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Smashing CSS

Smashing CSS cover

Well, I done did it again: I wrote a book.  This time, it’s Smashing CSS: Professional Techniques for Modern Layout, published by Wiley and Sons and available as of some time last week.  (Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season!  Buy one for everybody in the family!  Don’t delay—act now!)

What’s different about this book as compared to others I’ve written is that this is a collection of short tips, tricks, and techniques for using CSS in everyday work.  Many of them involve making changes and seeing the results, similar to my New Riders books, but where those books had chapter-long projects these are usually only a page or three in length.  Well, okay, a few get up towards ten pages, but only on occasion.

Another difference is that Smashing CSS spans the spectrum from basic tools and browser features that can speed your development and debugging to some cutting-edge ideas and a taste of the latest CSS3 hotness.  I really do hope there’s something in it for everyone, and with something like a hundred entries, I think my odds are pretty good.

I’m especially happy that it’s in full color, which allowed me to do lots of screenshots as well as color-hinting of the markup and CSS, and personally I think it looks awesome.  I hope you’ll agree.  Check out the official catalog page at Wiley or comparison-shop at, and thanks!

Update 19 Nov 10:  Kindle, ePub, and PDF versions of the book should be available within the next week.  They’re all in the hands of Wiley’s ebook distributor, so now it’s up to the distributor to get the files into the hands of ebook sellers.  On behalf of all you ebook fans, I hope it will happen soon!  (Is “ebook” the way we write that now?  I’m a little light on the lingo.)

Update 6 Dec 10: So far I’ve found the Kindle (mobi) and Nook (ePub) versions of the book.  Finding a good (read: legal) PDF version is proving difficult, so if anyone’s seen it out there, let me know so I can link away!

33 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1431
    kunter ilalan wrote in to say...

    I wish you good luck with this latest performance of yours, if I may :)


    • #2
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1432
    William Kessel wrote in to say...

    Funny… the Wiley site’s “Read an Excerpt” link provides the Index as the excerpt…

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1435
    Michael wrote in to say...

    Will there be an ebook or pdf version of the book? I didn’t see it on the Wiley site if there was going to be.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1435
    Amber Weinberg wrote in to say...

    This book came in the mail for me last week, can’t wait to start on it :)

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1438
    Cid wrote in to say...

    Great job, I´m reading the book at this moment. Congratulations!

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1545
    Brad Bice wrote in to say...

    So many great CSS books coming out now! HardBoiled, ABookApart, this…

    Loves me some CSS books!

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1600
    Eric Peacock wrote in to say...

    I finally bought my copy. I’m looking forward to perusing this (as well as Hardboiled and the new Cederholm tome). It’s a CSS holiday it seems.

    I’m just hoping that the harmonies on this will be better. “Back To Flash” was good and all but I think you were singing a bit flat on most of the songs. Cederholm sounded drunk and didn’t I hear a flu-clogged Zeldman on those backing tracks?

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1617
    John Garrett wrote in to say...

    Awesome! The New Rider’s projects really helped me “breakthrough” in my understanding of CSS. I’ll be looking forward to seeing some of the techniques in this one. Thanks, man!

    • #9
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    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1639
    Dan Cederholm wrote in to say...

    Awesome, congrats, sir!

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1740
    Doug P wrote in to say...

    Congratulations. I wish I knew the first thing about HTML so I could explain to myself why I need this book.

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1852
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Thanks, everyone! eBooks are definitely planned and I’m working to find out details from the publisher like formats and release dates. Once I know them I’ll comment here and update the post.

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Thu 18 Nov 2010
    • 1907
    Yuya Saito wrote in to say...

    Just find out about this book, looks promising as always. As you mentioned ebooks will be available then I’ll wait for them.

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Fri 19 Nov 2010
    • 0625
    Ben Warren wrote in to say...

    Great! Does anyone know when this will be available in the UK? It’s up for pre-order on, but no date.

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Fri 19 Nov 2010
    • 1025
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Updated the post with the latest information regarding ebooks. For those who might want to track their favorite format obsessively closely, the ISBNs are:

    978-0-470-97071-3 – Kindle
    978-0-470-97072-0 – ePub
    978-0-470-66591-6 – PDF

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Fri 19 Nov 2010
    • 1300
    Beth wrote in to say...

    Congratulations on your new book! I haven’t been writing much CSS these last few years, with my day job role moving more into user experience. I look forward to checking this out and solidifying the skills I already have and learning some new things!

    I’ve been somewhat skeptical of Smashing Magazine for a while now, but publishing this book is awesome so I’ll have to reconsider and check out what else they have to offer.

    • #16
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    • Tue 23 Nov 2010
    • 1247
    Bertilo Wennergren wrote in to say...

    I went ahead and ordered “Smashing CSS” right away, and I just speedread through it. Although I already knew a large portion of the material, I learned a lot (and I will learn lots more when I reread some parts more carefully).

    This book is really good. I think it hits the sweet spot for lots of medium to advanced web developers/web designers. I noticed a couple of mistakes, but nothing earth-shattering. It really shows that Eric is no real geek, since he’s actually able to explain things (ever tried to make sense of a man page?). The style of the book is very pleasant, and it looks most smashing indeed. Good work!

    • #17
    • Comment
    • Wed 24 Nov 2010
    • 1714
    dan wrote in to say...

    For Australian buyers, don’t purchase from Wiley; it’s about twice the price.
    Why do publishers and software makers DO that in the Australian market???? It sucks hugely.

    • #18
    • Comment
    • Thu 25 Nov 2010
    • 0814
    Erwin Heiser wrote in to say...

    How publishers manage to get the paper version out the door before the ebook version is beyond me :)
    Looking forward to reading this, I learned CSS back in the days with the red and blue Eric Meyer on CSS books!

    • #19
    • Comment
    • Sat 27 Nov 2010
    • 0741
    Michael N. wrote in to say...

    Really looking forward to reading it, just bought the Kindle edition.

    It is a bit odd though that the kindle version doesn’t let you navigate to the table of contents, at least not on iPad Kindle app, see here

    • #20
    • Comment
    • Sat 27 Nov 2010
    • 0811
    Michael N. wrote in to say...

    Sorry, another rant about the Kindle edition: URLs aren’t clickable in the Kindle app on iPad, you have to go the extra mile to google for them after highlighting

    I already put that as feedback on the amazon product page for your book, together with the previous comment about the TOC.

    But now I am going to read and enjoy the book as I did with your previous ones!

    • #21
    • Comment
    • Mon 29 Nov 2010
    • 0133
    Guy K. Haas wrote in to say...

    Hey, Eric–

    I’m lovin’ the new “Smashing” book, but some typos jumped out at me. When I went to the Wiley pages to see about reporting typos, it seemed like a halacious amount of form-completion was demanded. Some of these are just spelling issues (yes, it’s a word; no it’s not the one you meant) or keystroke errors. Please tell me where to go to report them?

    • #22
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    • Tue 30 Nov 2010
    • 1156
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Hey, Guy—send your corrections to me so I can confirm them and pass them on to Wiley through my own channels. Thanks for applying your eagle eyes to the text!

    Bertillo, if you could also send me the mistakes you noticed, I’ll see what I can do about fixing them. Thanks!

    Michael, that is awful. I’ll ask my editor about why that might be and if there’s any way to fix it for both existing and future readers. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    • #23
    • Comment
    • Wed 1 Dec 2010
    • 1549
    Christoph wrote in to say...

    Just read your book after having read two other just recently published books around CSS(3) – really, your book beats all others when it comes to “bang for the buck” – the information density is just awesome.
    Great job!

    • #24
    • Comment
    • Thu 2 Dec 2010
    • 2221
    Lowell wrote in to say...

    Where can I find a pdf of this book? Eric, your comments from 2 weeks ago say ‘within a week’ but I can’t find the pdf online anywhere.

    • #25
    • Comment
    • Mon 6 Dec 2010
    • 1109
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Lowell, I can’t find a (legal) PDF anywhere either. The various ebook versions have been released by Wiley to ebook distribution channels, so it’s up to distributors and vendors to make it available. Unfortunately the publisher, at this point, can’t make it happen any faster than I can.

    I did finally find the Nook version, so I’ll be updating the post with links in a moment.

    Also, Michael, the publisher is looking into the Kindle TOC and linking problems and hope to get it corrected. Thanks again for letting me know about it!

    • #26
    • Comment
    • Mon 6 Dec 2010
    • 1136
    AlastairC wrote in to say...

    The UK kindle version is available to:

    I was worried that it would take time for the digital version to migrate, it’s happened before ( ) , but this time I’ll be reading it on my iPad this evening :)

    • #27
    • Comment
    • Wed 8 Dec 2010
    • 1718
    randy wrote in to say...

    awesome, awesome book! my css knowledge is mostly from circa 2002, so this is just what i need to get up to speed.

    i did find a typo in it, on p. 83 at the bottom of the page, “absolutely positioned it, and then thrww it way off-screen.”

    • #28
    • Comment
    • Sat 11 Dec 2010
    • 0222
    Philip wrote in to say...

    This is really frustrating. I just want a PDF of this book. I don’t see any technical reason for it taking so long.

    • #29
    • Comment
    • Tue 14 Dec 2010
    • 0921
    Sonya wrote in to say...

    I just contacted Wiley C.S. who said “We are checking with our IT department as to why this is not showing to order on our website. I hope to have this resolved for you within the next 2 days”

    Fingers crossed :)

    • #30
    • Comment
    • Fri 28 Jan 2011
    • 1658
    Piotr Ingling wrote in to say...

    Finally got it :) Great book! But after reading it I have one serious remark to the back cover (and the description at Wiley’s site) – it says:

    “… and CSS3 techniques with jQuery …”
    “… styling data tables with jQuery …”
    “… using jQuery to do CSS3 selections …”

    yet in the book itself the name “jQuery” appears once, only to mark its existence. Chapter on tables says indeed that the styling can be done via script instead of manual calculations but there’s not a single jQuery (or any other JS) script there.

    • #31
    • Comment
    • Sat 29 Jan 2011
    • 0551
    Eliot Sykes wrote in to say...

    Eric, disappointingly no TOC on the Kindle version on Android just bought from

    • #32
    • Comment
    • Sat 16 Apr 2011
    • 0933
    Robert Drózd wrote in to say...

    I’ve just bought the Kindle edition and it has good, extensive TOC.

    The “chapter” marks are also present, though they are pretty useless – they do not allow navigating between chapters but between three parts of the book.

    • #33
    • Comment
    • Tue 28 Jun 2011
    • 0638
    Colin 't Hart wrote in to say...

    This is a great book, it’s really helping me understand the nitty gritty of how CSS works and how to achieve the looks I want (or rather, emulate the designer’s PDF that I’ve been tasked with copying…)

    I sense that in a few places you’ve restrained from giving more opinion; please don’t hold back. But maybe I just need to pick up one of your other books?

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