HTML5 Step by Step is a good introduction to HTML for the complete novice. “Step by Step” is literally the approach taken in the book, with explicit instructions for each action to be taken. I would not hesitate to recommend this as a first text for the business or hobby user; experienced HTML authors or developers looking for cutting-edge HTML5 features should look elsewhere.
The book uses a Microsoft landscape, so the editing tool of choice is Notepad, and the browser absorbing the most attention is Internet Explorer 9. Users of other operating systems can use the text, but they’ll need to be savvy enough to translate the Microsoft terminology to their own platform ( which might be beyond the abilities of a true beginner ). Following the example code using Ubuntu and vi, I did not experience any significant problems.
HTML authoring tools are not covered in order to focus on the underlying HTML building blocks.
Since the instructions provided for the accompanying exercises are so explicit, they consume a great deal of print real estate. That does not leave much room for advanced features of HTML5, and you won’t find those here. Hence, once you complete the exercises, this isn’t a book you’ll retain for reference.