Sitepoint's The CSS Anthology - 101 Essential Tips, Tricks and Hacks

Published in CSS on Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Rachel Andrew has put together what is described as “The most complete question-and-answer book on CSS”. My wife and I recently spent some time working with the book.

Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links.

The Target Market

The CSS Anthology was written for people who have some basic knowledge in CSS but need a place to turn to to find out what is the right way to do 'X' with CSS.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of CSS, looking at selectors, classes and ids, providing a reference about the topic more than anything. People new to CSS should look at taking some basic tutorials before diving into this book.

The Breakdown

The book is layed out as a series of questions and answers about specific CSS issues and problems:


To help people who are learning their way through the issues presented in the book, it is broken down into 9 chapters:

  1. Getting Started with CSS
  2. Text Styling and Other Basics
  3. CSS and Images
  4. Navigation
  5. Tabular Data
  6. Forms and User Interfaces
  7. Browser and Device Support
  8. CSS Positioning and Layout
  9. Experimentation, Browser Specific CSS, and Future Techniques

Two points of view

Case 1: An experienced CSS user

I've been developing with CSS since 2001, and can easily say that I've written tens of thousands of lines of CSS.

I managed to get thru the book in a couple of hours, and in doing so I was able to refresh a few ideas that had been lost over the years and learn a few new details.

Case 2: An entry-level CSS user

My wife has been building sites for about a year less then me, and never really picked up on CSS (she had someone around for that). She had done some online tutorials, and could hack things around a bit but had never built a website from scratch with CSS.

She spent about three days working/ skimming thru the book and then set out to build a site with this new tool by her side.

By using her basic knowledge and turning to the book for specific answers for layout and then other finer details, she was able to design a site, mark it up and write the CSS for it without any assistance from the local expert. Needless to say, this was quite rewarding.

Final Thoughts

We feel that The CSS Anthology is an excellent tool to have around for people who are looking to have a good CSS problem solving reference in the office.

If you are just getting into CSS, or are perhaps a blogger who uses Wordpress or another blogging tool that allows you to edit your CSS files, this book would be a big help in getting CSS things done.

Lastly, if you work in an office and are the local expert, always getting harassed by other folks about how to do this or that, you may want to invest in a copy of this book to help save yourself some time!

Free Chapters

As usual, Sitepoint offers sample chapters available for free, and if you like what you see there, you can pick the book up direct from Sitepoint.

Comments and Feedback

Is there a German version available?

Hi there!

[…] A very accosting layout and a interesting discussion topic, do you provide any Web-based services to universities or students. […]

Greetings Milos

Hello Hans, as far as I know there isn't.

This sounds like it would be a great refresher for an avid CSS user, although I think you might have some competition with Andy Budd's "CSS Mastery" along with maybe the Simple Bits book from a while back. Although it still looks like a good primer on the topic.

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