Review: The Ultimate CSS Reference

Reviewer: Virginia DeBolt

Summary: A Valuable Resource

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Rating: 5/5

The Ultimate CSS Reference is by Tommy Olsson and Paul O’Brien (Sitepoint, 2008). It’s a hardcover book, which is unusual. Since the book covers some of CSS3, perhaps the hard cover is justified because the publisher considers it a book that will be valuable for a longer period than usual.

The book is nicely laid out, with some color and good visual cues as to the various important bits and pieces of information about a topic. For example, the page about CSS3 Attribute Selectors has a table displaying the CSS specification and browser support set off in a small corner of the page. Immediately under the page title we see the syntax. There’s a sidebar with an example of the selector. The major page content explains what the selector is and gives some details about different operators that can be used to specify the type of attribute being targeted.

Every aspect of CSS is referenced, from syntax and nomenclature through selectors, the cascade and specificity, layout and formatting, box properties, list properties, table properties, color, backgrounds, typography, generated content, and paged media. There’s a chapter for vendor-specific properties and one for workarounds, hacks and filters. It’s all topped off with an index.

This book compares favorably with my eternal favorite CSS The Complete Guide; which is to say, it’s a very good book. Recommended.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Ultimate CSS Reference”

  1. > my eternal favorite CSS The Complete Guide

    Can you please give a link for this? (I can’t find it).

    Thanks Virginia,

  2. Oops, That’s what I get for adding the title from memory. It’s not the complete guide, it’s the definitive guide. (Eric Meyer’s book) If you look at the page on this blog titled “Recommended Books” you’ll find it third from the beginning of the section of books on HTML and CSS.

    Sorry I got it wrong, especially such a fundamental CSS book.

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