7 Invaluable Free Cheat Sheets

Regardless of how experienced or talented you are in the different areas of web design, there are always times when it is useful to have reference materials at your disposal. Although you may have books or manuals that you consult from time to time, there are situations where you don’t need this detailed of a reference. Instead, you simply need a simple but useful cheat sheet to trigger your memory and help you remember (or discover) what you need to know in order to complete a specific task.

Since most web designers spend their time working in a variety of different knowledge areas, I have gone through the most common subjects that web designers need to know and put together a list of the best cheat sheets for these topics. While you probably won’t need to refer to them all the time, I can guarantee that there are situations where one or more of these cheat sheets will prove to be invaluable to you.


CSS Layout Cheat Sheet: This one page PDF from About.com provides all of the CSS layout information you need to know in one place. From the CSS Box Model to positioning elements, this cheat sheet is great for any time that you are creating or modifying a layout.

CSS Cheat Sheet V2: Even though this cheat sheet is only a one page PDF, it fits a lot of great information into a very small space. Print out this handy reference and you will have a complete guide to everything from selectors to sizes to paging.

HTML Cheat Sheet: Brought to you by the same source responsible for CSS Cheat Sheet V2 (Added Bytes), the HTML Cheat Sheet has everything you could ever want to know about HTML. Best of all, it’s all on one neatly organized PDF page! In addition to the collection of HTML tags, this cheat sheet also contains information on topics such as common character entities and various events.

XHTML Cheat Sheet V1.03: Because it is a two page long PDF, this cheat sheet literally has every XHTML that you could ever need to know. This PDF is divided into the following four sections: block elements, inline elements, table elements and other elements.


JavaScript Reference Card: While it’s longer than the cheat sheets in the previous section, I highly recommend printing out this six page PDF from Addison-Wesley and putting it into a binder. Anytime you hit a stumbling point with JavaScript, there is a very good chance that this piece of reference material will solve your problem.


The AJAX Cheatsheet: Although most of the books about AJAX are stuffed with a lot of fluff, this cheatsheet cuts through all of the hype and focuses solely on the information that you need to know.


PHP Skinny Sheet: While there are a lot of references for PHP, my favorite is this Skinny Sheet. VisiBone was successfully able to cram everything a designer needs to know about PHP onto a single GIF image.

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