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Keywords: CSS, web design, HTML

Title: CSS Cookbook

Author: Christopher Schmitt

Publisher: O'Reilly

ISBN: 0596005768

Media: Book

Level: All

Verdict: Highly recommended

Presentation technologies, like CSS, lend themselves perfectly to the cookbook approach. Being both concise and easily adapted, snippets of CSS code make for ideal recipes that can be picked up and used quickly by web designers and developers. This makes for a relatively slim volume (270 pages), that has high informational content and little in the way of padding or extraneous material.

The recipes fall into 10 categories (chapters), covering typography, page elements, links and navigation, lists, forms, tables, page layouts, printing, hacks and workarounds and a chapter on designing with CSS. In all there are 89 different recipes spread across the 10 chapters. Each recipe starts with a statement of the problem (Centering Elements on a Web Page, for example), then follows with a solution and a discussion and ending with further pointers to other recipes or web-based material. Furthermore each recipe is usually illustrated with screen-shots.

Note that although the book is about CSS (including CSS 2.1), the recipes do not exist in isolation, and there is frequent use of HTML and even JavaScript at times. Browser differences are not ignored, and where these exist there is usually discussion of how to get round them. Coverage of browser differences extends across both across different browsers and across versions of browsers.

The level of the recipes is well-pitched, and even a reader with little prior experience of CSS is bound to get some good use from the book. It makes for an excellent companion to Eric Meyer's 'Cascading Style Sheets - The Definitive Guide'. In fact it makes for an excellent companion to just about any introduction to CSS. Highly recommended.

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Contents © TechBookReport 2004. Published December 7 2004