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A web site is just a web site unless it’s designed with a unique style. Creating a CSS Style Guide: Hands-On Training highlights the importance of a CSS style guide, which serves as an interface for the design team and a communication tool for the client. Laurie Burruss calls on her background as director of digital media at Pasadena City College and takes an informative, real–world approach to this topic. She shows how Dreamweaver CS4 can be used to develop a coherent site–wide emotion that boosts brand identity. The course culminates with building a working web style guide for professional use. Exercise files and a downloadable PDF quiz accompany the course.
Download the exercise files from the Exercise Files tab.
Essentially we have finished our style guide but in terms of the industry and where we want to place ourselves in the industry and our career goals, we should really take a hard look at what we are trying to do. Adding pro touches, really scrutinizing both the front end and back end, looking at everything in this site, there are few additional things that we could do to send this page right over the top and show we really are the pros we want to demonstrate. We should be always looking for ways to make our portfolio have that little edge and stand out from the others. The first thing I might suggest is we could improve upon the footer. So let's scroll down to the bottom of the page and select that content. Now we learned how to use a div to corral the whole content of the page but why not use that div concept again to create a box around our footer and make it stand out from the rest of the content? Select the text that is the footer text, come up to our favorite toolbar, the Common toolbar, and select the Insert Div Tag. This will be an ID because it's a layout item and can only be used once per page and since this has to do with the footer, we will name it a meaningful name, footer. Now click OK.
As you can see, Dreamweaver puts this invisible or dotted line around it. If we were to preview it in the browser right now, you would not be able to see this. This is an affordance that Dreamweaver CS4 puts inside so that you know that there is a box around this content. Put your I-beam anywhere inside the footer. In the Tag Inspector, you can now see your new ID, a division or box by the name of footer. Select that, return over to your Style panel and select New CSS Rule.
Now we don't need to make a compound selector type. We simply need to style footer. So let's delete all the other content and create a nice style for the footer and we will leave it in our external style sheet, select OK. We are really okay with the type but it would be nice to give this a background color to set it apart from the main content in our page. Let's select the Background category and in the Background-color, insert your I-beam, remember always start your color with the hash mark and this will be CBBE9C, Tab to the next line and that inserts a nice kind of warm tan color. In this particular palette I have being going for the earth tones that appear up in that header image. Select Apply and you can see it update right there in the Design View.
I also think that as we are styling this, it would look much better if the footer was centered then it looks very different than the rest of the body text. So I'm going to select the Block category, remember Block doesn't refer to a box or to a division or to layout, but actually the way text appears in blocks. Under Text-align, I'll click on the dropdown menu and choose center. Let's apply that. That looks exactly like I want it but there is a problem, it's very tight and squeezed. We need to keep adding that breathing space, that negative space so that the content can hold its own on the page. Let's select the Box category because that's where margins and padding reside and I don't want to add margin on the outside, I need to put breathing room on the inside, so as I want to add something to the inside, remember my metaphor, put padding on the inside of the box to protect something.
So let's deselect Same for All and we will do two pixels at the top and on the right, we will leave it as zero because we have already centered that. On the bottom, we will make it two and on the left, we will make it zero. And I'm just going to zero out the margins in case there is a browser style sheet that tries to override this and I'll use zero right here. Select Apply and now we have a little bit of breathing room so that the text is sort of floating in the box and owns this box and then select OK. Refocus somewhere else, File > Save All and now let's go check it out in the browser. And let's scroll through our page and look at this whole page.
Now that looks great. We have our beginning, catching our user, making them want to come in with a great looking compelling image, having content that we can read and understand and follow hierarchical rules and at the bottom our little conclusion, out little footer. It really sets the page off and sets us apart from the other people in this industry.
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