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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.
As you finish formatting the structural elements of your web page, it's a good idea to check out the entire page and get an overall view and feeling and make sure that all the details and all of your ideas are just as you expected them to be. And if you see something that doesn't seem right or you don't like it, try to think how you can make that work better. This little details add the finishing touches that make your work stand out from others. So I'm scrolling through the page, and the semantic markup, the formatting appears to be the way I want it, but as I scrolled to the bottom, I'm not happy with the way the footer looks. It's seems as though the footer is taking up too much space. It seems disjointed. It doesn't seem like the user will grab it in one pass. So I'm going to come down here and do a little work on that and show you how I can clean this up and make it be more meaningful, work for the user and visually look better. First of all there is too much space between these two lines. I'm going to insert my I- beam in front of the date. Delete that and I'm going to create what we call a line break, which will tighten this up.
To create a line break, hold down your Shift key and your Return or Enter key. Great, I'm already much happier. That now makes all the footer information clump together, visually stay together. The other thing is I told you that the text document was a way to prompt me to add information, to add detail, to help me create the content for my website. So now I should put in specific information. So where 'Your name' is should actually be Cool Company. We know that is the name of my company.
Cool Company and for the date I should select that, delete it so I have my blinking I-beam in the correct spot. I'm going up to my common menu, look for the Date tool, and click on it and that will open up the Insert Date dialog box. There are a lot of options that we have in here. I'm going to choose one near the top. Don't worry so much about the dates here. These are not the real dates, these are just examples. It will actually use the dating system you have inside your operating system. Select that one then click OK.
Good, now the date is in there. This part is where the legalese needs to go, my company is incorporated, so I need to put this at the bottom in my footer. Cool Company, Inc and I want to put my copyright symbol in here. Now I have told you one way to locate the copyright symbol that's inside your text bar up in your Insert bar at the top right. But there are many ways to find things. Let's try another way. Lets go up to Insert. Now this is too intuitive but that's why I want to show you where this is. Come down to HTML and then come down to Special Characters and finally scroll through this till you find Copyright. Great, there is that symbol.
I don't need the word symbol anymore. Remember that a prompt to remind me what to do. And the last element that should be in the footer is a date that clearly indicates this is a recent website. So I want to delete the word year. I'll select it and Delete it, put a space and type 2008. I'm going to save this document, check it out one more time to make sure I have got all those details, those finishing touches, the content presented the way I wanted to work and remember I'm not looking now at styling, I'm looking at the actual semantic markup in the way the page and the content flows.
I will now choose to preview it in the browser in Firefox. Look at it here, it looks good, strong, really easy, clear to read, has readability, legibility and it works on a first, second and third path. Let's close Firefox, return back to Dreamweaver and before I start working on my style sheets I want to Save this document one more time and give it a new name. Remember I like to save my versions. File > Save As and we will call this style_guide 03. Save it into my structure, my main file folder. It's set up, pretty happy. We have now completed our first working Web page that has all structural and semantic markup and formatting and it looks good in a browser.
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