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The Book of CSS3: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design Paperback – 13 Nov 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 2 edition (13 Nov. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593275803
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593275808
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 521,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Gasston has been a web developer for over 12 years in both agency and corporate settings. One of the original contributors to, the leading online destination for CSS3, Gasston is the author of The Modern Web (No Starch Press), and has been published in Smashing Magazine, A List Apart, and .net magazine. He also runs the web development blog Broken Links. He lives in London, England.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A clear look at the CSS3 standard and current implementation details 22 Nov. 2014
By William Springer - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of the interesting things about CSS3 is that it's not a fixed standard; new options are being constantly added. It would even be more accurate to say that there is no CSS3; instead, we have a set of separate modules that are independently updated, giving us a continuously evolving CSS standard. However, CSS3 is a convenient shorthand to mean "those features added after CSS2" (plus it sounds good in marketing materials) so it will no doubt continue to be used for the next few years.

The Book of CSS3 actually starts out by explaining this, along with a little more detail about how the W3C recommendation process works, so that the reader understands why the book covers what it does and in the order it does. The current usability of the various CSS modules varies widely; some have been implemented across all major browsers for half a decade, while others are still completely experimental. The book starts with features that are universally implemented (such as media queries and selectors) and ends with an overview of features not yet available without vendor prefixes (such as regions and variables). There's also an appendix showing the current implementation status of each module (although this will, of course, change rapidly) and another of online resources.

If you don't know CSS yet, this is not the book for you; there's no explanation of the difference between IDs and classes or how to include a CSS file in an HTML document. Instead, you have an explanation of what the new features are and how to use them. As someone with a reasonable background in CSS, I found the book to be extremely readable and expect it will make great reference material.

The content of this edition is very similar to the previous edition, which I also own. The chapter on Template Layouts was replaced with one on Grid Layouts (Grids being listed as a not-yet-implemented module in the first edition). Two new chapters have been added, one on Values and Sizing and one on Blend Modes, Filter Effects, and Masking. Many of these are not yet available in Internet Explorer, but can be expected to be added in the future.

Overall, a very solid book, one I'd have no problem recommending for a web developer looking to make the move to CSS3.

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book for Vulcan Ears Book Reviews (, where this review first appeared.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Useful, clear 11 Dec. 2014
By Ambika Castle - Published on
Format: Paperback
A solid read for the semi-experienced designer/developer. Useful, clear, and well-structured. Gasston skips the basics and dives right into the good stuff. Those who are completely new to CSS can easily find the basics online, and then jump right into this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Has what you need, but pretty advanced. 23 April 2015
By Paul F. Wilson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this to update my skills. For me that works but I have been using CSS 2 for many years. My prime interest was in building responsive web pages that morph for tablets and mobile phones. This book might be tough if you don't do well reading technical things. It is an advanced book and perfect for my needs. I took off one star because I think it is too demanding for most people.
Well worth the money! 24 April 2015
By zak frisch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! Goes over concepts very well and demonstrates them with great precision. It does require some knowledge of CSS. This is a guide for those who have CSS experience(even if very little) looking to learn about the new features of CSS3 and, though it certainly is written well enough to be picked up, it is not tailored for a complete beginner looking for a "how to begin using CSS" manual.

The first few pages may seem a little daunting(and really only the first few) but the author does a very good job of simply laying out the how, what, and availability of CSS commands. In fact one of the most helpful things is that in the back of each chapter there is a chart with an overview of the selectors/functions/etc and it lists the browsers as well as what is available for use in each.

There are certain things that you really can't display in a book. Very rarely does this happen but the author at one point in Chapter 8 openly admits that it's "nigh impossible" to display a concept in the book and directs you to the website for the book and to the subsequent chapter under resources. Normally I'd find this irritating because an author may just be trying to goad you into viewing advertisements to purchase more books from the publisher, etc. This was definitely not the case. The resource was very easy to find, there were no pop ups or modals, or advertisements of any kind, I did not need to sign in and (the best part) when I saw the page that you're directed to, the concept made sense in about five seconds. Note this does not happen frequently in the book as the author, as I've said, does a great job of explaining everything, it's just that some things(I think 1 or 2) you really do need to see interactively to grasp.

All in all it is a great resource for anyone involved in web design and I'd recommend it highly to anyone looking to improve their CSS3 tool-belt.
It is well worth the money, a very interesting read, and I'm very glad I made the purchase!
Thorough and insightful handbook!! 4 April 2015
By Vandenrymj - Published on
Format: Paperback
CSS 3 offers great possibilities to push the boundaries of web design. But to grasp what it can do for you, can prove to be a daunting task at first to make your own. But it is worthwile the effort. Browser support is more than good to start using it. This book offers a good introduction to CSS 3 and will make you ready to start using CSS 3 in your future projects. All CSS 3 features get explained in length and in-depth with coding examples.
This is a great asset of the book: thoroughly explained.

The setup

Media queries and selectors (and pseudo selectors and -elements): the building blocks of your theme for your styles. Further chapters are about styling elements: typography, borders, boxes, colors, gradients, opacity, backgrounds; 2D and 3D transformations; how you can animate elements (animations, transitions); columns, grid layouts (flex grids); advanced stuff like blend modes, filters and masks. And an overview of the browser support.

Who is it for?

Web designers, front-end developers and web developers in general that would like to get up to speed with CSS 3 and the many features it has to offer. It aims at both beginners, intermediate and advanced users.

I think this book is a great book to learn more about CSS 3. Each chapter starts with an introduction and delves into it. It not only explains how everything works (properties) but also what possible caveats are when you would use one or other feature. Both coding examples and concise illustrations of what the code produces in the front-end do a good job of explaining it all.
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