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CSS Cookbook 2nd Edition by Christopher Schmitt

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CSS Cookbook 2nd Edition by Christopher Schmitt

CSS Cookbook 2nd Edition by Christopher Schmitt

Copyright O'Reilly

The Bottom Line

Once you have a basic understanding of CSS, this is the second book you should get. The cookbook series from O'Reilly makes it easy to find problems that you need solved and get the solutions. This book is no different. Any one of the sections has a lot of information that you can use to improve any Web site you're working on. You may not have even known you had a problem until you see the CSS solution in this book.
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  • Very significantly increased in content over the first edition.
  • Covers Internet Explorer 7 as well as hacks for Netscape 4 and IE 5.
  • Every section has additional recipes and there are several new sections.
  • Three new appendices explain CSS properties, selectors and styling form elements.
  • No longer recommends using tables in a "hybrid" layout.


  • It doesn't come with book markers to mark all the pages I want to come back to.


  • The first chapter discusses the basics of CSS and how to use it with your HTML.
  • Chapters 2-5 cover type, images, page elements, and lists.
  • Chapter 6 goes into detail about links and how to style them.
  • Chapter 7 have 20 recipes for styling forms.
  • Chapter 8 helps you style tables and includes a calendar sample design.
  • Chapter 9 has 7 separate layouts and suggestions for using CSS as the layout tool.
  • Chapter 10 shows you how to style print with CSS.
  • Chapter 11 provides a number of hacks and workarounds when you can't get things working.
  • Chapter 12 gives some great ideas for using CSS to design Web pages.
  • The 4 appendices cover resources, style properties, and support for styling form elements.

Guide Review - CSS Cookbook 2nd Edition by Christopher Schmitt

Within a week of having this book, it's already got over 100 bookmark tabs in it for things I wanted to remember or were interesting. There comes a point where I need to stop using the tabs - and not just because I've run out - but because when you mark every page in a book, the markers have no meaning.

This second edition is double the size of the first edition, and it shows. There are a couple of new sections (General CSS and Images) and every other section has at least two new recipes. And all of the good recipes from the first edition are still there.

What I Like About this Book

It is amazingly up-to-date. The cover indicates that it was updated for IE 7 and Firefox 1.5 - but even though Firefox 2.0 is now out, there weren't any major changes to CSS, so the recipes should work fine there. I wish there were more mentions of Safari and Opera, but he did get the browsers with market share.

Who is This Book For?

This is not an introduction to CSS. If you don't know CSS, you should take a class or read another book first. While this edition has a bit more of an introduction to CSS in the first section than the first edition had, it still assumes an amount of knowledge in how to use CSS and build CSS Web pages.

This book is also not for people who are averse to writing standards-based, semantic Web pages. If you are insistent about using tables for layout, you can still get a lot of value from this book, but as he's gotten rid of his "hybrid design" recipe, you won't find tables where CSS can position the content.

But if you're looking for things to do with CSS and want a book to show you how, then this is great. Just flip through the book and you'll find things you didn't know you could do or solutions to problems you didn't know you had.

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