Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating structure with div tags

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating structure with div tags

Our site will feature a twist on a popular and very basic layout structure. We'll have a header followed by the main navigation and this'll be followed by the mainContent region, a sidebar and then finally a footer. Every page in our site will follow this layout, meaning that we will be able to build one set of styles to control our layout and then use those styles on every single page. That allows us to write very efficient code and build a consistent structure. You may remember that div tags will give our page structure and form these content regions.

Creating structure with div tags

Our site will feature a twist on a popular and very basic layout structure. We'll have a header followed by the main navigation and this'll be followed by the mainContent region, a sidebar and then finally a footer. Every page in our site will follow this layout, meaning that we will be able to build one set of styles to control our layout and then use those styles on every single page. That allows us to write very efficient code and build a consistent structure. You may remember that div tags will give our page structure and form these content regions.

ID values will be assigned to do the div tag to pass along meaning and aid in the styling process. As a general rule, I will create and style these div tags before any other content appears on my page. That way, I can make sure the layout is working and that the structure is sound before committing content to the page itself. In this movie, we'll begin to create our layout from scratch. To do this, we'll use Dreamweaver's tools to quickly add div tags to our page, adding IDs and styles as we go. So I have the index.htm file open from the 10_07 folder and currently we just have a blank page.

There is nothing in here whatsoever other than the body tag itself. Now we do have one style that is currently giving a background color to the body tag and that's just going to help us make sure that we have proper definition for all the elements on the page as we begin to add them. Okay now, I am going to show you a tool here that I absolutely love. Now to be honest with you, some of you guys are going to be very comfortable hand coding and you can go into Code View and you can do what we're about to do here in a much quicker fashion. However, the tool I am going to show you guys is the Insert Div Tag tool.

It's right up here in the Insert panel. And the thing that I really like about this is that even though we are in Design View, we are going to be able to create div tags that are going to go into our content, we are going to be able to precisely control where those div tags are going to be located, and we're going to be able to assign an ID or class and write the style for that ID or class as we insert it on the page. So that allows you to tackle a lot of tasks at one time, which is why I like this tool so much. So what I am going to do is just go up and with my cursor blinking, anywhere on the page it doesn't matter, 'I am going to click to insert the div tag.= Now this point saying Add insertion point doesn't really matter. I mean there is nothing on the page.

So it's going to go inside the body tag, which is perfect. Now notice that we have a couple of dialog boxes here. The first one allows us to assign a Class value and the second allows us to assign an ID attribute, so we could assign a Class or an ID attribute with this dialog box. Now if we currently had an attached style sheet that had pre-existing classes or pre-existing IDs, we could actually grab them from does pull-down menu. Now we don't have any styles written whatsoever, so it's empty, but that's what is so neat about this New CSS Rule option.

That allows you to create and write your CSS as you're assigning the ID and inserting the div tag on the page, so it allows you to do that all at one time. So if I click inside the ID field here and I type in the word wrapper, when I choose New CSS Rule, notice that it already knows that oh you need an ID selector and you are going to name it #wrapper. So you're going ahead and taking care of a lot of steps all at once. Now I am going to go ahead and define this rule in this document only. I am going to go ahead and click OK and instead of writing all of our layout CSS right now, we are just concerned with building the structure.

So we are only going to put a couple of properties in here to allow us to identify these regions and then we are going to come back in a later exercise and actually write the CSS for them. So the first thing I want to do here is go to my Background property and I am going to give this a background of #fff, that's white, and then I'm going to go to the Box category and I am going to go ahead and give this a width of 930 pixels and that's what we need for our wrapper div tag. Our page content is going to be constrained within 930 pixels. I am going to go ahead and click OK and OK again.

Now what happens is all at once the CSS style wrapper is created over here in our CSS Styles panel and our div tag is placed on the page. You can see that Dreamweaver gives you some placeholder content for that particular div tag. Content for ID wrapper goes here. Well, that's very useful if you're building out your entire structure and you want to know where the header is, where the sidebar is, where the main content region is, but for the wrapper all it really does is wrap all of our other div tag so we don't need that. So I am going to go ahead and highlight that text and just delete it to sort of get it out of the way.

Be very careful. Make sure you don't have the entire div tag selected. So just highlight that text. You want the div tag to remain. Okay, now we are going to go through and add the remainder of our divs and go ahead and build styles for them at the same time. I'm going to go ahead and insert another div tag on the page and this time where we insert it really does matter. We want to make sure that this is inside the wrapper div tag. So what we are going to do is grab this pulldown menu, and instead of saying Before tag or After tag, we are going to say After the start of tag and we are going to say after the start of wrapper.

So after the opening wrapper div tag, we're going to insert a div tag and so it will be between the opening and closing tags meaning that this div tag will be inside of the wrapper tag. So we want to make sure it says after start of tag, div ID equals wrapper. Now we are going to give this one an ID of header and choose New CSS Rule. Once again we are going to double- check to make sure it is an ID selector, it should say #header and we want to to define it in this document only. We are going to go ahead and click OK. We are going to give this one a background color as well. Now the background colors we're putting in here, this one is going to be #ffc, they really don't mean anything.

They are just placeholder colors to help us identify these regions of content. Later on we'll replace them with graphics or other colors. I am going to go down to the Box category and here we're going to give this one a width of 192 pixels and we are going to give it a height of 237 pixels. The header is where our company logo is eventually going to go and so that width and height is the exact width and height of the company logo. I am going to go ahead and click OK, click OK again, and now right after the start of our wrapper div tag and you can kind of see it's definitely inside of it, because there is a white background color of our wrapper, there's the header.

Okay well let's keep going. And it doesn't really matter where you click, because now we can use those Insert Div Tag controls to make sure we're inserting them in the right place. So I am going to choose Insert Div Tag. This time I am going to choose After tag and the tag this one is going to come after is the header. So we are just going to do these in order from this point forward. It will be after the previous tag that you just wrote. In this case, this ID is going to be mainNav. Noticed that it's all one word, lowercse m uppercase N. This means that if somebody is viewing our unstyled content, after the header we want them to encounter the main navigation.

We'll choose New CSS Rule, verify that everything looks good here, ID, mainNav, This document only, everything is good. I'll click OK,and now what we are going to do is give this one a background color of #00f. I am going to go to the Box category, give it a width of 272 pixels, and give it a height of 200 pixels. Now the height is just there to show volume, but the 272 pixels is important. The main navigation and the sidebar are going to stack one on top of the other. They are both going to be 272 pixels wide and they are going to look as if they are single column, but because of the way that we want the content to be encountered, main navigation first, main content second, sidebar third, we are going to be a little sneaky in how we actually construct it.

Okay I am going to go ahead and click OK here, OK again, and now there is the div tag mainNav. So let's keep going. Insert another div tag. This time we are going to be after the mainNav tag. Now make sure it says After tag and not After start. It's easy to confuse the two. An After tag means after the entire tag and not inside of the tag as After start of tag will be. So make sure you say After tag there, div id mainNav. Now the next one is going to be mainContent. Here we are going to choose New CSS Rule.

Verify everything looks okay. ID, mainContent, This document only. And for this one, the Background-color is going to be #ccf. Now if you want to use different background colors, be my guest. I know these don't follow any great color scheme. They are really just there to show the elements and they are designed to contrast with each other. So if you find them visually unappealing, please go ahead and put in your own. Now in the Box category, we are going to go ahead and give this a width of 608 pixels. Now that is the width that we need for our mainContent region but the height, and in this case it's going to be 600 pixels, is again just to show volume.

So go ahead and click OK. Click OK again. There we get our mainContent. We are almost done. I am going to do an Insert Div Tag again. This time we are going to do After tag, mainContent. So you can see we are just going down there in the order, and the ID of this one is going to be sidebar. Now be sure to click New CSS Rule and we want this to be ID, #sidebar. This document only. That's fine. Click OK. Background for this one, I am going to use #cc2. I am going to go the Box category and in the Box category I am going to give that a width of 272 pixels and a height of 300 pixels.

Now remember, 272 was the exact same width as the mainNav. So when those two sort of stack one on top of each other, they are going to look like a single column. I'll go ahead and click OK, click OK again, and now we have one last div tag container that we need. I am going to Insert Div Tag. This one is going to be after the sidebar that you just placed in. So After tag, div id = sidebar, and we are going to give this one an ID of footer, and then click New CSS Rule. So make sure it's an ID selector, #footer, This document only.

Go ahead and click OK. Now here for the background I am just going to put in #0ee, sort of a bright blue aqua color, and for the Box category, go ahead and give it a width of 930 pixels. That is exactly the same width as our wrapper div tag and give it a height of 200 pixels. Click OK, click OK again, and there is the footer. Now that doesn't look very good at all, but it is exactly the structure that we need for our page layout. If we switch over to Code View, you can see how simple the structure is.

We have a wrapper div tag, which is surrounding a header followed by a main navigation, followed by a mainContent, followed by a sidebar, followed by a footer. Those five elements are going to give us all we need for our main page layout. So even though we're long way away from having our layout finish, we can at least see the basic structure of the site. Many of the things that we have created like background colors and I love the heights won't be part of our final layout. They do however give us the ability to preview our content areas as we're building the layout. Now if you don't feel like adding these temporary items to your styles, let me show you something that Dreamweaver can do for you to preview those areas.

I am going to switch back to Design View. And if we didn't have any of these background colors and we were just kind of wondering where do these elements fit in, you can go to your Visual Aids right here in the document toolbar and you can choose CSS Layout Backgrounds. They are essentially going to color code all of the elements on the page with their own custom colors. Now it's interesting because they're different every time. You never know what you are going to get. They use a random algorithm, so if you turn them off and turn them back on again, you get a different set of colors. Really all they are designed to do is show you where those regions of content are and contrast them with the other regions on the page.

So if you don't feel like putting in those sort of placeholder background colors that we've done, you could use that technique instead. Now, I also would like to point out that although we could have certainly hand-coded our page just as quickly, I really do like this technique because it allows me to precisely position my div tags and create styles as I build the structure. In our next movie, we're going to add floats and a positioning attribute that's going to create our main layout. Along the way, we'll discuss our layout choices and why attributes are used for specific elements.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 88870 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.