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CSS: Page Layouts

Adding meaning with classes and IDs


From:

CSS: Page Layouts

with James Williamson

Video: Adding meaning with classes and IDs

Although we've created the initial structure of our page, our content currently has no semantic meaning at all. In fact, without actually examining the content itself, there's no way to establish the role of the content regions or how they relate to each other. Now, actually from a layout view, that doesn't really matter. Layouts can be created using whatever type of elements and whatever organization that you want. Semantic value doesn't really play into CSS page layout at all. However, leaving out this information would not be a very good practice, and it would make it very difficult for anybody parsing our code to figure out what's going on.
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  1. 4m 20s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      3m 26s
  2. 1h 39m
    1. Box model review
      8m 47s
    2. Calculating element dimensions
      11m 11s
    3. Understanding margin collapse
      7m 59s
    4. Calculating em values
      7m 41s
    5. Calculating percentage values
      7m 51s
    6. Normal document flow
      13m 3s
    7. Controlling element display
      8m 53s
    8. Using CSS Resets
      7m 11s
    9. Fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts
      9m 9s
    10. CSS debugging tools
      6m 46s
    11. Using the Firebug Inspector and the WebKit Web Inspector
      11m 5s
  3. 53m 15s
    1. Page design workflow
      3m 6s
    2. Page design tools
      4m 56s
    3. Determining page structure
      7m 18s
    4. Creating image assets
      8m 58s
    5. Creating initial page structure
      7m 3s
    6. Adding meaning with classes and IDs
      5m 23s
    7. Structuring content with HTML5
      6m 6s
    8. Building internal structure
      10m 25s
  4. 1h 36m
    1. Floating elements
      7m 50s
    2. Clearing floats
      7m 28s
    3. Containing floats
      7m 50s
    4. Clearfix technique
      10m 38s
    5. Floating inline elements
      14m 34s
    6. Two-column floated layouts
      8m 17s
    7. Three-column floated layouts
      11m 30s
    8. Column height considerations
      7m 3s
    9. Creating equal-height columns
      10m 42s
    10. Floats: Lab
      5m 25s
    11. Floats: Solution
      5m 21s
  5. 51m 42s
    1. Relative positioning
      7m 59s
    2. Absolute positioning
      8m 59s
    3. Fixed positioning
      4m 23s
    4. Controlling stacking order
      8m 31s
    5. Clipping content
      8m 21s
    6. Controlling content overflow
      5m 38s
    7. Positioning elements: Lab
      3m 59s
    8. Positioning elements: Solution
      3m 52s
  6. 48m 46s
    1. Design considerations for fixed layouts
      3m 28s
    2. Establishing the layout grid
      7m 57s
    3. Defining column spacing
      9m 30s
    4. Applying the grid through CSS
      8m 56s
    5. Creating grid-based assets
      8m 26s
    6. Grid design resources
      6m 22s
    7. Building fixed layouts: Lab
      4m 7s
  7. 44m 35s
    1. Designing for flexible layouts
      2m 30s
    2. Calculating percentage values
      8m 45s
    3. Setting flexible width values
      6m 6s
    4. Making images flexible
      8m 10s
    5. Setting minimum and maximum widths
      7m 24s
    6. Building flexible layouts: Lab
      4m 53s
    7. Building flexible layouts: Solution
      6m 47s
  8. 49m 36s
    1. Responsive layout overview
      3m 49s
    2. Using media queries
      7m 16s
    3. Organizing styles
      8m 39s
    4. Making content responsive
      8m 33s
    5. Mobile design considerations
      7m 32s
    6. Building responsive layouts: Lab
      4m 23s
    7. Building responsive layouts: Solution
      9m 24s
  9. 1h 22m
    1. Creating multi-column text
      6m 36s
    2. Using borders to enhance design
      13m 59s
    3. Rounding corners
      6m 56s
    4. Adding drop shadows
      10m 35s
    5. Working with opacity
      6m 8s
    6. Utilizing the background property
      15m 5s
    7. Working with CSS sprites
      7m 58s
    8. Enhancing page design: Lab
      6m 22s
    9. Enhancing page design: Solution
      8m 38s
  10. 6m 25s
    1. Additional resources
      6m 25s

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CSS: Page Layouts
8h 57m Beginner Feb 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

CSS: Page Layouts introduces basic layout concepts, gives advice on how to create properly structured HTML based on prototypes and mockups, and goes into critical page layout skills such as floats and positioning. Author James Williamson shows how to combine these techniques to create fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts. Designers are also shown how to enhance their pages through the creative use of CSS techniques like multi-column text, opacity, and the background property. Exercise files are included with this course.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing the box model
  • Calculating em and percentage values
  • Controlling how elements display
  • Creating fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts
  • Structuring content with HTML5
  • Floating elements
  • Using relative, absolute, or fixed positioning
  • Defining column spacing
  • Creating grid-based assets and layouts
  • Considering mobile-design-specific issues
  • Working with multi-column text
  • Enhancing page design CSS Sprites
Subjects:
Web Web Design
Software:
CSS
Author:
James Williamson

Adding meaning with classes and IDs

Although we've created the initial structure of our page, our content currently has no semantic meaning at all. In fact, without actually examining the content itself, there's no way to establish the role of the content regions or how they relate to each other. Now, actually from a layout view, that doesn't really matter. Layouts can be created using whatever type of elements and whatever organization that you want. Semantic value doesn't really play into CSS page layout at all. However, leaving out this information would not be a very good practice, and it would make it very difficult for anybody parsing our code to figure out what's going on.

So with that in mind, we're going to add some organization and meaning to our page by using the class and ID attributes. Now if you've watched any of my other titles, you've probably heard me say that I often see designers make the mistake of simply using class and ID values for styling. Now, while they are certainly acceptable for that--you can use them as styling hooks if you want-- their real role is to help organize and identify contents. So, let's see what they can do for us in our page and towards that end, I have the index.htm file open from the 02_06 directory. And it really is just sort of picking up right where we left off in our last movie. Okay.

So, the first thing I need to do as I'm beginning to organize this is figure out, number one, whether I need a class or an ID and then what I want the name of that class or ID attribute to be. All right! So, the first thing we're going to do is we're going to go ahead and add a little bit more information about our header content. So, I'm going to go right inside the opening div tag there and I'm just going to create an ID attribute, and I'm going to give it an ID attribute of pageHeader. Okay, so let's talk about the difference between IDs and classes. Now IDs are unique, and that doesn't mean you're only allowed one ID per page, but I can only have, at this point, one element on my page named pageHeader.

I cannot use that ID attribute again on this page. I can use it throughout my site to be consistent and say, okay, this is the page header on this page, and this is the page header on the next page, but on this particular page, I can only have one page header. So, when I'm trying to decide whether something should be a class attribute, which you can use classes over and over and over again on the page, or whether it should be an ID attribute, the question that I pose is, is the only time that I'm going to have this type of element on the page? And I'll only have one page header. Now, the article on the page might have its own header, the sidebar might have its own header, but in terms of the header for the entire page, this is the only one.

So in that sense, it makes sense to use an ID for that. Using the same type of reasoning, I'll go into the next div tag and I'm going to add another ID. This ID is going to be mainNav. Now, the name that you use for your different elements in your regions is really up to you. And if you're working in a team environment, it's a really good idea to come up with some naming conventions throughout your site, so that everybody is using the same names, or is at least coming up with names using the same formula. You'll notice, for example, that I'm using what we call CamelCase syntax to name these, which is if I add more than one word, first word is the lowercase, every other word after that will be upper case, and they're all sort of jammed together.

You can certainly use underscores, but you can't use spaces. So whatever name you give your IDs and your classes, they need to be a single word. Okay. So, I'm going to keep going. I'm going to go to the div tag that's sort of surroundings this container div tag that's surrounding all of my content, and thinking of it that way gives me a really good idea for what the ID attribute for that's going to be. I'm just going to type in "ID," and the ID for this is going to be content. Perfect! Okay, now when I go to the banner, I'm faced with another decision: Is it possible in this site that I might have more than one banner on a page? I can think of times, for example, where I might want a banner that is more informational, like this one is where it just says information about the site, and I might have another banner that is promotional, and I might have an ad in it, or I might have more than one banner with ads.

So in this sense, I can probably see this site having a page that has more than one banner on it. So, instead of using an ID for banner, I'm going to use a class, and my class is going to be just that, banner. Okay, perfect! All right! I'm going to finish this up by going into each of the additional elements here. The div for my article, I'm going to go ahead and give that an ID. The ID that I'm going to give that is home. It's the homepage article. So I'm just going to call it home. On other pages I might give the article a specific name specific to that particular article or the subject of the article. In this case, it's going to be home.

For the sidebar, I'll go ahead and give it an ID of sidebar. And then finally, footer, you can probably imagine what that's going to be. I'm going to go ahead and give that an ID of pageFooter. So, very much like the header, the header's page header, this is going to be page footer. That's the other thing. Other elements, other articles might have their own individual footer; this is the footer for the entire page, so I'm going to go ahead and give it an ID of pageFooter. So, now, really anybody that reads through our code, even if I deleted the contents of the div tags themselves, would understand almost immediately the structure of our content and how it all relates to each other, so what the relationship of the content is.

Now, we've used classes and ID values to extend the meaning of our code, and that's going to make our pages easier to author. It's certainly going to make them easier to organize. And consequently, all of that makes it easier to style our content. So, if you have really well-structured, well-organized pages, they're just a lot easier to style. Now, in our next movie we're going to take this a little bit further by seeing how HTML5 can help us add even more meaning to our code.

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