Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

ISBN: 059610197X
ISBN 13: 9780596101978
By: Elisabeth Robson Eric Freeman Kathy Sierra Rich Gibson

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Computers Currently Reading Html Non Fiction Nonfiction Programming Reference Technical To Read Web Design

About this book

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 with CSS & XHTML 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, and so your web pages work in all the browsers and mobile devices out there. 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 with CSS & XHTML, 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, CSS, and XHTML 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."Elegant design is at the core of every chapter here, each concept conveyed with equal doses of pragmatism and wit." --Ken Goldstein, Executive Vice President, Disney Online"This book is a thoroughly modern introduction to forward-looking practices in web page markup and presentation." --Danny Goodman, author of Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Guide"What used to be a long trial and error learning process has now been reduced neatly into an engaging paperback." --Mike Davidson, CEO, Newsvine, Inc."I love Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML--it teaches you everything you need to learn in a 'fun coated' format!" --Sally Applin, UI Designer and Artist"I haven't had as much fun reading a book (other than Harry Potter) in years. And your book finally helped me break out of my hapless so-last-century way of creating web pages." --Professor David M. Arnow, Department of Computer and Information Science, Brooklyn College"If you've ever had a family member who wanted you to design a website for them, buy them Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML. If you've ever asked a family member to design you a web site, buy this book. If you've ever bought an HTML book and ended up using it to level your desk, or for kindling on a cold winter day, buy this book. This is the book you've been waiting for. This is the learning system you've been waiting for." --Warren Kelly, Blogcritics.org

Reader's Thoughts

Aurelia Brouwers

An easy book to a (sometimes) difficult subject. I really learned something and will use the book for further reference in the future. Written in an easy but funny style to make you understand the subject and keep reading instead of falling asleep (some books have the tendency to do this). So, after all, a book I will surely recommend to anyone wanting to learn (more) about (X)HTML and CSS

Richard Piet

Pro: Excellent use of learning styles, good reasoning behind instructions.Con: The same material could have been presented in about 1/3 less pages.I will use this as a course outline for teaching XHTML with CSS. There is no better book than this for beginners to coding for the web.This is an update to my review above:I am currently using this book as a lesson book for Grade 12 students for the second time. The authors understand how people learn and apply it to this book. I cannot imagine a better book for learning the basics of XHTML and CSS.Has this book fallen apart for you? The publishers seem to have used a non binding glue. No matter, it is easier now to use as separate pages.If there are any educators out there, I am happy to share some insights on how to use this book as a lesson outline, with exercises and activities.


I've read two HTML books in my life now. The first was back in the early 1990s when was considered neat. This one I read to brush up on HTML but mostly to learn all about CSS. I started another book but realized I didn't have the fundamentals down so went for something easy to get started with. This book fit the bill. It is relatively complete in its coverage of XHTML and CSS (at least at the level I was interested in) and did it in an easy to read manner. I've also read the AJAX book but didn't like it nearly as much.Anyway, this is a pretty good read. Lots of geeky examples (Buckaroo Banzai references, that sort of thing). I'd recommend it.

Sondra Willhite

Finally, a highly-readable tech tutorial! It helps that head first series includes an explanation of the presentation decisions they've made in their preface, and reading this has made me re-think my snobbery regarding the for-dummies series. Although I do think Head First has done a much better job at achieving a conversant style without the cost of patronizing. This is really a book for beginners, particularly those without any computer science or tech background, but I still found it quite useful even though I'm coming in with both, especially given that it is such a quick read (took me about a week). Also, the book is slightly dated, as it references HTML 4.01, and not HTML5, but this is still a great resource for those new to html/css. You can get the basics here, then jump onto w3schools to fill in the blanks for the changes in the new standard.

Hala Mohammed

مليان لامبات وانفجارات كونية كتاب حللللللللللللو ودمه خفيف ومناسب جداااااا للناس اللي تبي تتعلم تصميم المواقع من البداية وخطوة بخطوة ^_^


Wanting to learn CSS I pulled down several books at the bookstore and began thumbing through them. Later I took a look online at reviews and thought to give it a try. Initially I was put off by the rigamarole that the Head First team goes through to explain their philosophy of pounding the material into your head.But it is good. Humor, with some real world examples and repetition do seem to work here. The only thing lacking is that the book should have a reference instead of telling you to buy another book so you could have a dictionary of the terms they have now struggled so diligently to teach you.Another detraction is the 45 days online free. Once you buy it, find someway to make that always free online. Make the user stronger and the relationship between purchaser/student and author/teacher better. Build on it, and find someway to make those tests in the book interactive on the web. A good resource and entertaining as well.


I bought this book after many failed attempts at building my website with paid and free builders that are offered online. It came down to me needing to have my website up and running at the end of 14 days. I got through this book in five and build my website by hand coding in split view within dreamweaver. Met my deadline and was very happy with the result. By the way I had no prior experience coding at all before this book. Absolutely fantastic. I have since gone on to other books in the Head First Series and they are all on par with this one.

Pete Aven

Great tutorial in XHMTL and CSS. Very practical. I'm a big fan of Head First books. They're not references, but give you a foundation to dive into a technical area with some confidence and knowledge of resources required to further pursue that area. How HTML and CSS are used has changed over the years and this book will give you a contemporary viewpoint as well as the history and insight into why other ways of using HTML/CSS didn't work. There're many sample exercises you can do on your own and it's a quick read.


I'm not done with this one yet, but I have to say it's one of the easiest training guides I've ever picked up. If it sometimes it gets a little patronizing in its quest to be approachable, the method seems to work in the end...I actually read half of this book in one weekend. It also has exercises you get to do during every chapter, which I always love.


I actually brought this book on the train with me for pleasure-reading while I was commuting. I found this book on the shelf in the library while looking for a book on PHP, and something about the look of its spine had me pull it down and browse through it. I wasn't sure about the layout of the book at first (it's full of pictures, asides, and "handwritten" notes), but it seemed interesting enough that I thought I'd take it home with me and look through it. Now, I consider myself pretty well versed in HTML basics, but I knew I could use some brushing up, and my CSS skills are pretty weak, so I started in on it. The first half of the book was all review, but it was such an engaging review that I actually read through it all. The second half of the book started touching on things I didn't know or was shaky on, and I felt like it explained things very well. I actually ended up buying myself a copy of the book to keep as a reference manual, becuase I felt like it had excellent breadth and does a really good job of guiding someone from absolute beginner to standards- and accessibility-savvy on a number of different topics. If you consider yourself beginner to intermediate in creating web pages, and especially if you get bored with the standard way computer manuals and reference books are written, this is a good book to look at. It's published by O'Reilly, which I didn't realize at first, but it really is a serious and smart book dressed up in flashier clothing.

Chad Warner

The best introductory book on HTML and CSS I’ve read so far. It focuses on (X)HTML and CSS, with a short chapter on graphics and barely a mention of scripting or other web topics. So it’s not as broad as Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML CSS Graphics and Beyond, but it covers things in much more depth, and I understood and retained more from this book. I credit the informal writing, cheesy pictures, “handwritten” explanatory notes, reader question sections, repetition, and visuals.The book is from late 2005 and somewhat dated, but the basics of HTML and CSS presented here are essentially the same as today. The explanations of floating and positioning, which can be confusing, are very clear and understandable.I flipped through several chapters before I encountered unknown material and had to slow down, so apparently I’ve actually learned something from my recent self-training in HTML and CSS!Font sizesSpecify the body font size with a keyword (such as small or medium), then specify all other font sizes as ems or percentages.Floating and positioningThe HTML for floated elements must be directly below the element you want them to float below. With absolute positioning, the order of the HTML doesn’t matter.The top and bottom adjacent margins of block elements collapse to the size of the larger margin.Floated elements are removed from normal flow and placed to the left or right.Block elements ignore floated elements, but the inline elements flow around them.Absolutely positioned elements are positioned relative to their containing element (the sides of the page, if not nested). They can be layered using a z-index.Fixed position elements are positioned relative to the browser window and don’t move when the page is scrolled.Relatively positioned elements are flowed into the page, then offset to leave the space they would have occupied empty.

Gabriel Galvão

beginner book. Read it for the CSS part.


HEAD FIRST = FUNTIMES. Highly enjoyable introduction to HTML/CSS plus the basics of image editing. Still highly enjoyable even if you already know a lot of HTML/CSS. It teaches you the basics, the reasons why we follow standards and it makes you think and do -- a lot. This is the ultimate newbie book. Although it needs a little update: HTML 5 is almost a reality + it needs to clear up the unfortunate naming (e.g. XHTML). Apart from a few things that needs to be cleared up, this book is heaven sent. If only there was a HeadFirst Intermediate Algebra when I was younger...ETA:If you're an experienced programmer, the chapters quickly become painful and tedious though I am reminded by the little gems of knowledge - why some of the things are done a certain way and the different ways of tackling a certain problem.The last chapter is surprisingly dedicated to forms that are passed to a .php process. Bare PHP stuff, no programming. Well, onto the PHP/mysql Head First book or not. :DI still maintain it's an excellent book for beginners and the young ones who HATE books. If you desire a little less hand holding when you review or start out, try to check out other books.

Rohit Mishra

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML was my second book in Head First series after Head First Java, 2nd Edition. Like the 1st book, this book continues the method of simple, redundant explanations that make the content stick. The book doesn't cover all the topics but really makes sure that the reader has completely understood the topics being taught. The conversational tone of the book is great if you are learning XHTML and CSS on your own. If you are getting started with web-designing, this book is highly recommended.

Paul Deveaux

This is a great first book for someone new to web development. The unique writing style is geared toward you actually learning the material. This book is the antithesis of a dry, technical tome that will put you to sleep. Lots of exercises and comical illustrations help to keep you engaged with the topic and also aid retention. The weakness is that you will eventually need other resources - but they tell you that right there on the book. Overall a unique and very effective take on a complex subject.

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