When I’m not writing books like this one, I’m writing code. I make my living by
building web sites and applications as, I’m sure, will many readers of this book. I
use CSS to get jobs done every day, and I know what it’s like to struggle to get
something to work when the project needs to be finished the next morning.
When I talk to designers and developers who don’t use CSS, or use CSS only for
simple text styling, one thing that I hear over and over again is that they just don’t
have time to learn this whole new way of working. After all, tables and spacer GIFs
function, they get the job done, and they pay the bills.
I was lucky. I picked up CSS very early in the piece, and started to play with it be-
cause it interested me. As a result of that early interest, my knowledge grew as the
CSS techniques themselves were developed, and I can now draw on six years’ ex-
perience building CSS layouts every time I tackle a project.
In this book, I’ve tried to pass on the tricks and techniques that allow me to quickly
and easily develop web sites and applications using CSS.
You won’t find pages and pages of theory in this book. What you will find are
solutions that will enable you to do the cool stuff today, but which should also act
as starting points for your own creativity. In my experience, it’s far easier to learn
by doing than by reading, so while you can use this book to find solutions that will
help you get that client web site up and running by the deadline, please do experi-
ment with these examples and use them as a means to learn new techniques.
The book was designed to let you quickly find the answer to the particular CSS
problem with which you’re struggling at any given point in time. You don’t need
to read it from cover to cover—just grab the technique that you need, or that interests
you, and you’re set to go. Along with each solution, I’ve provided an explanation
to help you to understand why the technique works. This knowledge will allow
you to expand on, and experiment with, the technique in your own time.
I hope you enjoy this book! It has been great fun to write, and my hope is that it
will be useful as a day-to-day reference, as well as a tool that helps give you the
confidence to explore new CSS techniques.