From Photoshop to HTML by Jeffrey Way

I recently purchased the book, From Photoshop to HTML from Jeffrey Way online in the hopes of getting some useful tips on building out clean HTML from PSD comps that I receive regularly from designers. I am familiar with Mr. Way’s work at the Nettuts site and have really enjoyed his video tutorials, especially his Codeigniter From Scratch series which helped me immensely in getting up to speed using the Codeigniter framework. One of the neat things about the digital version of From Photoshop to HTML is that it includes screencasts from Jeffrey walking you through the activities in the book. The videos are extremely well done and Mr. Way has a relaxed, conversational approach that is enjoyable.

A little bit about me. I have been cutting up comps into HTML websites since the days of Adobe’s ImageReady software and when Netscape 4 was the primary browser. So I have been doing it for quite some time. However, I was hoping to learn some new techniques that I could add to my bag of tricks. Perhaps the most useful suggestion I picked up from Jeffrey’s book is to build out the HTML of the site without any worry of the style. To concentrate on the semantic layout of the page’s elements. I generally have built out pieces and styled them as I have gone along but I can see where this approach makes sense. Jeffrey also discusses using CSS sprites for element backgrounds and explains how to set them up in an easy-to-understand way. I must confess that I have only just started using background sprites in my work. For those looking for a good explanation of this technique, Mr. Way provides one.

Also useful in the book are examples of CSS workarounds for common problems that all web developers run into when using our favorite browser, Internet Explorer (transparent PNGs, pseudo elements in CSS and hasLayout are all discussed). Additionally, Mr. Way provides easy-to-follow examples of floats and multiple ways to handle clearing them.

In all, I learned a few tips. It was a little more thin than I had hoped but I don’t think that I am the target audience. For someone really looking into learning this process from a fresher perspective, the book is great and for novice web developers, I can recommend it whole-heartedly. I expect to pick up his book on HTML5 at some point in the future.

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