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About CSS

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

Video: About CSS

Now we're going to spend some time looking at Cascading Style sheets or CSS. Let's start by taking a look at the term itself. The style in CSS refers to what CSS does. Cascading Style sheets define the style or appearance of text, paragraphs, images, tables, and any other web elements you can think of. CSS is the most commonly used to control the appearance of text, but there are other uses that I'll be touching on. In the past, I always taught typography in {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} before I got into CSS. But, now all typography in {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} is handled by CSS, so it makes sense to cover Cascading Style sheets first so you have a better understanding of how {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} formats text when we get to that chapter. The sheets in CSS simply mean that the styles are lines of code in their own individual files, or sheets, sitting on your web server somewhere.

About CSS

Now we're going to spend some time looking at Cascading Style sheets or CSS. Let's start by taking a look at the term itself. The style in CSS refers to what CSS does. Cascading Style sheets define the style or appearance of text, paragraphs, images, tables, and any other web elements you can think of. CSS is the most commonly used to control the appearance of text, but there are other uses that I'll be touching on. In the past, I always taught typography in {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} before I got into CSS. But, now all typography in {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} is handled by CSS, so it makes sense to cover Cascading Style sheets first so you have a better understanding of how {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} formats text when we get to that chapter. The sheets in CSS simply mean that the styles are lines of code in their own individual files, or sheets, sitting on your web server somewhere.

Now, style sheets can exist internally on web pages, but they're more commonly found as their own external files. External style sheets are more useful when you want styles to define the appearance of your entire site, or at least several pages of your site. Sheets plural implies that you can have more than one style sheet in your site. So, you can have a web page whose styles are defined both by internal and external style sheets. That's what the term cascading comes. For instance, you might have a page where the size of the text is defined by an internal style sheet, while the color of the text is defined by an external style sheet. These two style sheets cascade over each other, and simultaneously define different aspects of the text's appearance. Now, if for some reason the two styles conflict with each other, like if the internal style sheets says the text should be red, but the external style sheet says it should be blue, the internal style sheet always takes precedence.

So Cascading Style sheets are just descriptions of how text and other page elements should appear and behave. But CSS can do much more than just control type on your page. For example, with CSS, you can create rollovers that would normally require a bunch of images and JavaScript to create. We'll be taking a look at how to do this at the end of this chapter. So, why would you want use style sheets? First of all, they allow you to control the appearance of all the pages of your site very quickly. If all the pages in your site reference the same external style sheet, all you have to do is change that one style sheet to change all of your pages. Another advantage of style sheets is that they give you the ability to display text and other elements in ways that just aren't possible with plain XHTML.

For instance, in CSS you can define leading, which is the space between lines of text, which is something you can't do with regular XHTML. Another advantage of style sheets is that they tend to require less code than XHTML, so your pages tend to load a lot faster. And of course, probably the most importantly, CSS is the standard for formatting text, and pretty much all web pages these days. So, if you want to keep up with the preferred standard of formatting, you need to learn and use Cascading Style Sheets. I think the most important thing to realize about CSS is it allows you to separate a web pages structure from its presentation. This means that you can create an XHTML document that has all the text and other content you need, but which contains no information about text color, fonts, font sizes, or even where elements should be positioned on the page. All of the styling and presentation information is handled by the rules designed in the CSS file. And, probably the best place to see examples of this in action is at csszengarden.com. We looked at the site briefly in the first chapter. But again, this site is dedicated to promoting the use of CSS for page design and layout. They provide the plain, HTML code containing all the text that you see here on this page. You can see right here it says download the sample HTML file.

If I click on that, this is what the page looks like without any CSS formatting. You can see it's just pretty much text. We go back. But then, designers from all over the world who are participating in this project create their own Cascading Style sheets to style the appearance of that plain page that you just saw, and you can see examples over here. Clicking on lily pond, for instance. This page looks much different. The examples are now down here. This page looks a little different as well. But, the point here is every example you see here is the exact same page.

The content is completely the same, but with a different style sheet applied. This really illustrates the power of CSS. If you use CSS it's much easier to give your entire site a complete makeover without ever changing the pages themselves. All you have to do is change the style sheet, and all the pages attached to that style sheet will instantly be altered. So, that's the basic gist of CSS for now. So, let's start getting into it and we'll learn more as we go along. Now, I'm not going to be able to cover every single thing that CSS is capable of this title. This is a {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} title after all, and not a purely CSS training tutorial. We do have several CSS training titles you can check out on the lynda.com Online Training Library, which I encourage you to watch later.

But, I'm going to try to give you some common uses for CSS that you'll be able to put to use right away in your own sites.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

129 video lessons · 86991 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 12s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
  2. 21m 0s
    1. HTML vs. XHTML
      3m 4s
    2. What is CSS?
      3m 48s
    3. What is XML?
      2m 11s
    4. What is DHTML?
      1m 9s
    5. What is JavaScript?
      1m 23s
    6. File naming conventions
      3m 22s
    7. What is an index page?
      6m 3s
  3. 46m 18s
    1. Setting up your workspace
      2m 39s
    2. The Welcome screen
      4m 11s
    3. Windows and Mac differences
      3m 18s
    4. The Insert bar
      4m 38s
    5. The Property Inspector
      1m 50s
    6. The Document toolbar
      6m 6s
    7. The Document window
      9m 11s
    8. Panels and panel groups
      6m 58s
    9. Saving workspace layouts
      2m 22s
    10. Defining a default browser
      5m 5s
  4. 24m 59s
    1. Defining a site
      9m 5s
    2. File and folder management
      3m 11s
    3. Understanding path structure
      3m 17s
    4. Adding content to a site
      6m 6s
    5. Creating a site map
      3m 20s
  5. 38m 39s
    1. Creating a new blank site
      6m 0s
    2. Creating and saving a new document
      7m 54s
    3. About DOCTYPE
      3m 59s
    4. Inserting images
      9m 26s
    5. Inserting text
      3m 35s
    6. Aligning text and images
      4m 9s
    7. Inserting meta tags
      3m 36s
  6. 45m 58s
    1. Link basics
      6m 4s
    2. Linking with Point to File
      5m 18s
    3. External links
      4m 15s
    4. Creating email links
      5m 49s
    5. Named anchors
      7m 37s
    6. Linking to a file
      7m 35s
    7. Image maps
      9m 20s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. About CSS
      4m 52s
    2. Anatomy of a style sheet
      4m 10s
    3. CSS and page properties
      10m 11s
    4. Moving an internal style sheet to an external style sheet
      6m 46s
    5. The CSS Styles panel
      3m 48s
    6. CSS selectors
      2m 37s
    7. Type selectors
      12m 13s
    8. ID selectors
      10m 21s
    9. Class selectors
      5m 42s
    10. Creating rollovers with pseudo-class selectors
      7m 22s
  8. 42m 54s
    1. CSS vs. the Font tag
      2m 42s
    2. Formatting text with the Property Inspector
      8m 41s
    3. What measurement should I use?
      3m 15s
    4. Managing white space with margins, padding, and line height
      8m 34s
    5. Using font lists
      5m 45s
    6. Aligning text
      2m 47s
    7. Creating lists
      5m 8s
    8. Creating Flash text
      6m 2s
  9. 43m 19s
    1. About tables
      1m 28s
    2. Tables in Code view
      2m 36s
    3. Creating and adding content to tables
      7m 40s
    4. Changing table borders with XHTML
      5m 46s
    5. Coloring tables with XHTML and CSS
      6m 41s
    6. Aligning table content
      6m 39s
    7. Sorting tables
      3m 6s
    8. Setting table widths
      4m 48s
    9. Creating rounded-corner tables
      4m 35s
  10. 28m 22s
    1. Dreamweaver's layout tools
      3m 8s
    2. Tracing images
      4m 58s
    3. Adding AP div tags
      7m 29s
    4. Working with Layout Tables
      6m 55s
    5. Adjusting table widths and nesting tables
      5m 52s
  11. 16m 19s
    1. What is a device?
      3m 14s
    2. Attaching a printer-friendly style sheet
      3m 5s
    3. Styling for print
      7m 41s
    4. Adobe Device Central
      2m 19s
  12. 29m 54s
    1. Rollover rules
      3m 31s
    2. Creating simple rollovers
      5m 36s
    3. Creating disjointed rollovers
      7m 12s
    4. Creating navigation bars with multiple states
      9m 21s
    5. Creating Flash buttons
      4m 14s
  13. 26m 32s
    1. Viewing the code
      6m 9s
    2. Editing in Code view
      3m 0s
    3. The Code toolbar
      5m 11s
    4. Working with Code Collapse
      4m 27s
    5. The Quick Tag Editor
      2m 20s
    6. Working with snippets
      5m 25s
  14. 32m 45s
    1. About forms
      3m 23s
    2. Adding text fields
      9m 52s
    3. Adding checkboxes and radio buttons
      5m 37s
    4. Adding lists and menus
      6m 5s
    5. Submitting form results
      3m 23s
    6. Styling form elements with CSS
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 17s
    1. Opening a new browser window
      9m 38s
    2. Creating a popup message
      2m 50s
    3. Validating text fields
      2m 42s
    4. Getting more behaviors
      7m 2s
    5. Removing extensions
      1m 5s
  16. 14m 58s
    1. External image editor preferences
      3m 18s
    2. Built-in image editing tools
      3m 11s
    3. Roundtrip editing from Dreamweaver to Fireworks or Photoshop
      4m 39s
    4. Copying and pasting
      3m 50s
  17. 34m 16s
    1. Templates in action
      5m 12s
    2. Creating a new template
      6m 36s
    3. Applying templates
      3m 36s
    4. Modifying a template
      1m 40s
    5. Adding repeating regions
      3m 28s
    6. Working with repeating regions
      3m 13s
    7. Adding optional regions
      3m 34s
    8. Creating a library item
      3m 48s
    9. Modifying a library item
      3m 9s
  18. 13m 2s
    1. Using the History panel
      4m 24s
    2. Saving History steps as commands
      3m 25s
    3. Using Find and Replace
      5m 13s
  19. 14m 44s
    1. W3C accessibility guidelines
      4m 6s
    2. Accessibility preferences
      1m 29s
    3. Inserting accessible images
      3m 2s
    4. Inserting accessible tables
      2m 53s
    5. Inserting accessible form objects
      3m 14s
  20. 26m 17s
    1. About media objects
      2m 6s
    2. Linking to audio and video files
      5m 56s
    3. Embedding audio and video files
      7m 7s
    4. Setting parameters
      4m 27s
    5. Inserting Flash content
      2m 37s
    6. Inserting Flash video
      4m 4s
  21. 28m 47s
    1. Getting site reports
      3m 35s
    2. Checking links sitewide
      3m 30s
    3. Signing up with Tripod
      6m 36s
    4. Entering remote info
      4m 13s
    5. Publishing your site
      5m 41s
    6. Updating and publishing pages
      5m 12s
  22. 44s
    1. Goodbye
      44s

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