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Adjusting table widths and nesting tables

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

Video: Adjusting table widths and nesting tables

In the previous movie, we talked about working with layout tables and layout cells. In this movie, I want to talk a little bit more about working with layout tables, and talk about how to adjust the table widths. Now, it may not seem like something as simple as setting table widths deserves an entire movie, but layout tables handle things a little differently than tables widths are handled in Standard mode, which we used all through the chapter on tables. So this movie will take a look at a feature called Autostretch layout cells, and learn how to manage the ebb and flow of table cells in percentage-based layouts when you're working with layout tables. So I'm going to come in here and select the navigation cell. Again, just by clicking it to make sure that it has the blue border around it, telling me it's selected. And down here in the Properties inspector, I'm going to selected Autostretch. You'll notice right now it's set to a Fixed size. I'm going to choose Autostretch.

Adjusting table widths and nesting tables

In the previous movie, we talked about working with layout tables and layout cells. In this movie, I want to talk a little bit more about working with layout tables, and talk about how to adjust the table widths. Now, it may not seem like something as simple as setting table widths deserves an entire movie, but layout tables handle things a little differently than tables widths are handled in Standard mode, which we used all through the chapter on tables. So this movie will take a look at a feature called Autostretch layout cells, and learn how to manage the ebb and flow of table cells in percentage-based layouts when you're working with layout tables. So I'm going to come in here and select the navigation cell. Again, just by clicking it to make sure that it has the blue border around it, telling me it's selected. And down here in the Properties inspector, I'm going to selected Autostretch. You'll notice right now it's set to a Fixed size. I'm going to choose Autostretch.

Now I get this dialog box asking me how I want to create what's called my Spacer Image. Now, a Spacer Image is just a small, invisible file that {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} uses to make sure that cells stay a specific size. Because the cell cannot be smaller than the contents it contains, {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} can create this invisible image and make it a precise size to force a cell or to brace a cell open. Now, to make sure this is as compatible as possible with older browsers, you probably want to choose to create a Spacer Image file, unless you already have one created on your site. You have the option of not using a Spacer Image, and letting {italic}Dreamweaver {plain}just assign numerical values to your cells.

But then you do run the risk of those cells collapsing in older browsers. So I generally suggest using a Spacer Image. I don't have a Spacer Image right now, so I'm going to choose to create one. Click on OK. So {italic}Dreamweaver {plain}is going to ask me where I want to Save this. I'm going to go ahead and Save this in my assets folder. Now I'll save it inside images. Notice that {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} has given this the name of spacer.gif. I'll go ahead and save that. And now we can see that the navigation cell has gotten larger. It's Autostretched. Now, if I scroll down to the bottom of my screen here, I can see this little squiggly line down here in the column header menus. That indicates to me that this column has been set to Autostretch. What Autostretch has done, you can see that this cell has pretty much taken up almost the entire screen area here. Let's see what this looks like in our browser. I'm going to go ahead and save.

I'm going to check this out in the browser. And you can see, as I resize my window, what Autostretch has done is, it takes that cell and it basically forces it to fit the width of the browser window. So this is really useful when you want, say, a banner, or navigation at the top to fill out the entire width of a browser window. And the reason we set it to the navigation cell is because that's the one that I want to have expand. I don't want the cell containing the company logo to expand, because I want that to remain the same size. But, I'm okay with the navigation cell expanding and shrinking.

But one problem I'm having here is that this Welcome to teacloud graphic, and the text below, don't stay centered in the document. So to get things to stay the way they should, we need to do a little bit more work. Back here in {italic}Dreamweaver,{plain} what I'm going to do is select the cell containing this image. You want to make sure you don't select the image by accident. We want to make sure we select the cell. And I'm going to drag its left and right borders all the way to the left, and all the way to the right. And, I actually don't need the tracing image anymore, so I'm going to go to Modify > Page Properties > Tracing Image, and I'm going to delete that, so it's easier to see exactly what's going on here in {italic}Dreamweaver.{plain} Okay, so now I have a cell that takes up the entire width of my table. I'm going to select that cell again, and for the Horizontal alignment here, I'm going to choose Center.

Let's save that and see what it looks like now. Now notice that the image stays centered, along with the rest of the browser window too. The only thing that moves now is the text. Let's fix that. Now we can't do the same thing to my text cell, as I did to my image here. Well, technically I can, but watch what happens. I'll select the cell, drag that over to the extreme left, drag this edge over to the extreme right. Let's save that, and preview that. And yeah, that cell is stretching with the entire table, but look how the text moves around like that. I'd like the text to stay in a smaller box, and not wrap around like that. So, I will come in here, and I'm going to select this layout cell. Set the Horizontal alignment to Center. That still doesn't fix my problem, though. It just basically centers all of my text in my cell there.

So what I'm going to do, is come back to {italic}Dreamweaver, {plain}and I'm going to exit the Layout mode. And now I can see the actual table that {italic}Dreamweaver {plain}drew. I'm going to select my text. I'm going to cut it out of here. And instead, I'm going to insert a table. I'm going to go back to Common. Now, first I'm going to select this image, and see what its size is. I can see the width is 325. Okay, good. So I'm going top to click down here in the cell, insert a Table. This table is going to have 1 Row, 1 cell, and we'll make it 325 pixels wide. And, I'm not going to worry about border thickness, padding, or spacing. Click on OK. There's my table. I'm going to click inside that table > Paste.

And there's my text. What I've just done is that I've created a nested table. There's a table inside of this cell, inside the main layout table. Let me go ahead and save this. And because I set this to be a pixel-based table, this table will not change size, no matter what size the browser window happens to be. So now if I go preview this in {italic}Safari,{plain} this exactly what I want. I've got the navigation area at the top, expanding to fill the entire browser window. And I've got my image, and my text sitting here at the bottom, staying exactly where they're supposed to be, right smack dab in the middle. So there's a combination for you, of working with layout table widths and, then nesting a standard table inside a layout table cell, creating a pixel-based nested table to control the flow of that text.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of creative thinking to get the layout that you want. But as long as you the tools available for you, you can just sort of play around with them, and eventually you're sure to come up with the combination of tools you need to create the layout you're working for.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

129 video lessons · 87090 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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