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Best CSS Books for Beginners

Learn Cascading Style Sheets


There is a lot to learn about Cascading Style Sheets, and sometimes the best way to learn it is with a book. These are some of my favorite CSS books for learning CSS. They work well for beginners, and several of them also provide a lot of information for more advanced CSS designers.

1. CSS: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

CSS: The Missing Manual
Image Courtesy O'Reilly

I really enjoy the Missing Manual series. These books make whatever topic they are about much more accessible to the average customer. The CSS Missing Manual covers the basics of Cascading Style Sheets through complex things like CSS layouts. The examples and easy-to-understand explanations make this book a must for CSS beginners.

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2. CSS Cookbook by Christopher Schmitt

CSS Cookbook
Image Courtesy O'Reilly

Some might not agree that this is a great book for learning CSS, but if you learn better by doing then this book is great. Instead of focusing on style properties and syntax, this book dives right into making changes to your Web pages with CSS.

3. Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours by Kynn Bartlett

Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours
Image courtesy Sams Publishing

Sometimes you just want to learn something quickly. The Sams Teach Yourself CSS in 24 hours book has all you need to get the basics of CSS down as quickly as possible.

4. CSS: The Definitive Guide by Eric Meyer

CSS: The Definitive Guide
Image courtesy O'Reilly

This is the book that I've always recommended to people about CSS. If you can't buy more than one book, then you should buy this one. It's the first and best book on CSS on the market. It's not as well tailored to beginners as some of the others listed, but if you're willing to work a little, it is an unflagging resource. You'll have it on your desk long after the other books are recycled.

5. Cascading Style Sheets by Example by Steven E. Callihan

CSS by Example
Image courtesy Macmillan Computer Publishing

This is another great hands on book. It brings you through the steps of building CSS documents in simple, easy-to-follow steps using real site scenarios.

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6. Core CSS by Keith Schengili-Roberts

Core CSS
Image courtesy Prentice Hall PTR

Core CSS provides a great reference manual on CSS levels 1 through 3. It includes browser support as well as the basic tag references. This is the perfect book for someone who wants to learn CSS from a very technical standpoint.

7. CSS Mastery by Andy Budd

CSS Mastery
Image courtesy Friends of Ed

This book is more than just a beginner's manual. It takes you through what you need to know to learn CSS and then take it to a professional level. If you are interested in making Web design a career, then this book can help you learn the CSS techniques you need to know.

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8. CSS: The Designer's Edge by Molly Holzschlag

CSS: The Designer's Edge
Image courtesy Sybex

I love that this book is in full color. CSS is a designer's language, and color is important to design. If you are a designer who wants to learn CSS, then this book is a great resource. It's not a great book for people who have never done any Web programming or HTML, but if you're slightly more advanced it's a great tool to learn lots of CSS.

9. CSS Pocket Reference by Eric Meyer

CSS Pocket Reference
Image courtesy O'Reilly

Eric Meyer wrote the book on CSS, and then he simplified it. While this book might not be ideal for learning CSS, it is a handy little reference that provides all the basics in a compact form.

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10. CSS for Web Designers Only by Donna L. Baker

CSS for Web Designers Only
Image courtesy Wiley Publishers

People who learn by seeing will love this book. The full color examples make the CSS come alive in the book, and it focuses a lot more on how the pages will look than on the code to create them.

What do you think are the best books for learning CSS?

Finding a good book on CSS can be difficult, and if none of the books above strike your fancy, what would you recommend to learn Cascading Style Sheets?

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