Styling Web Pages with CSS: Visual QuickProject Guideby Tom Negrino
Sometimes it's hard to get started with a new technology. That's where this book excels. It's not going to show Web designers everything there is to know about CSS but rather will provide a solid introduction from which to build their CSS knowledge. The beginning of the book starts with the basics -- rules, selectors, classes, IDs, the cascade, internal and external style sheets, Divs, boxes, floats, padding, margins -- everything is covered. Next comes styling elements, working with images, menus and navigation, and moving styles from internal to external style sheets. Rounding out this project-based guide is working with browsers, both old and new, and debugging CSS. Succinct and to the point, it's the perfect book for designers without a lot of time who need to understand and start using CSS.
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Styling Web Pages with CSS: Visual QuickProject Guide, by Tom Negrino and Dori Smith, helps the beginning web designer learn how to use CSS in a simple, easy-to-follow format. This being my first exposure to one of the Visual QuickProject Guides by Peachpit Press, I was both pleased and disappointed when I received this slim volume. I was pleased in the presentation and clear descriptions given to each aspect of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). I was disappointed in the brevity of the text, and the lack of downloadable materials to use to follow the examples in the book. All of the major concepts of CSS are presented so that a beginner can easily understand them. While some ways of utilizing CSS properly can be the subject of debate, the authors have chosen a rational approach that serves the basic web designer well. The result is a set of web pages that follow a simply understood design, yet ensures that the layout and format is isolated to the CSS style document, rather than the HTML. Overall, Styling Web Pages with CSS: Visual QuickProject Guide is a nice introduction to the potentially confusing topic of the proper use of CSS. Many of the fancier techniques are avoided for the more common and useful ones. The short length of the book allows the beginner to avoid the feeling of intimidation that can accompany reading a 1,000 page text that covers everything you never wanted to know. Even so, I felt less than satisfied after I finished. I wanted a little bit more than I was given. Even if the book doubled in size, it would still be accessible yet it could then leave the reader with a feeling of contentment. As this is the first QuickProject book I've read, that may simply be the target they were shooting for. One final wish for Peachpit: please include downloadable files that the reader can access to duplicate the Alpaca Repo website. I was continually frustrated when I wanted to replicate what I had just read about, yet was missing JPEG files or extensive text that I could use. Consequently, I never felt as though I had actually gotten the hang of CSS.