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"CSS Cookbook": Dishing Out Recipes for Real Results with Cascading Style Sheets

September 14, 2004

Sebastopol, CA--For web authors who want greater control over their layouts, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are a powerful way to add to and enrich the visual presentation of HTML-based web pages. CSS allows web authors to give their pages additional structure and a more sophisticated look. Its compact file size helps web pages load quickly, and its clean, easy-to-maintain scripts allow web authors to make changes in one place that can be applied across the entire document, saving hours of tedious changing and updating. And if that's not incentive enough to use CSS, the new CSS Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $34.95) by Christopher Schmitt provides a tempting collection of CSS-based solutions to everyday web design problems that make using CSS easy.

"When I was first learning the wonders of CSS," recalls Dan Cederholm, founder of SimpleBits (www.simplebits.com), in his foreword to the book, "trial and error prevailed as my primary means for discovering its creative powers." Like many web authors, Cederholm had spent hours--days, even--experimenting with various CSS rule combinations until he was able to achieve whatever task he wanted and needed at any given time. "I wish I'd had this book," Cederholm continues. "Instead of stumbling upon the solution for styling every element of the page, I could have just thumbed through the 'CSS Cookbook,' grabbed the recipe, and started baking."

Web designers and developers who'd prefer to eliminate the guesswork and devote their time to what they do best--creating stylish, flexible web pages--will find that the "CSS Cookbook" eliminates the tedious process of sifting through CSS theory to find solutions to their problems. Instead, the book provides scores of practical, useful examples that web authors can use immediately to format their web pages. But the "CSS Cookbook" is more than quick code solutions: an explanation accompanies each recipe, explaining how to customize formatting and showing how the solution works. Web authors will gain a deeper understanding of CSS as they learn to adapt the techniques for specific situations. The book also includes a valuable section on resources for learning more about CSS.

The recipes in the "CSS Cookbook" range from the basic techniques that all web authors need to code concoctions that will take their web pages to new levels. Covering CSS2.1, the book contains more than 85 recipes in the following categories:

  • Web typography (specifying fonts in web pages, headings, pull quotes, and more)
  • Page elements (centering elements, setting a background image, placing a border on a page, and more)
  • Links and navigation (using CSS to control the presentation of a link and sets of links, etc.)
  • Lists, forms, and tables (styling them and working around the basic ways browsers render them)
  • Page layouts (using methods for hybrid layouts and one-column to multicolumn layouts)
  • Printed web pages (setting styles that are used when printing web pages)
  • Hacks and workarounds (hiding style sheets that cannot be handled by certain browsers)
  • Designing with CSS (enlarging type sizes, working with contrast, building a panoramic presentation, and more)
  • The "CSS Cookbook" is the ideal companion to O'Reilly's successful "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" and is certain to become a permanent fixture on any web builder's desk.

    Additional Resources:

    CSS Cookbook
    Christopher Schmitt
    ISBN 0-596-00576-8, 252 pages, $34.95 US, $50.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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