Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours

Usually I am quite skeptical when it comes to the types of books that claim to “teach you something in 24 hours”. SAMS Publishing hired a guru-like author to write this book. Kynn Bartlett is a participant in the W3C technical working group (http://www.w3c.org) and the infamous HTML Writers Guild.


“Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours”, starts off with the basics of CSS scripting. The book discusses what Cascading Style Sheets are, how they are supported among the different browsers (and platforms) and how they are used with HTML.

Part I is a general introduction to CSS. Part II begins by explaining the CSS Box Model and inheriting properties of CSS classes (“The Core Principles of CSS”). Part III continues with styling text, backgrounds, lists, tables and general page layout and webdesign using Cascading Style Sheets.

Once you have completed Part III, you have spent a total of 18 hours learning CSS. That sounds like learning at the speed of light, but trust me with this book, it’s very possible.

Having only six hours left to master CSS you continue with Part IV, which covers CSS and printing, Internationalization, user interface, CSS and JavaScript and last but not least, CSS and XML.

The speed the author proposes that you learn and comprehend is reasonable. CSS is not a killer to learn, unlike a real programming language – such as C++ or Java. And remember, although the title states that the book will teach you CSS in 24 hours, it does not mean, that you take the 24 hour tour non-stop.

Reading each chapter I really began to like Bartlett’s style. Every item in the book is explained in brief but also has nice depth, always very straight forward and clear. I especially liked how the author added little boxes to each chaper that tell you workarounds, browser specific issues or how to debug your code – if what you learned so far doesn’t work.

Last but not least, the book features Part V – the apendix. The apendix covers “How to Read W3C Recommendations”, “Replacing Presentational HTML with CSS” and the “Glossary”.

Since I knew almost all the CSS techniques that Bartlett talked about in the preceeding chapters, “Replacing Presentational HTML with CSS” became my favorite and it’s probably the chapter all you codewarriors out there will love. It features a table that shows the HTML tag and the equivalent in CSS, so all that is left to do is to run “search’n’replace” with your favorite editor across your HTML files and viol√° – done!

As the name suggests “Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours” is a book for the beginner, not for intermediate and by far not for the advanced. Kynn Bartlett talks about everything you need to know about writing Cascading Style Sheets. You do not have to be a computer junkie or freak to understand what he is telling you.

If you worked with CSS before and if you are quite comfortable with it, you might look elsewhere for a more advanced CSS reference book.

Product Rating:

Sams Publishing



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Very easy to comprehend, great tips and examples. Very straight forward!


Bottom Line:
A great book to become a skilled CSS master.