately placed throughout the book as well as listed at the end. The only thing I would have liked to have included is a CD. The book ends with three Appendixes which recap CSS properties, cover Adobe¿s Dreamweaver and list resources. That in itself was well worth the price of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006


    Do you need to take the pain out of Web Design? If you do, then this book is for you. Author David Sawyer McFarland, has done an outstanding job of writing a book that lets your inner designer come out and play. McFarland, begins by showing you how to create style sheets and provides an overview of key CSS concepts, like inheritance, selectors and the cascade. Then, the author takes you into the real world of Web design. Next, he helps you with one of the most confusing , but most rewarding , aspects of CSS: controlling the placement of elements on a page. Finally, he shows you how to make web pages look good when printed. If you¿re new to HTML, with this most excellent book, you¿ll learn all about page-building basics in a CSS--friendly way. More importantly, this book shows you how to tweak your CSS so it plays well with any browser it meets.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012


    This guide is essential for learning the ins and outs of CSS. I'm about half-way through the book, and everything is stated very clearly in an easy to understand and easy to read manner. I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    Best CSS Book on the market!

    I have owned a lot of books on CSS and I have to say that I LOVE this book. This book makes learning CSS easy and fun. It also teaches you how to create sites for cross browser compatibility. If you are just learning CSS, or want a great reference, I would buy this book.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    I can't say enough about The Missing Manual series! It is a great reference for any computer subject. If you are a little rusty on CSS, then this is the book for you.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Great book

    I got a copy out of the library and then decided to buy it. Well written and easy to understand.

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