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Introduction

Introduction

CSS3, the newest version of the style sheet language of the web, is less about creating new effects and more about accomplishing the beautiful web design effects you’re familiar with in fantastic new ways—ways that are more efficient and produce more usable and flexible results than the techniques we’ve been using for the last decade.

CSS3 is still changing and evolving, as are browsers to support it and web designers to figure out how best to use it. CSS3 can create some stunningly beautiful and cool effects, as you’ll see throughout this book. But if these effects aren’t practical for real-world sites right now, what’s the point? In this book, I’ll focus on teaching you the cutting-edge CSS techniques that can truly improve your sites and are ready to be used in your work right away.

This book is not an encyclopedia or reference guide to CSS3; it won’t teach you every single property, selector, and value that’s new to CSS since version 2.1. Instead, it will teach you the most popular, useful, and well-supported pieces of CSS3 through a series of practical but innovative projects. Each chapter (after Chapter 1) walks you through one or more exercises involving the new techniques of CSS3 to produce a finished web page or section of a page. You can adapt these exercises to your own projects, or use them as inspiration for completely different ways to creatively use the new properties, selectors, and values you’ve learned.

In some ways, CSS3 is a new way of thinking as much as a new way of developing your pages. It can be hard to think of how to use the new border-image property, for instance, when you’ve been making web sites for years and aren’t used to having the option of using an image for the border of a box. Because of this, I’ve included a list of ideas for how to use each CSS3 property, selector, and value I cover, beyond just the single way we use it in the exercise. I hope to provide you with plenty of inspiration for how to put the CSS3 techniques you’re learning to work in your own projects, plus the technical know-how to make sure you can use CSS3 comfortably and efficiently.

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