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4.3 out of 5 stars19
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 10 July 2002
It is exactly what it says, a pocket reference book. You cannot learn CSS from it so if you don't know much about style sheets yet you'd probably be better getting a more in-depth reference book that explains how to achieve particular effects in more detail. I use it all the time.
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This book is useful primarily because of its handy size. You can take it anywhere - an internet café or a library, for example - where you might want to do some CSS and it provides a handy quick reference.

The early part of the book covers basic rules and there is an index at the back. In between, starting a third of the way down page 33 and ending on page 120, you'll find all the selectors with their pattern, a brief description and brief examples. The information is presented in a clear and easy-to-understand manner but you certainly couldn't use this as a training guide. You might spot one or two unfamiliar things that look as if they could be useful but you're not sure. In such cases, you might need to surf the net or look up a full-sized book to find out more.

As a quick reference guide, this pocket-sized guide is ideal, but don't expect any more of it than that. There are plenty of other CSS books, including some from the same publisher, that give much more extensive coverage. Those books can tell you a lot more but they won't fit in your pocket.

Note that since I bought this book, a revised third edition has been published.
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on 29 January 2012
Have been a big fan of O'Reilly HTML pocket reference guide and wanted something easily portable as a reference tool for CSS.
AS a concise condense reference tool it's all in there but compared to the pocket HTML guide this ain't so easy reading. The Basic Concepts opening chapter is probably the briefest intros I've ever seen and whilst in fairness covers all you need to know I came away struggling from it's description of inline boxes. This isn't a book that will teach you how to do fancy 3 column layouts etc. but it doesn't bill itself as that. The layout isn't great. This (4th edition) separates the property refence section into 3 group which makes it a pain if you are trying to look something up alphabetically. But every property, value, selector, pseudo class options etc are listed & explained as are the rules.

I'd certainly avoid if you are wanting to learn CSS (try CSS: The missing manual) or wanting to learn how to do certain tasks. But it does succinctly list every CSS attribute and if you know your box model from your font-family and want a pocket reference book this should be up your street
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on 24 March 2006
It starts with a VERY brief explanation of CSS selectors, inheritance, the box model, inline model, floating, positioning and the table model. Note that these don't substitute in any way the text in CSS, The Definitive Guide.
Then comes the CSS 1,2 and 2.1 properties reference, with the properties, values and their meaning. A very brief example is given for the property but it is only a snippet showing a selector using that property, nothing more. It is easy to search and, is small enough to be carried anywhere without causing much hassle.
It has the 10% that allows to do 90% of the work and is extremelly usefull to have around when writing Style Sheets.
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2005
If you are used to HTML but not the formatting rules of CSS then this book will not teach you CSS but once you are over that relatively short learning curve and understand the principle this book answers the simple question of what properties are available to you without the overhead of carrying around endless bulky tomes on formal definitions of CSS 1 and 2.
There are problems with this. It took a long time to update to cover CSS2 - but you may choose to stick to CSS1 for compatibility. It hasn't got an index but it's so short you can probably find most things with a quick browse. It won't teach you CSS - but it doesn't claim it will. If you accept those limitations and need CSS but not the tutorial then keep this book to hand.
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on 17 May 2012
I bought both books XHTML and CSS pocket reference and they are very useful especially for learning and jogging your memory. Especially if your like me and need a reminder on things. The index is good on both books and you can find the selector,value and declaration blocks very quickly. Worth going out and buying, any how got to go busy reading Eric Meyer book on CSS another good read.
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on 1 March 2005
Excellent buy for anyone who wants a quick, concise reference for CSS2 & CSS2.1. It gives good and simple examples of how to use the selectors with all their corresponding properties. Very easy to look up as it's all alphabetically listed.
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on 22 July 2014
Useful as an off-line reference source for web developers however, I find some of the language used less clear than the partnering Wiley HTML pocket reference.
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on 15 January 2013
This was purchased as a replacement to my older and much abused copy of this reference. Indispensable! A must have on the desk.
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on 31 July 2001
An essential guide: absolutely up-to-date, well-laid out, easy to follow, and a must-have for web developers.
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