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In this hands-on course, James Williamson demonstrates the concepts that form the foundation of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), including styling text, adding margins and padding, and controlling how images display. The course also explores the tools needed to work with CSS, the differences between embedded and external styles, how to use selectors to target elements, and what to do when styles conflict.
If you're a Premium member of the lynda.com Online Training Library or if you're watching this tutorial on a disc, you have access to the exercise files used throughout this title. Exercise files are arranged by chapter and are located in folders that are named based on the movie number they represent. Where applicable, they'll also include a finished files folder where you can compare the finished version of the exercise to your own file. Now I recommend copying the entire Exercise Files directory to the Desktop, just as I have it here, and then working on the files from the appropriate folder.
I will callout the location of the exercise files for each movie, and you should see a brief overlay on the screen that will also tell you where to find those exercise files. Now this course focuses on the core concepts of CSS and not on any one authoring tool. As such, it simply doesn't matter which authoring tool you use to write your CSS and HTML. If you're comfortable with an existing HTML editor, simply continue using that one for this course. Now I am going to be using Aptana Studio for this course, for a couple of reasons.
Now first, it's free. It's very lightweight, and it's going to allow me to focus solely on the code itself. Now I am going to give you a brief little tour here of how I am going to set Aptana up, in case you want to use it and have your workspace look like mine, but in the end, I'm not saying you need to use this program. You can certainly use whatever tool you are most comfortable with. So if that's Dreamweaver, if it's an eclipse editor or whatever it is, feel free to use that instead. I have opened up Aptana, and you can download that for free from www.aptana.com, and I am going to show you that site in just a moment when I discuss CSS authoring tools.
The first thing I am going to do is just set up a new project. So I am going to go to New Web Project and I am just going to go ahead and name it CSS Core Concepts. This is just going to allow me to access my exercise files a lot easier. And then I am going to browse for the location out to my Desktop, I am going to find the exercise files folder, and I am going to go ahead and click Finish. So what this will allow me to do is now over here on my Projects panel, I have access to all of my exercise files right here and so I can just open them up with a simple click.
Now I am also going to do some things to make it a little bit easier for you guys at home to read. Right now, this text is pretty small so I am going to go up to my Preferences and one of things I can do is I can click on my Aptana Studio preferences and click on the Themes and under Themes, I can choose whatever theme I want to use. I am just going to use the default Aptana Studio theme. They have other ones that emulate other editors, even Dreamweaver if you want to use those, if you are more comfortable with that, but I am just going to stick with the default theme. What I am going to do is I am going to go down to my Font here and click on that and I am just going to chose something that will be a little bit easier for you guys to read on screen. I am going to choose Arial, and I am going to up my font size as well.
I will go ahead and apply that and now you guys can see, that's a little bit easier for you all to read on screen. One more thing in the Preferences. Then I am also going to go to Editors and I am going to make sure Enable word wrap is checked so that if we have any long strings of code, we have word wrap. And that's really basically it. From time to time, I may shrink this pane down a little bit, so that I see more of my code view, but pretty much I am just going to use Aptana studio the way that it comes out of the box. Now I also recommend installing the most recent versions--depending on which platform you are on--of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera-- really all the modern web browsers.
Go ahead and install as many of them as you can. We will be previewing our pages using different browsers all the way throughout the title, because I really feel like you should be in the habit of testing your pages with multiple browsers. So that is how you use the exercise files if you have access to them. Now if you do not have access to the exercise files for this title, feel free to go ahead and use your own files. For the most part, the files that we are we going to be using in this title are fairly simple, so you should be able to emulate them without too much trouble.
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