Foundation HTML5 with CSS3

A Modern Guide and Reference

by Craig Cook
and Jason Garber

HTML5 is Alive

A diagram of the parts of an HTML element, pointing out the tags and attributes

The anatomy of an HTML element, from Chapter 2.

HTML, if you didn't know, stands for HyperText Markup Language, the basic computer language on which the Web is built. It’s a simple language, and the basic rules are easy to pick up and put to use. HTML is a tool, and once you know how to use it, you’re limited only by your imagination.

Like any other language, HTML has changed and evolved over time. New features are added, existing features are redefined, and outdated features are removed. The latest iteration of HTML is HTML5 — ostensibly the fifth version of the language — and it’s quite an evolutionary leap indeed. HTML5 incorporates a wide range of new features and introduces new types of functionality far beyond the humble text document.

We won’t be going quite that far in this book. Instead of diving into all the shiny new advancements in Web technology, this book offers the true foundation of HTML5, the supporting structure beneath all that innovation. You’ll learn how to use HTML effectively and responsibly, to build web pages with clean, meaningful code, and to make them accessible to as many people and devices as possible. We’ll show you the heart of HTML5 and set the stage for your next leap into the Web’s frontier. This book is a starting point, and there’s no limit to where you can go from here.

Three text style examples: a glowing effect, a layered overlay effect, and a 3D extrusion effect

A few examples of CSS3's text-shadow property in action, from Chapter 10.

In Foundation HTML5 with CSS3 you'll learn the core concepts of building web pages, becoming intimately familiar with all of the elements and attributes available in the latest version of HTML. Along the way, we’ll also introduce you to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is a language that describes the presentation of web documents, declaring what colors and fonts to use, and the size, shape, and placement of elements on the page. It’s very powerful and flexible, and is also really cool.

CSS relates directly to HTML, and you’ll first need to understand HTML before you can put CSS to good use. This book will show you the basics of CSS and offer practical examples of how you can use it. We’ll give you the solid grounding in HTML you’ll need as a platform to delve deeper into the art and craft of designing web pages with CSS.

Who This Book is For

A set of metered guages indicating a character's power levels in several categories

An example of the meter element from Chapter 8.

This book is for anyone interested in learning how to build web pages from the ground up using modern best practices. We assume you’re familiar with the Internet and the World Wide Web, and you probably wouldn’t pick up a book with “HTML” in the title unless you’d at least heard of it. Beyond that, we don’t assume any prior knowledge of web design or computer programming.

Technical books can be intimidating and hard to read, with a lot of prickly jargon to slog through. We’ve done our best to keep this book simple and easy to follow, and we define the technical terms as they appear.

Even if you’re not a beginner, this book may still be well worth your time. Quite a bit has changed in HTML5, so if you’re a more experienced web developer looking to get back to basics and see what all these new-fangled elements are about, this is the book for you. Although we’ve put the book together following a general narrative from beginning to end, it’s also pretty handy as a reference book so you can turn to any section and find the information you need.

Table of Contents

A screen capture of a website, with blue and gold color scheme and dotted background pattern

The case study site seen in Chapter 10.

  1. Chapter 1: Getting Started Cook
  2. Chapter 2: HTML and CSS Basics Cook
  3. Chapter 3: The Document Cook
  4. Chapter 4: Constructing Content Cook
  5. Chapter 5: Embedding Media Cook
  6. Chapter 6: Linking the Web Garber
  7. Chapter 7: Building Tables Garber
  8. Chapter 8: Assembling Forms and Applications Cook
  9. Chapter 9: Page Layout with CSS Cook
  10. Chapter 10: Putting it All Together Cook

Get the Code

You can download all of the example code from the book to study and dissect at your leisure. You can also see the case study website from Chapter 10, live and in color at