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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2007
I've had several editions of this book and they're the best of the best. In fact, it's how I started out after I'd read all the other confusing books out there and I still use it because virtually EVERYTHING is covered including kerning, word-spacing and other odds and ends that you normally don't come across.

What's so great about this book?? Clarity and simplicity. She explains everything in detail and you can pick out what you want, when you want. No need to start from the beginning and work your way through - just find the section you need and get started.

This book is in colour, too. Every example has a detailed, friendly picture of a page that she (presumably) made herself and next to it will be the appropriate HTML. Every example also has real life tips, for example on the difference between the browsers (particularly bad old non-compliant IE).

A list of the chapters:

Intro (CSS and browser support, XHTML vs HTML)

1 - Web page building blocks (URLS, Doctypes)

2 - Working with Web Page Files

3 - Basic (X) HTML structure

4 - Basic (X) HTML formatting

5 - Images

6 - Links

7 - Style sheet building blocks

8 - Working with style sheet files

9 - Defining selectors

10 - formatting with styles

11 - Layout with styles

12 - dynamic effects with styles

13 - style sheets for handhelds

14 - style sheets for printing

15 - Lists

16 - Tables

17 - forms

18 - Video, auio and other multimedia

19 - scripts

20 - a taste of javascript

21 - symbols and non english characters

22 - testing and debugging webpages

23 - publishing your pages on the web

24 - getting people to visit

25 - syndication and podcasting

There are some very useful reference apendices at the end, and a colour chart.

My only gripe is that I couldn't find anything about iframes, but I have an old copy of her book and that's in there.

As far as I'm concerned this is the only book on HTML / XHTML and every time she brings out a new version I buy it, as it's always up to date.

Brilliant!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2007
After mistakenly buying two other beginners books on learning to create web sites I bought this one. I found it essential reading as a beginner and still use it as my essential reference book. It provides an excellent basis for learning the basics of modern web page design enabling the reader to create clear, easily up-datable sites that a professional would not be ashamed of. No matter to what level you progress in web design, you will not need to re-learn anything you learned from Elizabeth Castro's book. If I lost all my computer books this would still be my first web book re-purchase. I cannot say better than that.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2007
I didn't know anything about HTML or XHTML and only knew a very tiny bit of CSS before I bought this book, after buying it and reading it I now know a wealth of information about XHTML, HTML, CSS and web standards. This book is a must buy for anyone who is considering web design. It has everything you need to learn, very clear, detailed but understandable explanations of a veriety of XHTML HTML and CSS tags along with pictures to illustrate how each of these tags could be used. All in all I think this book was well worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2007
This book is great whether you're an absolute beginner, or have a bit more HTML experience. It's very clearly written, and provides helpful examples to overview topics, as well as in-depth lists of available options.
It deals with everything from browser compatibility and monitor size, to getting your page published on the web, as well as HTML, CSS and XHTML. It even touches on javscript; nothing advanced, but enough to get you started and to get a flavour of how it works.
Definitely recommended if you only want to buy one book to help you get started with building websites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2010
I bought this book based on the reviews. I knew a little bit about HTML before buying this book. I am interested in learning web-design. I decided to make a website as I went through the book. It does help to do this if you learn best by doing. Most of the examples are easy to follow and edit to fit your own needs.

Unfortunately there are some rather confusing parts in the book which require further research, as the book sometimes fails to go into further detail. Luckily if you are reading this book you probably have an internet connection and can easily find answers with a quick Google search.

To be honest I would recommend anyone who is interested in learning XHTML or CSS to look for online tutorials and just practice. All of what is in this book is available for free online. Come up with an idea in your head and try to build it, and don't give up if it gets difficult. I've now got to a stage where I can see my mistakes very quickly and can also work out ways to do pretty much whatever I need to do. You'll find that there is more than one way to do what you want to do, everyone has their own style.

If you want to check your codes you can use the validation services on the W3C website. Trust me, these are extremely useful and will help you to find any errors in your code. You will certainly find that some of this book is now out of date and wrong. So if something doesn't work, it may not necessarily be your fault. Perhaps wait for the 7th Edition.

My only other issue is that some of this book seems to be laid out in the wrong order. You'll find yourself getting to chapter 11 before finding out how to give your page a background, in my opinion I would have liked to learn this much earlier as it makes a huge difference to your page layout and CSS formatting. So quite often you'll find yourself skipping through 6 chapters to find what you want and then reading backwards.

To anyone who already knows basic XTML and CSS this book is probably not going to be of much use. I've read it once and now I generally use it as a reference or use online resources if I'm stuck. It is very basic.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2006
I have built many websites and I am very familiar with HTML, XHTML and CSS. Looking to my right I see 17 books on my shelf relating to web design. This book however sits just to my left on the desk next to me. I have only had it for 3 weeks and the corners are already thumbed. This is probably the only book you need to learn how to build a website, and even if you already think you know what your doing, it is a brilliant reference guide and filled with little gems of knowledge you won't even realise you didn't know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2007
This great value guide helped me enormously in getting to grips with HTML and CSS. I had tinkered with web design but needed to go further. I found application-based manuals only gave you a single solution to the problem. In contrast, this guide clearly illustrated the principles so that I then understood what to do in the application (although it was often hard to find out which tools/window to do it with). So I'm buying the manual for Dreamweaver CS3, too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2007
I was new to HTML. I initially found the book very daunting at first read. I then picked up a very, very simple starter manual with step by step build a page - and then the penny dropped.

Now this book is my reference and I now find it invaluable.

Perhaps not for the real beginner, but brilliant thereafter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Like the guy that reviewed this book before me, I'm on the CIW training course, the difference is this book was what made me go for a career in web design.

It's very easy to follow, and the pages are split so the code and code explanations are kept separate. Also, this book starts with HTML (all the latest standards, which are themselves also very well described), and starts CSS later. The change is fluid, so you're not having to re-learn.

Very soon you find yourself playing around with tiny CSS settings with confidence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2007
I already had some basic HTML knowledge before buying this book but not enough to build a full website. After a couple of evenings with the book I have a basic working site using XHTML and CSS.

After the first couple of chapters I found the best way to use the book was to start building a webpage and refer back to the book as and when you need it. The book is really well laid out for this kind of use with a great index and handy features such as the colour chart inside the rear cover. This feels like a book you would keep using for years.

The book does only take you so far, you will have to buy more books, play around on the web and experiment to build a really fancy site but as a good solid intro I can't recommend it highly enough.
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