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Best CSS Books to Read

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1. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites (2011)

A full-color introduction to the basics of HTML and CSS from the publishers of Wrox! 

Every day, more and more people want to learn some HTML and CSS. Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive. Many books teaching HTML and CSS are dry and only written for those who want to become programmers, which is why this book takes an entirely new approach.

  • Introduces HTML and CSS in a way that makes them accessible to everyone—hobbyists, students, and professionals—and it’s full-color throughout
  • Utilizes information graphics and lifestyle photography to explain the topics in a simple way that is engaging
  • Boasts a unique structure that allows you to progress through the chapters from beginning to end or just dip into topics of particular interest at your leisure

This educational book is one that you will enjoy picking up, reading, then referring back to. It will make you wish other technical topics were presented in such a simple, attractive and engaging way!

This book is also available as part of a set in hardcover – Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery, 9781119038634; and in softcover – Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery, 9781118907443.

Author(s): Jon Duckett

2. CSS: The Definitive Guide: Visual Presentation for the Web (2017)

If you’re a web designer or app developer interested in sophisticated page styling, improved accessibility, and saving time and effort, this book is for you. This revised edition provides a comprehensive guide to CSS implementation, along with a thorough review of the latest CSS specifications.

CSS is a constantly evolving language for describing the presentation of web content on screen, printers, speech synthesizers, screen readers, and chat windows. It is used by all browsers on all screen sizes on all types of IoT devices, including phones, computers, video games, televisions, watches, kiosks, and auto consoles. Authors Eric Meyer and Estelle Weyl show you how to improve user experience, speed development, avoid potential bugs, and add life and depth to your applications through layout, transitions and animations, borders, backgrounds, text properties, and many other tools and techniques.

This guide covers:

  • Selectors, specificity, and the cascade
  • Values, units, fonts, and text properties
  • Padding, borders, outlines, and margins
  • Colors, backgrounds, and gradients
  • Floats and positioning tricks
  • Flexible box layout
  • The new Grid layout system
  • 2D and 3D transforms, transitions, and animation
  • Filters, blending, clipping, and masking
  • Media and feature queries

Author(s): Eric A. Meyer, Estelle Weyl

3. CSS: The Missing Manual (2015)

CSS lets you create professional-looking websites, but learning its finer points can be tricky—even for seasoned web developers. This fully updated edition provides the most modern and effective tips, tricks, and tutorial-based instruction on CSS available today. Learn how to use new tools such as Flexbox and Sass to build web pages that look great and run fast on any desktop or mobile device. Ideal for casual and experienced designers alike.

The important stuff you need to know:

  • Start with the basics. Write CSS-friendly HTML, including the HTML5 tags recognized by today’s browsers.
  • Design for mobile devices. Create web pages that look great when visitors use them on the go.
  • Make your pages work for you. Add animations that capture the imagination, and forms that get the job done.
  • Take control of page layouts. Use professional design techniques such as floats and positioning.
  • Make your layouts more flexible. Design websites with Flexbox that adjust to different devices and screen sizes.
  • Work more efficiently. Write less CSS code and work with smaller files, using Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets (Sass).

Author(s): David Sawyer McFarland

4. Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set (2014)

A two-book set for web designers and front-end developers

This two-book set combines the titles HTML & CSS: Designing and Building Web Sites and JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Development. Together these two books form an ideal platform for anyone who wants to master HTML and CSS before stepping up to JavaScript and jQuery.

HTML & CSS covers structure, text, links, images, tables, forms, useful options, adding style with CSS, fonts, colors, thinking in boxes, styling lists and tables, layouts, grids, and even SEO, Google analytics, ftp, and HTML5. JavaScript & jQuery offers an excellent combined introduction to these two technologies using a clear and simple visual approach using diagrams, infographics, and photographs.

  • A handy two-book set that uniquely combines related technologies
  • Highly visual format and accessible language makes these books highly effective learning tools
  • Perfect for beginning web designers and front-end developers

Author(s): Jon Duckett

5. CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems (2015)

In this practical guide, CSS expert Lea Verou provides 47 undocumented techniques and tips to help intermediate-to advanced CSS developers devise elegant solutions to a wide range of everyday web design problems.

Rather than focus on design, CSS Secrets shows you how to solve problems with code. You’ll learn how to apply Lea’s analytical approach to practically every CSS problem you face to attain DRY, maintainable, flexible, lightweight, and standards-compliant results.

Inspired by her popular talks at over 60 international web development conferences, Lea Verou provides a wealth of information for topics including:

  • Backgrounds and Borders
  • Shapes
  • Visual Effects
  • Typography
  • User Experience
  • Structure and Layout
  • Transitions and Animations

Author(s): Lea Verou

6. CSS Pocket Reference: Visual Presentation for the Web (2011)

When you’re working with CSS and need a quick answer, CSS Pocket Reference delivers. This handy, concise book provides all of the essential information you need to implement CSS on the fly. Ideal for intermediate to advanced web designers and developers, the 4th edition is revised and updated for CSS3, the latest version of the Cascading Style Sheet specification. Along with a complete alphabetical reference to CSS3 selectors and properties, you’ll also find a short introduction to the key concepts of CSS.

Based on Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, this reference is an easy-to-use cheatsheet of the CSS specifications you need for any task at hand. This book helps you:

  • Quickly find and adapt the style elements you need
  • Learn how CSS3 features complement and extend your CSS practices
  • Discover new value types and new CSS selectors
  • Implement drop shadows, multiple backgrounds, rounded corners, and border images
  • Get new information about transforms and transitions

Author(s): Eric A. Meyer

7. CSS Mastery (2016)

Fully updated to the latest CSS modules, make the journey to CSS mastery as simple and painless as possible. This book dives into advanced aspects of CSS-based design, such as responsive design, modular CSS, and CSS typography. Through a series of easy-to-follow tutorials, you will learn practical CSS techniques you can immediately start using in your daily work.

CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions is your indispensable guide to cutting-edge CSS development―this book demystifies the secrets of CSS. While CSS is a relatively simple technology to learn, it is a difficult one to master. When you first start developing sites using CSS, you will come across all kinds of infuriating browser bugs and inconsistencies. It sometimes feels like there are a million and one different techniques to master, spread across a bewildering array of websites. The range of possibilities seems endless and makes for a steep and daunting learning curve.

While most books concentrate on basic skills, this one is different, assuming that you already know the basics and why you should be using CSS in your work, and concentrating mainly on advanced techniques. This new edition covers all of the CSS fundamentals such as the importance of meaningful markup, how to structure and maintain your code, and how the CSS layout model really works.

This new edition contains:

  • New examples and updated browser support information
  • Full coverage of modular CSS and responsive design
  • Essential information on CSS typography and layout control 
What You’ll Learn
  • Discover the best practice concepts in CSS design
  • Master the most important (and tricky) parts of CSS
  • Identify and fix the most common CSS problems
  • Deal with the most common bugs
  • See the latest information on CSS features and support 
  • Who This Book Is For
Intermediate and advanced web designers and developers. It offers a quick recap of the main points of CSS, while dispelling some common myths, but then moves forward to delve into the higher-level aspects of CSS. It contains fully up-to-date information throughout, and acts as a one-stop-shop for current CSS best practices.   

Author(s): Andy Budd, Emil Björklund

8. A Smarter Way to Learn HTML & CSS: Learn it faster. Remember it longer. (Volume 2) (2015)

The ultimate learn-by-doing approach. Short chapters are paired with free interactive online exercises to teach the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. Written for beginners, useful for experienced developers who want to sharpen their skills. Prepares the reader to code a website of medium complexity. The learner spends two to three times as long practicing as he does reading. Based on cognitive research showing that retention increases 400 percent when learners are challenged to retrieve the information they just read. Explanations are in plain, nontechnical English that people of all backgrounds can readily understand. With ample coding examples and illustrations.

Author(s): Mark Myers

9. Learn CSS in One Day and Learn It Well (Includes HTML5): CSS for Beginners with Hands-on Project. The only book you need to start coding in CSS … Coding Fast with Hands-On Project) (Volume 2) (2015)

Master HTML and CSS with Interactive Exercises and a unique Hands-On Project

Have you always wanted to learn HTML and CSS but are afraid it’ll be too difficult for you? Or perhaps you are a blogger who wants to tweak your blog’s design without having to spend money on an expensive theme?

This book is for you.

You no longer have to waste your time and money learning HTML and CSS from lengthy books, expensive online courses or complicated tutorials. Nor do you have to spend money buying expensive website themes. There are tons of free CSS templates online that you can download and modify to build your own website IF you know HTML and CSS.

What this book offers…

HTML and CSS for Beginners

Complex concepts are broken down into simple steps to ensure that you can easily master the two languages even if you have never coded before.

Carefully Chosen Examples (with images)

Examples are carefully chosen to illustrate all concepts. In addition, images are provided whenever necessary so that you can immediately see the visual effects of various CSS properties.

Learn The Languages Fast

Concepts are presented in a “to-the-point” style to cater to the busy individual. With this book, you can learn HTML and CSS in just one day and start coding immediately.

How is this book different…

The best way to learn HTML and CSS is by doing.

End-of-Chapter Exercises

Each CSS chapter comes with an end-of-chapter exercise where you get to practice the different CSS properties covered in the chapter and see first hand how different CSS values affect the design of the website.

Bonus Project

The book also includes a bonus project that requires the application of all the concepts taught previously. Working through the project will not only give you an immense sense of achievement, it’ll also help you see how the various concepts tie together. After completing the project, you will not walk away with just a vague understanding of HTML and CSS. You will have achieved a level of understanding and mastery that enables you to start coding your own website immediately.

Are you ready to dip your toes into the exciting world of HTML and CSS? This book is for you. Click the “Add To Cart” button and download it now.

What you’ll learn:

  • What is CSS and HTML?
  • What software do you need to write and run CSS codes?
  • What are HTML tags and elements?
  • What are the commonly used HTML tags and how to use them?
  • What are IDs and Classes?
  • What is the basic CSS syntax?
  • What are CSS selectors?
  • What are pseudo classes and pseudo elements?
  • How to apply CSS rules to your website and what is the order of precedence?
  • What is the CSS box model?
  • How to position and float your CSS boxes
  • How to hide HTML content
  • How to change the background of CSS boxes
  • How to use the CSS color property to change colors
  • How to modify text and font of a website
  • How to create navigation bars
  • How to create gorgeous looking tables to display your data

.. and more…

Click the “Add to Cart” button and download the book now to start learning HTML and CSS. Learn them fast and learn them well.

Author(s): Jamie Chan

10. Head First HTML and CSS: A Learner’s Guide to Creating Standards-Based Web Pages (2012)

Tired of reading HTML books that only make sense after you’re an expert? Then it’s about time you picked up Head First HTML and CSS, and really learned HTML. You want to learn HTML so you can finally create those web pages you’ve always wanted, so you can communicate more effectively with friends, family, fans, and fanatic customers. You also want to do it right so you can actually maintain and expand your web pages over time so they work in all browsers and mobile devices. Oh, and if you’ve never heard of CSS, that’s okay–we won’t tell anyone you’re still partying like it’s 1999–but if you’re going to create web pages in the 21st century then you’ll want to know and understand CSS.

Learn the real secrets of creating web pages, and why everything your boss told you about HTML tables is probably wrong (and what to do instead). Most importantly, hold your own with your co-worker (and impress cocktail party guests) when he casually mentions how his HTML is now strict, and his CSS is in an external style sheet.

With Head First HTML and CSS, you’ll avoid the embarrassment of thinking web-safe colors still matter, and the foolishness of slipping a font tag into your pages. Best of all, you’ll learn HTML and CSS in a way that won’t put you to sleep. If you’ve read a Head First book, you know what to expect: a visually-rich format designed for the way your brain works. Using the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, this book will load HTML and CSS into your brain in a way that sticks.

So what are you waiting for? Leave those other dusty books behind and come join us in Webville. Your tour is about to begin.

Author(s): Elisabeth Robson, Eric Freeman

11. HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies (2014)

A new edition of a bestseller covers the latest advances in web development!

HTML5 and CSS3 are essential tools for creating dynamic websites and boast updates and enhanced features that can make your websites even more effective and unique. This friendly, all-in-one guide covers everything you need to know about each of these technologies and their latest versions so that you can use them together. Building on the bestselling formats of the first two editions, this new edition teaches you the fundamentals of HTML5 and CSS3, and then presents ways for using them with JavaScript, MySQL, and Ajax to create websites that work.

  • Covers using JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and Ajax in the context of programming dynamic web pages with CSS3 and HTML5
  • Includes self-contained minibooks that review HTML, CSS, design and layout, client-side JavaScript, Ajax and server-side, and putting it all together
  • Examines new web development advancements including new technologies and changes to the standards
  • Features a website that contains supporting materials including code and several valuable programs that are useful for web development

HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition serves as the perfect reference for both web development beginners and seasoned professionals looking to learn more about how to get the most out of the powerful combination of HTML5 and CSS3.

Author(s): Andy Harris

12. CSS: The Definitive Guide (2006)

CSS: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition, provides you with a comprehensive guide to CSS implementation, along with a thorough review of all aspects of CSS 2.1. Updated to cover Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft’s vastly improved browser, this new edition includes content on positioning, lists and generated content, table layout, user interface, paged media, and more.

Simply put, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a way to separate a document’s structure from its presentation. The benefits of this can be quite profound: CSS allows a much richer document appearance than HTML and also saves time–you can create or change the appearance of an entire document in just one place; and its compact file size makes web pages load quickly.

Author Eric Meyer tackles the subject with passion, exploring in detail each individual CSS property and how it interacts with other properties. You’ll not only learn how to avoid common mistakes in interpretation, you also will benefit from the depth and breadth of his experience and his clear and honest style. This is the complete sourcebook on CSS.

The 3rd edition contains:

  • Updates to reflect changes in the latest draft version of CSS 2.1
  • Browser notes updated to reflect changes between IE6 and IE7
  • Advanced selectors supported in IE7 and other major browsers included
  • A new round of technical edits by a fresh set of editors
  • Clarifications and corrected errata, including updated URLs of referenced online resources

Author(s): Eric A. Meyer