The CSS Anthology – A Review

Author: Rachel Andrew
Reviewer:Stephen Walker

Subtitled 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks this is essential reading for anyone using or, indeed, learning about CSS (cascading style sheets).

The CSS Anthology is not, nor is it intended to be, a tutorial. Neither is it a reference book, it is not laid out in a sufficiently conducive manner to achieve that objective. What it is is a thoroughly good read with some amazing nuggets of information that every Web developer could use.

  • Getting Started with CSS
  • Text Styling and Other Basics
  • CSS and Images
  • Tabular Data
  • Forms and User Interfaces
  • Browser and Device Support
  • CSS Positioning and Layout
  • Experimentation, Browser Specific CSS, and Future Techniques

The Getting Started chapter is concise but surprisingly educational, introducing the basic theory of cascading style sheets, the efficiency benefits of CSS and the use of class, ID and contextual selectors.

Chapter 2 amongst other topics has a very interesting discussion on why and where to use font size type values; Point, Pica, Pixel. em, or ex. Each have their place and purpose and each should be used appropriately.

The CSS Anthology
The CSS Anthology

It shows you how to position text and the best means by which to achieve it. Perhaps more importantly it discusses why certain methods, although functional, should be avoided.

Tips & Tricks

As well as providing a very useful reference to basic CSS skills, the book contains many useful tips & tricks. Many you would not even think of being a function of cascading style sheets. As the subtitle alludes to “101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks”, the book provides a plethora of genuine features of CSS that may never have occurred to you.

From multiple background images, which should not be possible, to coloured scrollbars. The examples include the sample HTML code as well as the accompanying CSS. It will provide you with many creative ideas for your Web Page design.

There are many design problems you may have struggled with for months. The CSS Anthology may not have your specific solution but, it will provide you with food for thought and may just provide that “Eureka” moment to solve your problem.

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