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October 19, 2006

CSS Cookbook, Second Edition: Quick Solutions for Common CSS Problems

Sebastopol, CA--Cascading style sheets (CSS) provide an easy way to style the content of a website, giving web designers more control over the way their pages appear, both online and when printed, and in less time than with other methods. Unfortunately, CSS too often falls in the category of "Yet Another Technology to Master," and as such, is added to the list of "Other Technologies that Web Developers Would Tackle if Only They Had Time." Now there's hope for everyone who has rued his or her lack of CSS skills. The new edition of the CSS Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $44.99) by Christopher Schmitt provides ready-made solutions for all levels of CSS users, and teaches essential tips and lessons in the process.

For common dilemmas that crop up with each project, the CSS Cookbook provides hundreds of detailed examples with CSS code that can be used immediately. Arranged in a quick-lookup format for easy reference and hassle-free use, each recipe is accompanied by an explanation to help users customize the recipes for their specific needs. The book has been updated for the latest popular web browsers, including Firefox, Opera, and the long-awaited Internet Explorer 7.

According to Schmitt, web design development will go through a big shakeup in the next few months owing to the release of IE7, which provides more robust and stable support for CSS. "The days of spending twenty to twenty-five percent of a developer's time troubleshooting browser issues in the previous versions of IE is coming to an end," he says. "'CSS Cookbook, Second Edition' is a great chance for designers and developers to learn about CSS if they've been putting it off for awhile."

This edition of the cookbook has also been expanded to include much more information for CSS learners, explaining topics that range from basic web typography and page layout to techniques for formatting lists, forms, and tables. "The first chapter is a good refresher for the CSS pros," says Schmitt, "but it's a solid educational ramp allowing beginners to get familiar with the technology before diving into the other chapters of the book.

"Also, this book offers the first extensive look at how CSS affects web forms in modern browsers like IE7 and Firefox," adds Schmitt. "Over a thousand screen captures were taken and assembled to help designers better understand styling of web forms." This 160-plus-page appendix is available for a free download.

Designers and developers will be able to go straight to the answers they need in CSS Cookbook without having to search around the web or hunt around through other books. They'll find useful recipes on:

  • Using CSS within Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web Designing
  • Placing elements on a page using floats as well as absolute and relative positioning
  • Detailing popular image replacement methods for HTML text
  • Styling typography on the web
  • Designing forms with CSS
  • Creating custom navigation menus
  • Developing style sheets for the printing of a web page
  • Testing websites on multiple browsers using only one computer

CSS Cookbook is ideal for people who have wanted to use CSS for web projects, but have shied away from learning a new technology. Even those who consider themselves experts will find this book too handy to set aside.

Praise for the previous edition:

"About the CSS essentials, this book has it all...the writing was clear, and the recipes worked the first time out of the box...The practical approach, combined with a dash--but just the right amount--of theory, makes CSS Cookbook an exceptionally useful reference for learning and doing CSS."
--Michael Pastore, Bookloversreview.com

"Especially useful for the less-seasoned designer who isn't tremendously familiar with CSS, and equally helpful for the web designer who just wants to add a few tricks to his or her 'repertoire,' this hearty volume provides a wide variety of plugin-ready tricks and tools that just about anyone...will find invaluable."
--Ryan Eanes, Blogcritics.org

Additional Resources:

CSS Cookbook, Second Edition
Christopher Schmitt
ISBN: 0-596-52741-1, 516 pages, $44.99 US, $58.99 CA
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

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