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Cascading Style Sheets allow you to go beyond styling HTML elements such as the paragraph tag for instance. And it allows you to create your own custom elements to be applied to anything you want. So for instance, if I wanted say Copyright 2009 Jane Doe Photography, something like this, text that is really going to be at the base of the page. I'm going to go ahead and sort of move it down, but in general I can not only insert a special character for this particular scenario, by going to Insert > HTML > Special Characters and inserting the Copyright.
But once I have this text established, I can go ahead and apply a specific style to it, because I don't want this text to have the same visual priority as the paragraph text. I want to maybe decrease the size of the font. Your first inclination is to select that text and go to the Properties panel and maybe change it down here. And let's watch and see what happens if I try to do that. If I change the size to 9 to kind of give it that lower priority. I'm then presented with this New CSS Rule dialog box.
So this is great because Dreamweaver shows me and helps me with best practices for creating an HTML page. It already says, hey, what type of selector do you want to use? So what this means is it gives me the opportunity to select the type of CSS. So I don't want it to be like, say for instance, the paragraph tag, I don't want to select that because it's going to change that font for everywhere where I use the paragraph tag. My other options are the ID, which is only going to apply to one element, and then I even have Compound, which is going to be based on my selection.
What I want to choose and what really seems to give me the most flexibility is this class, because it can be applied to any HTML element. But if you are really curious about say the ID and Compound and advanced CSS, check out the title by James Williamson. His lynda.com title is Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training. Check that out because it's going to be more robust than what I'm going do here, but in general I can select class because again it's going to give me a lot of flexibility.
In fact, my next step is typing in footer. So this is the name of the selector. So it's going to be applied to all HTML elements with the class footer. So I just have to remember this name, and I'll select OK. Look what it does, automatically it changes the font size and it applies that footer to that text. As you will notice in my CSS Styles panel right down here, you will see footer. I can double-click on it and I can change it further if I want to.
Such as changing the color, again I want to give it sort of a lower priority, so I might change it to a medium gray, and I'll select OK. And it changes it to that medium gray. So again, this could be applied to any HTML element. So if I have an additional text and for this additional text if I want to apply that class to it, I can do that. Again, down here in my Properties panel, my Targeted Rule, I want to apply a class.
In this case, it's called footer. I select that and it changes it to that smaller sort of gray type. I can go ahead and move that down to the base of the page if I want to as well. But again, I'm given really total control to define my own CSS style to be applied to any element. Again, CSS gives me the power to do this and Dreamweaver really teaches me best practices for applying this to my web page as well.
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