Book of CSS3, 2nd Edition

Book of CSS3, 2nd Edition

A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design
by Peter Gasston
November 2014, 304 pp.

CSS3 is the technology behind most of the eye-catching visuals on the Web. But the docs can be dry, murky, and full of dastardly caveats for inconsistent browser implementations.

This completely updated second edition of the best-selling Book of CSS3 distills the dense technical language of the CSS3 specification into plain English and shows you what CSS3 can do now, in all major browsers. You’ll find fully revised coverage of the updated syntax of gradients, grids, and flexible box layout, as well as all-new chapters on values and sizing, and graphical effects like filter effects and blend modes.

With an abundance of real-world examples and a focus on the principles of good design, The Book of CSS3 will help you expand your CSS skills, as you learn how to:

  • Style text with custom font choices, drop shadows, and other effects
  • Create, position, and resize background images on the fly
  • Spice up static web pages with event-driven transitions and animations
  • Apply 2D and 3D transformations to text and images
  • Use linear and radial gradients to create smooth color transitions
  • Take control of layout with grids, columns, and flexible alignment
  • Tailor a website’s appearance to every type of web-capable device

The companion website includes up-to-date browser compatibility charts, links to tutorials and resources, and live CSS3 examples.

The Web can be an ugly place. Make it pretty with The Book of CSS3.

Author Bio 

Peter Gasston has been making websites professionally for more than 14 years in both agency and corporate settings. One of the original contributors to, the leading online destination for CSS3, Gasston is the author of The Modern Web (No Starch Press) and has been published in Smashing Magazine, A List Apart, and net magazine. He also writes the web development blog Broken Links. He lives in London, England.

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: Introducing CSS3
Chapter 2: Media Queries
Chapter 3: Selectors
Chapter 4: Pseudo-classes and Pseudo-elements
Chapter 5: Web Fonts
Chapter 6: Text Effects and Typographic Styles
Chapter 7: Multiple Columns
Chapter 8: Background Images
Chapter 9: Border and Box Effects
Chapter 10: Color and Opacity
Chapter 11: Gradients
Chapter 12: 2D Transformations
Chapter 13: 3D Transformations
Chapter 14: Transitions and Animations
Chapter 15: Flexible Box Layout
Chapter 16: Values and Sizing
Chapter 17: Grid Layout
Chapter 18: Blend Modes, Filters, and Masking
Chapter 19: The Future of CSS3
Appendix A: CSS3 Support in Current Major Browsers
Appendix B: Online Resources

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
View the Index (PDF)


"A gem with lots of detailed information."
—Web Development Foundations (Read More)

"A good book if you want to be a CSS expert."
—iProgrammer (Read More)

"A great reference to be able to dip into when looking for info on something particular that’s new in CSS as well as a great way to learn about newer parts of the spec."
—Susan Robertson, A List Apart contributor

"A great resource for the current state of CSS...very thorough and well written. I’ve got the physical copy sitting in our Dev library at work. I really like that it starts with media queries and responsive web design."
—Sam Richard, Co-founder of SassConf

"It's been a great resource for pulling together the course I'm teaching now."
—Jen Kramer, author and Harvard Extension instructor

Featured on The Tuts+ Recommended Web Design Reading List

Reviews from the first edition of The Book of CSS3:

"The Book of CSS3 is one of the best technology books I've read. I'd recommend it to any web developer who's itching to experiment with the new techniques."
—Craig Buckler, Optimalworks Ltd (Read More)

"This book is an absolutely fantastic resource for developers and serious designers and I would recommend a full read of the content."
—Visual Swirl Design Resources (Read More)

"I can honestly say I will never need another book on this subject, and I doubt anyone else will either. The Book of CSS3 covers it all and covers it well."
—Devon Young, Writer for (Read More)

"I use a lot of CSS3 to control backgrounds and box elements, but there are entire sections of the CSS3 spec that I never really appreciated until I read this book."
—Designorati (Read More)

The Book of CSS3 "is a book you more than likely should have, even if you think you already have a pretty good handle on everything CSS."
—456 Berea Street (Read More)

The Book of CSS3 "is a superb resource that explains what important CSS3 modules do, gives specific and clear examples of how to implement those modules, and provides insight into how browsers support those modules."
—Ecommerce Developer (Read More)

"Gasston's writing style is informative and even witty at times but cuts straight to the point instead of being overly verbose. He does a great job of explaining each property quickly and getting to what you really want to see: the syntax."
—Design Shack (Read More)

"The first chapter is a must read. It's a fascinating look at the history of CSS3."
—.NET Developer's Journal (Read More)

"For a small book (relatively speaking) it packs a big punch (figuratively speaking) and can teach a lot of a challenging topic in an easy to understand way (literally speaking)."
—Michael Larsen, TESTHEAD (Read More)

"If you're a web developer who... wants to learn about the new CSS3 features in a fast, easy way, this book will certainly help you achieve that goal."
—Mike Riley, Dr. Dobb's Journal (Read More)

"An excellent introduction to CSS3—both what you can do with it now and what is proposed for the future."
—Stephen Chapman, (Read More)

"If you want to be brought up to speed with CSS3's new feature set, you should read this book."
—Durham University Computing Society (Read More

"If you're in the market for a good old fashioned book to delve into the latest version of CSS, I'd definitely recommend checking out Gasston's book."
—The Pixel Boutique (Read More)

"If you're looking to learn more about CSS3, this is definitely a book to look into."
—Patrick Gillespie, (Read More)

"This book is a great guide to updating your CSS knowledge, ensuring you are not left behind."
—Adam Kinney, Designer and Developer (Read More)

"A thorough examination of the present and potential uses of CSS 3."
—Webuquerque (Read More)

"If you're looking to put CSS to use in your websites, this is the book to pick up."
— (Read More)

The Book of CSS3 "helped me discover things I had no idea I didn't know about CSS."
—Brian R. Bondy (Read More)

"If you're involved in designing websites and want to understand the direction in which CSS is moving, Peter Gasston's book is an excellent place to start."
—Foundation PHP (Read More)

"I'm incredibly impressed with the The Book of CSS3, from the enviable, concise style of writing to the sheer thoroughness of the topics covered, and the clear, consistently presented examples."
—Richard Carter, (Read More)