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Getting StartED with CSS [Paperback]

David Powers
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Dec 2009 1430225432 978-1430225430 1

Knowledge of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is essential for developing modern, attractive websites, but many beginners are put off by the need to learn about unfamiliar concepts, such as selectors, properties, and classes, before they can achieve anything. Getting StartED with CSS takes a practical approach by showing you how to use CSS in simple stages, starting by changing the default appearance of HTML tags to improve the look of text and links. It assumes no prior knowledge of CSS and avoids bombarding you with unnecessary technical details. At the same time, it explains all the main points and acts as a reference that you can come back to when you need to refresh your memory. More advanced concepts are introduced gradually, so that by the end of the book you'll have a solid understanding of all the main aspects of CSS. Particular attention is paid to avoiding the common pitfalls of beginners, enabling you to create websites that not only look good, but also are easy to maintain.

  • Requires no previous knowledge of CSS
  • Instant results—starts off by showing how improve the look of a website stage by stage
  • Doesn't bombard you with endless rules and jargon

What you’ll learn

  • How to immediately improve the look of your entire website by controlling fonts and colors with just a few lines of code.
  • How to control the layout of elements on the page without resorting to complex tables.
  • How to add background images that appear exactly where you want them.
  • How to create effective style sheets that are easy to maintain by avoiding common mistakes such as over-reliance on classes ("classitis").
  • How browsers display page elements and master CSS positioning.
  • How to experiment with advanced CSS selectors.

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at anybody who wants to learn how to style websites using CSS. The primary readership is likely to be independent web developers and serious hobbyists, but knowledge of CSS is essential to anyone planning a career in web development, so it should also find a place in the curriculum of academic courses in media studies.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is CSS, and Why Should I Learn It?
  2. How Do I Improve the Look of Text and Links?
  3. How Can I Improve the Layout of My Text?
  4. How Can I Flow Text Around Images?
  5. How Do I Add Backgrounds and Borders to Improve the Look of My Page?
  6. How Do I Solve the Mysteries of Width and Height?
  7. How Do I Create Differently Styled Sections?
  8. How Do I Style Lists and Navigation Menus?
  9. How Do I Style Tables?
  10. How Do I Position Elements Precisely on the Page?
  11. Are There Any Guidelines for Basic Page Layout?
  12. How Do I Create Styles for Printing?

Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: FRIENDS OF ED; 1 edition (2 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430225432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430225430
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,044,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I specialize in writing about web design using Dreamweaver, PHP, and CSS. PHP is the most popular server-side language that brings life to websites by communicating with external data sources, such as databases, news feeds, and XML documents. Adobe has recognized my expertise in web development by appointing me an Adobe Community Professional (ACP) for Dreamweaver. You'll often find me giving help in the Dreamweaver forums and Dreamweaver Community Help.

Before turning my hand to writing about web design, I spent nearly 30 years as a BBC radio and TV journalist, working both in front of the microphone/camera and behind the scenes. That gave me a wealth of experience in explaining sometimes difficult concepts in straightforward, easy to understand language - experience which shows through in my books.

I spent a large part of my broadcasting career in Japan, first on loan from the BBC to NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and later as BBC correspondent. I have traveled all over Japan, and love taking photos, many of which end up being used in my books. Over the years, I have worked closely with the Shiki Theatrical Company, Japan's leading producer of musicals; and have translated several of their plays into English.

Product Description

About the Author

David Powers is the author of six bestselling books on web design using Dreamweaver and PHP and the co-author of four other books. He started building websites in 1994, coding everything by hand. He is an Adobe Community Expert and Adobe Certified Instructor for Dreamweaver, the leading web development program. Before embarking on his career as an author, David was a radio and TV journalist for the BBC for nearly three decades, a role that involved explaining complex ideas succinctly and free of jargon. He brings to the written word the same clarity and ease of understanding as in his broadcasts.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for learning the basics. 19 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
After working on Flash websites for the last 6 years, I thought it was about time to venture to the unknown world of CSS. I had already picked up a little CSS knowledge on the way, but this book really sharpened things up for me and I am now feeling confident that I could make a basic but decent looking HTML webpage without resorting to the dreaded 'nested tables' method. You will need to have a basic understanding of HTML before starting with this book, but the whole point of it is to teach you the transition from HTML to CSS and not to teach you HTML. I would say that as you get further through the book, things start to move at a pretty frantic pace and you sometimes get lost in the jargon of it all. Making your websites fully accessible to IE6 (and sometimes even IE7) can at times be daunting and a nightmare to grasp, let alone having to test in a multitude of other browsers.....Firefox, Safari, Opera, IE etc. all the time can be a bit of a headache. The good old days of creating a Flash movie and simply embedding it into a HTML site are long gone and hopefully with a lot of hard work and more books like this one I can master the world of CSS styling. I would definitely recommend this book to beginners looking to take their first steps with CSS, but you need to be committed to it as it takes a lot of times following the tutorials and reading (and re-reading at times) different commands in order for them to really set in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars really quite special 11 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not perfect, but it's pretty damn wonderful...because David Powers writes really well, he really understands CSS and he really knows how to explain things. David Powers is just not a hack...this is the 2nd book of his i've read and he makes a wonderfully engaging companion.

The whole book is a tutorial set up around a site for visiting the grand canyon. And it guides you very gently up the slope of CSS (which is not really that hard a subject to grasp in its basics) but becomes utterly baffling if you say try to do a three column layout or a properly laid-out full page with navigation. It's because CSS is NOT desktop publishing...it's all based on a much more flexible interpretation of how a browser can render your markup and intentions.
Powers Explains the pitfalls of CSS really well, he gets you to do things and shows you the baffling results, and then discusses why they are baffling and how not to be baffled by them. What more can anyone ask for?
He also back-references his own previous chapters very accurately (as you know from item x in chapter 3 this is because etc...)
He has an intelligent and witty authorial voice and even though this book is not about CSS 3, it's fantastic architectural look at the weirdness of CSS by someone who really has mastered it.

Finally
it comes with a set of files and the syncrhonisation between the book and the download files (just like with his php book) is first rate and incredibly easy to follow.

My advice
Ignore the single bad review here (check out the many more excellent reviews on the US site), read this from cover to cover 2 or 3 times (yes 2 or 3 times and work through it each time)..
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1.0 out of 5 stars Mr Smith 2 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Getting started with CSS David Powers

Getting StartED with CSS
Please dont expect to be able to get to the download files section of this book at [...]. There is'nt one. There is no way to get in touch him. Without the downloaded files its an uphill struggle. His web site crashes. You need security codes to get in, which are not available. I also found this header at the top of one of his pages

Warning: mysqli::mysqli(): Headers and client library minor version mismatch. Headers:50527 Library:50168 in /home/foundphp/public_html/includes/count_downloads.inc.php on line 2

IE9 Firefox and Google seem to have a problem with his site. I personally would be to embarressed to own it, let alone publish it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic way to get started with CSS 22 April 2010
By J. Pelagides - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The best way to get the most out of this CSS book is to work through it chapter by chapter in the right order. You can try to dive in somewhere in the middle but the author makes it clear at the outset that you're going to really benefit by reading everything in the right order. I've already built 3 websites so far before getting my hands on this book. Ideally, you'll have read a book that fully covers HTML/XHTML coding, eg 'Learning Web Design' by Jennifer Niederst Robbins, before diving into this. Web designers would do well to learn the foundations of HTML/XHTML first and then work to get your head around the CSS in this book. This book really gets stuck in to take you through each major concept of CSS. The first chapter is a basic overview but rest assured there's other books on the market that cover the total ins-and-outs of CSS more thoroughly. Eventually you'll want to read something a little more beefy such as 'CSS The Definitive Guide' which is better suited to an experienced web designer. Getting Started with CSS will have you building your website at a good fast pace. Before you know it, you'll have finished a chapter in an hour or two and have a major concept covered.
I own several other popular books on CSS (check out the popular "CSS The Missing Manual'). They all seem to have a major strength in different key areas. In this book, I was able to complete one chapter comfortably in an afternoon and follow each example from start to finish. While I completed the chapter examples, I'd also open up an existing client project and work through it at the same time. Doing this allowed me to fully understand the right order to apply all my CSS rules. As an example, the book teaches you to style text based CSS rules before moving onto images and then backgrounds. My previous efforts of applying CSS was haphazard. I now follow the order specified here and my new websites are styled right. I'm fully aware of what I'm doing with my CSS.
'CSS The Missing Manual' is another popular book you'll want to add to your library too. That fully covers off important subjects such as CSS Specificity, ID Selectors and such at a deeper level so you'll grasp an understanding of CSS theory more fully. However, this book will allow you to work out CSS at a faster pace and you'll be up and running in no time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting StartED with CSS 19 Jan 2013
By Elena S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really appreaciated that the author explains the why - not just the "how" of CSS styling. If you are the kind of person who needs to understand in order to use smth - this is the right place to begin with CSS. I gave it only 4 stars because it took me awhile to find the web-site for the download files (the link indicated in the book is outdated). Also, some sections are a bit too drawn out on the basics. But overall, an excellent CSS starter book. Dave Powers is a great teacher - look up other tutorials and books by him. He is quite consistent in his down-to-earth, plain English but great results teaching style.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a keeper! 22 April 2012
By John R. Hightower - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is well written and well organized. It is clear and easy to understand. I have found answers to questions that I had about cascading style sheets (CSS) in this book that I have not found anywhere else. When trying to learn CSS, I bought about 15 books. Out of those 15, this is one of the few that didn't get relegated to my storage barn. It's a keeper.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book by David Powers 31 Jan 2010
By R. Wurgley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is great book, I know quite abit about css as I have used in making web sites. But I found some things that made some of my coding easier. It is an easy read, and now I feel this is a good reference book, I have some things dog eared to refresh my mind. Keep up the good work David.
What I would like to see is an Getting Started on PHP book by David, read his other dreamweaver books, but still a little in the dark with PHP. Thx for given me the opportunity to read and review this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good way to start CSS 9 Sep 2012
By Akinlade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've not gone very far with the book. However, going by what I've learnt from this title so far, it's going to be a big plus on my CSS skills. The title is a good purchase for me. I intend to consider other Getting StartED books.
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