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Managing CSS in Dreamweaver
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Building a style-focused workspace


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Managing CSS in Dreamweaver

with James Williamson

Video: Building a style-focused workspace

Dreamweaver's flexible interface allows us to create custom workspaces that are tailored specifically for the task at hand. By taking advantage of the preset workspaces, or in the case of this exercise building your own, you can make it a lot easier to switch from one task to another. So in this movie, we're going to build a custom workspace that is focused on working with styles. So you can see I'm currently working without a document open. One of the things you want to do when you're customizing the interface with Dreamweaver is make sure you're seeing everything. So I'm just going to go ahead and use the Welcome screen here to create a new HTML file.
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  1. 4m 12s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Who is this course for?
      1m 5s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
  2. 1h 21m
    1. Controlling CSS in Dreamweaver
      2m 34s
    2. Style formatting options
      4m 59s
    3. Controlling shorthand notation
      6m 9s
    4. Building a style-focused workspace
      6m 10s
    5. CSS Styles panel overview
      8m 18s
    6. The Properties Inspector
      6m 39s
    7. Creating styles visually
      11m 32s
    8. Hand-coding styles
      8m 15s
    9. Code hinting and code completion
      7m 11s
    10. Modifying styles visually
      5m 24s
    11. Using the Code Navigator
      4m 47s
    12. Using CSS Inspect
      9m 52s
  3. 1h 14m
    1. Structuring style sheets
      4m 52s
    2. Writing a style header
      2m 40s
    3. Building a color guide
      6m 5s
    4. Writing a style sheet table of contents
      8m 46s
    5. Creating sections for styles
      9m 10s
    6. Using the CSS Styles panel to organize styles
      10m 29s
    7. Resolving conflicts
      7m 3s
    8. Organizing style properties
      9m 33s
    9. Writing a CSS reset
      5m 20s
    10. Writing global classes
      3m 57s
    11. Creating a style guide
      6m 6s
  4. 1h 7m
    1. Preparing custom starter pages
      11m 32s
    2. Building custom starter pages
      10m 8s
    3. Working with code snippets
      9m 54s
    4. Writing snippets
      11m 30s
    5. Importing snippets
      6m 3s
    6. Understanding snippets libraries
      8m 11s
    7. Building a CSS framework using snippets libraries
      10m 36s
  5. 52m 15s
    1. Writing a print style sheet
      10m 3s
    2. Creating print-specific styles
      10m 45s
    3. Preparing modular styles
      4m 33s
    4. Creating modular style sheets
      7m 9s
    5. Checking browser compatibility
      6m 25s
    6. Using conditional comments for Internet Explorer
      6m 58s
    7. Optimizing CSS with Dreamweaver
      6m 22s
  6. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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Managing CSS in Dreamweaver
4h 40m Intermediate Jun 03, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Managing CSS in Dreamweaver with James Williamson shows how to create cascading style sheets that are efficient, reusable, and easy to navigate. In this course, James shares tips on how to find and use panels and tools, and how to deploy style sheets to screen, print, and mobile environments. Course topics include creating customized starter pages, learning to rapidly hand-code CSS through using Snippets, and using Dreamweaver's CSS preferences to deploy lightweight styles. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Building a CSS-friendly workspace in Dreamweaver
  • Creating style sheets visually
  • Hand-coding styles
  • Working with code hinting
  • Organizing style sheets with color coding and sections
  • Writing global classes
  • Eliminating style conflicts
  • Deploying styles
  • Dealing with browser compatibility issues
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Building a style-focused workspace

Dreamweaver's flexible interface allows us to create custom workspaces that are tailored specifically for the task at hand. By taking advantage of the preset workspaces, or in the case of this exercise building your own, you can make it a lot easier to switch from one task to another. So in this movie, we're going to build a custom workspace that is focused on working with styles. So you can see I'm currently working without a document open. One of the things you want to do when you're customizing the interface with Dreamweaver is make sure you're seeing everything. So I'm just going to go ahead and use the Welcome screen here to create a new HTML file.

We don't need to save it. We don't need to do really anything with it. It's just there so that we can see the remainder of our workspace. Okay, one of the first things I want to make sure we're doing is all starting more or less in the same place. So you can see that I currently have the Designer Workspace. If I grab the pulldown menu, I can see that there are a lot of preset workspaces. I'm going to start with the Classic Workspace. Now the reason I like starting with the Classic Workspace, in sort of using that as a starting point, is it takes the Insert panel, and it docks it up here above the document itself.

I just like it there. It fits there a little bit better. It gives me a nice horizontal menu to work with, rather than having another panel to worry about. In the case of higher screen resolutions, it actually saves a little bit of screen real estate. So, I kind of like it being up there. Now at this point, we're really going to need to do a good bit of modification. The first thing I'm going to do is start over here in the doc. I'm going to close everything that's not directly related to working with your site's CSS. Now the browserlab panel, which is new in CS5, is related to working with CSS; however, if I want to preview using Adobe's browserlab, I can do that directly here through my Preview icon.

You can see there is the option right there. So, devoting an entire panel to that, if I'm not going to be using the panel, really doesn't make much sense. So I'm going to go ahead and go right over here to the Panel menu, and I'm just going to close that tab group. That's going to leave the CSS Styles, AP Element, and Tag Inspector panels together. Now, I don't use the AP Elements panel that often, but it does allow me to see certain elements on the page, if I'm using absolute positioning. So I think I'll leave it alone. The Tag Inspector really isn't hurting anybody by being there either. So I'll just leave the CSS Styles panel.

It's kind of the default panel from that group. Well, there is another panel group directly underneath this, Databases, Bindings, and Server Behaviors. Since I'm focusing on styles and not dynamic development, I'll go ahead and close that tab group as well. Cool! Now that leaves me with Files, Assets, and Snippets. Now if you don't see the Snippets panel, and the reason that we're seeing it is because we're starting with the Classic space, if you don't see that, you're going to want to open that. You can do that by going up to Window and choosing Snippets. Ours doesn't have a checkmark beside it, but it is part of that group. So I don't need to select that, but if I do, notice that it just focuses on the panel within the group.

It doesn't really close anybody else out. So I want to make sure the Files and the Snippets panel are docked right over there. Now I'm not going to include anything else in the dock. If you have a high screen resolution and you have a lot of screen real estate, and you want to put some more panels over there, nothing wrong with that. This is just going to be our CSS- focused workspace, so we don't really need any of those other items. Now, one toolbar that I want that isn't opened, by default, is the Style Rendering toolbar. So, I'm going to go right over here to my Document toolbar, I'm going to right-click on that, and I'm going to choose Style Rendering from the menu that comes up.

You could Ctrl+click on the Mac if you'd like, if you don't have a two-button mouse. Now, that's going to bring up the Style Rendering panel. So I'm just going to undock this and float it for just a minute, so you guys can see this. Now, that's another big difference between the Mac and the Dreamweaver interface. For those of you on the Mac, if you just try to undock the Style Rendering toolbar, you are unsuccessful. It docks in the Document toolbar, and it just sort of stays there. But on the PC, we're free to kind of put this anywhere that we want. So, I'm just going to go ahead and move this to another location. I'll place him me on right here in the same little line with the Document toolbar.

Now you may have noticed that we can't see the whole thing. Well, that's okay because if I really need to, I can collapse my panels down the icons, and I'll have full access to that. So I can just sort of toggle those back and forth when I need to get to these pseudo-selectors. Now, what the Style Rendering toolbar does for us is it allows us to look at our print styles, or screen styles in sort of isolation, or turn our Style Rendering on and off within Dreamweaver's Design View. So it's a very, very handy toolbar to have around when you're working with your styles. Now, there is one last thing I want to do here, and I'm going to go up to the Windows menu.

I'm going to go down to Results, and I could really choose any of these. It doesn't really matter. So I'll just choose Search, which is the first one. That's going to bring up a much larger panel group. This has the Search, Reference, Validation, and what we're really interested in here is in Browser Compatibility panel. If we do a Browser Compatibility check on our CSS, the results are going to show up there, so it's a good idea to go ahead and have this opened. Now obviously, this is not a very efficient workspace. So, what I'm going to do is take the Properties tab right here, drag that down so that it groups with these guys, and then I could even take the Properties tab and move it all the way over here to the left.

So, it's the first panel in the group. I just kind of like it having that sort of default location. So there we go! We've got a workspace now that is going to work for us while we're working with our CSS. We have our CSS Styles panel. We have Snippets where we can save snippets and code, if we're working with certain styles that we want to reuse later. We have our Style Rendering toolbar, and our Results panel group is docked with our Properties Inspector. So, that's perfect! Well, you don't want to have to keep doing this every single time you work on your styles. So, I'm going to go right up here to the workspace switcher, and I'm just going to choose New Workspace.

I'm going to call this workspace CSS. I'll go ahead and click OK. That's part of my menu structure now. I can switch back to CSS at any time. So, if I go back to Designer, for example, or if I go to the Coder environment, it's really easy for me to just come right back up here, choose CSS, and it takes me right back to where we were. Cool! So, we now have a workspace that gives us quick access to all the tools we need in Dreamweaver when working on our styles. Now, this workspace is going to allow us to focus on our styles and save us a good bit of time that we would normally spend opening, closing, and arranging panels for each new task.

So, regardless of what you're doing in Dreamweaver, whether you're working on styles or working in a coding environment, I'd recommend considering creating a custom workspace for that particular task, so you don't spend so much time opening and closing panels.

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