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Defining fixed, elastic, liquid, and hybrid


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Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Defining fixed, elastic, liquid, and hybrid

When creating a new page based off of a starter page, you can choose from several layout options like 1, 2 or 3 column layout, and whether or not the page should have headers or footers. In addition to these specific element choices, you also need to choose which type of layout you want. starter page come in four types. We have fixed, elastic, liquid, and hybrid. In this movie, we'll explore those layout choices and when it's appropriate to use one over another. We are going to start by looking at a fixed layout, and I have the fixed.htm page open.
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  1. 7m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Do I need to know CSS to use Dreamweaver?
      2m 15s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    4. Setting up a custom workspace
      2m 47s
  2. 1h 2m
    1. Separating structure from presentation
      4m 14s
    2. Adding meaning with ID and class attributes
      7m 50s
    3. Understanding basic selectors
      11m 10s
    4. Understanding complex selectors
      11m 21s
    5. Examining the Cascade
      10m 16s
    6. Understanding order of inheritance
      5m 2s
    7. Understanding specificity
      5m 43s
    8. Using Dreamweaver to resolve conflicts
      7m 4s
  3. 52m 48s
    1. Working with starter pages
      2m 1s
    2. Defining fixed, elastic, liquid, and hybrid
      6m 3s
    3. Understanding starter page structures
      6m 25s
    4. Modifying CSS globally
      8m 58s
    5. Moving CSS between files
      12m 31s
    6. Preparing custom starter pages
      10m 9s
    7. Creating custom starter pages
      6m 41s
  4. 1h 25m
    1. Designing with CSS in mind
      3m 13s
    2. Using Fireworks to create site prototypes
      2m 41s
    3. Defining page structure
      8m 52s
    4. Creating the initial layout
      10m 24s
    5. Page creation and asset sharing
      11m 20s
    6. Using common libraries to create site prototypes
      5m 11s
    7. Building interactive prototypes
      17m 6s
    8. Optimizing images in Fireworks
      11m 47s
    9. Exporting web graphics from Fireworks CS4
      2m 43s
    10. Exporting interactive prototypes
      3m 11s
    11. When to export XHTML and CSS from Fireworks CS4
      8m 34s
  5. 48m 32s
    1. CSS workflows in Dreamweaver
      1m 17s
    2. Using the CSS Styles panel
      5m 12s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      9m 50s
    4. Understanding Dreamweaver's CSS visual aides
      3m 50s
    5. The Code Navigator
      6m 5s
    6. Controlling CSS with the Properties Inspector
      8m 52s
    7. Using Related Files
      4m 38s
    8. Working with Live view
      4m 13s
    9. Working with the Reference panel
      4m 35s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Declaring font families
      4m 57s
    2. Creating custom font family declarations in Dreamweaver
      6m 0s
    3. Understanding units of measurement
      6m 15s
    4. Controlling font sizing
      8m 41s
    5. Controlling line spacing
      7m 20s
    6. Controlling vertical margins
      7m 52s
    7. Horizontally aligning text
      3m 16s
    8. Vertically aligning text
      5m 30s
    9. Vertically centering block-level elements
      10m 31s
    10. Setting column width
      3m 33s
    11. Using font shorthand notation
      9m 15s
  7. 1h 10m
    1. Background properties
      4m 33s
    2. Using background images
      5m 16s
    3. Controlling background image tiling
      5m 33s
    4. Positioning background images
      4m 42s
    5. Using percentage values for positioning
      5m 10s
    6. Creating custom list bullets
      5m 23s
    7. CSS drop shadows
      7m 40s
    8. Image replacement techniques
      7m 24s
    9. Adding screen-only content
      7m 52s
    10. Complex background graphics
      9m 10s
    11. Using CSS Sprites
      8m 0s
  8. 38m 48s
    1. Reviewing table tag structure
      4m 48s
    2. Using thead and tbody for styling
      5m 45s
    3. Styling table captions
      4m 30s
    4. Styling headers
      8m 29s
    5. Styling table content
      4m 18s
    6. Creating alternating row colors
      3m 29s
    7. Using pseudo-class selectors for tables
      2m 27s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 2s
  9. 43m 37s
    1. Examining form structure
      3m 26s
    2. Styling fieldset and legend elements
      7m 42s
    3. Styling form elements globally
      6m 31s
    4. Using classes to identify form elements
      5m 55s
    5. Styling user feedback
      6m 10s
    6. Adding user interaction
      2m 52s
    7. Styling Spry form validation fields
      11m 1s
  10. 44m 49s
    1. Using lists for navigation
      1m 40s
    2. Creating horizontal menus pt. 1: Stripping list styling
      3m 29s
    3. Creating horizontal menus pt. 2: Displaying links horizontally
      3m 54s
    4. Creating horizontal menus pt. 3: Styling links
      5m 25s
    5. Creating horizontal menus pt. 4: Rollovers
      3m 48s
    6. Creating horizontal menus pt. 5: Indicating current page
      3m 48s
    7. Creating horizontal menus pt. 6: Modifying cursor usage
      2m 11s
    8. Creating horizontal menus pt. 7: Positioning menus
      3m 8s
    9. Styling vertical menus pt. 1: Vertical menu considerations
      6m 42s
    10. Styling vertical menus pt. 2: Defining width for link elements
      4m 46s
    11. Styling vertical menus pt. 3: Using background graphics with navigation
      5m 58s
  11. 1h 40m
    1. Box model review
      7m 4s
    2. Understanding margin collapse
      7m 15s
    3. Reviewing normal document flow
      11m 0s
    4. Understanding floating
      8m 56s
    5. Containing and clearing floats
      9m 26s
    6. Understanding relative positioning
      5m 30s
    7. Understanding absolute positioning
      5m 29s
    8. Understanding the AP Elements panel
      11m 57s
    9. Understanding fixed positioning
      2m 24s
    10. Using Dreamweaver to define document structure
      10m 11s
    11. Creating a two-column layout
      17m 1s
    12. Using Dreamweaver's Design-Time style sheets
      3m 49s
  12. 29m 0s
    1. Introducing Spry widgets
      2m 18s
    2. Updating the Spry framework
      45s
    3. Examining the default Spry styles
      6m 36s
    4. Modifying tabbed panels through CSS
      5m 19s
    5. Styling Spry widgets
      8m 49s
    6. Organizing Spry style sheets
      5m 13s
  13. 34m 49s
    1. Creating print style sheets
      2m 57s
    2. Assigning media types
      3m 29s
    3. Styling type for print
      9m 21s
    4. Suppressing element printing
      3m 29s
    5. Controlling page breaks
      8m 39s
    6. Using @media blocks
      3m 5s
    7. Creating alternative style sheets
      3m 49s
  14. 35m 22s
    1. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Compatibility Check
      3m 58s
    2. Fixing code errors with Adobe's CSS Advisor
      4m 45s
    3. Strategies for browser compatibility
      5m 8s
    4. Implementing browser compatibility
      8m 18s
    5. Formatting code for deployment
      3m 15s
    6. Creating modular style sheets
      3m 38s
    7. Assembling modular style sheets
      6m 20s
  15. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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Watch the Online Video Course Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training
12h 7m Intermediate Aug 13, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training, web developer and Adobe Master Instructor James Williamson teaches the fundamentals of CSS while focusing on how to use Dreamweaver to efficiently create and manage styles. He shows how to use Dreamweaver to resolve style conflicts; how to use new CSS-related features such as Live View; and the best way to create lightweight, site-wide style sheets.

Topics include:
  • Understanding XHTML and CSS fundamentals
  • Understanding and implementing advances in typography
  • Using the Code Navigator for faster CSS edits
  • Styling form elements while maintaining accessibility
  • Customizing the look and functionality of Spry widgets through CSS
  • Controlling layout and positioning through styles
  • Controlling CSS with the Properties Inspector
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Defining fixed, elastic, liquid, and hybrid

When creating a new page based off of a starter page, you can choose from several layout options like 1, 2 or 3 column layout, and whether or not the page should have headers or footers. In addition to these specific element choices, you also need to choose which type of layout you want. starter page come in four types. We have fixed, elastic, liquid, and hybrid. In this movie, we'll explore those layout choices and when it's appropriate to use one over another. We are going to start by looking at a fixed layout, and I have the fixed.htm page open.

So with the fixed layout, these have column widths that are set to a specific pixel size, and they are not going to change or resize based on either changes in screen resolution, browser window resizing, or font size changes. So I'm going to go ahead and demonstrate that by previewing this on my browser. Now, I'm going to preview this in Firefox. So some of the things that I'm going to be doing here, like changing font sizing, it's specific to Firefox, so if you are using a different browser, be sure to look up in its options or menus to see how you would do it within your browser. Now, if I resize the browser window, I notice that my layout doesn't change at all.

Now, it's centered to the viewport, so it's staying centered the whole time, but you will notice that the widths of my columns aren't being affected at all. Now, what if I increase font size? Well, I'm going to go up to View > Zoom. I can also set an option to make sure that I'm only changing the text size and not zooming the entire layout. So I want to make sure that's turned on in Firefox. Again, if you are using a different browser, be sure to see how you can change your font size up or down if you are doing this little example along with me. So if I increase the size of my font, notice that although areas are getting taller or skinnier, because the height isn't fixed, notice that the width of the columns is staying exactly the same.

So it doesn't matter if I resize my browser window or increase and decrease the size of my text, my columns are staying exactly the same size and the width of my layout is staying exactly the same size. So a fixed layout is really great for any time that you need fixed layouts, or you are targeting a specific browser window, or you are targeting a specific resolution. So I'm going to go ahead and close Firefox, come back into Dreamweaver, and I'll close the fixed design. Now, the next one I want to open up is the elastic file, so that we can see an elastic layout. Elastic layouts have column widths that are set to ems.

Now, an EM is a relative unit of measurement based on the size of the font. So resizing the browser won't really change the layout, but the layout is going to react to any adjustments that we make in text size, and that of course can be set by the client within the browser. Now, this layout is ideal for accessibility driven layouts or layouts that are designed for smaller screen sizes. So I'm going to go ahead and preview that in my browser, and again, changing the browser size doesn't really affect the layout at all, other than just moves where it's centered.

But watch what happens when I increase or decrease the size of the text. So if I increase the size of the text, notice that the sidebar and the main content region are getting larger to accommodate that text. If I shrink the size of the text, notice that the main content regions and the sidebar regions are shrinking down as well. So this is a nice scalable layout based on font size. So this layout is great for accessibility driven sites, layouts for smaller screen sizes, or layouts for different devices where the screen size is going to change based upon the device that you are using.

So I'm going to go ahead and close that and we'll close our elastic file. Next up, I want to take a look at the liquid layouts. Liquid layouts have column widths that are set to percentages of the total browser or viewport width. So these layouts are going to resize based on browser size, and they are really good for situations where there is no one specific target resolution, or in environment where the viewport size is going to change frequently. So I'm going to go ahead and preview that in my browser. This time I notice that increasing or decreasing the font size doesn't really change the width at all, and it pretty much stays the same.

But I did notice that the width of this was different from my other pages right off the bat, because it's based off of a percentage. So if I resize the browser, notice that the page widths are changing as well. Now, there is something that you need to be aware of here. When you set something like a sidebar to a percentage, let's say you make it 20 or 30%. When you size that down far enough, you are going to finally eventually get to a part where the content can't fit within that percentage anymore. When you do that, you are going to see something like this, where we have content that's sort of overlapping each other. Now, there are certain ways to deal with that, such as setting up a minimum width for our sidebar.

But that is something you need to be aware of if you are going to use a liquid layout. Next up, let's take a look at a hybrid layout. Now, these are really interesting. Hybrids layouts are a combination of elastic and liquid layouts. In a hybrid layout, certain columns may be based on percentages, while others could be based on text size. In this particular example, our content region is based off of a percentage, where the sidebar is based off of an em. This type of layout is usually used to keep smaller columns from shrinking too much as the screen is resized, while allowing the larger columns to scale based upon the available screen size.

So let's check that out. So if I preview this in my browser, I can see that resizing the browser allows the main content to shrink or expand, but that the sidebar stays exactly the same. But notice that if I increase the font size, the sidebar changes along with that. So increasing or decreasing the font size gives me more or less room for the sidebar, where changing the browser window size affects the main content only. So it's a really nice flexible layout that offers a lot of functionality.

It's a little bit more difficult to maintain, because you have to keep track of all those percentage values and EM values and know exactly what they are pertaining to. Now, I do want to mention that in addition to these four layout choices, there are several absolutely positioned layouts to chose from. Absolutely positioned elements are removed from normal document flow and they're positioned based on values that you give to either top, left, right, or bottom positions. Since these absolutely positioned elements don't react to the elements around them, they are typically only used for static fixed size layouts.

Now that we have examined the different types of layouts available, we'll explore opening a starter page and customizing the CSS for your own specific usage.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training .


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Q: Is it possible to use CSS to create drop shadow effects over patterns and other backgrounds that aren't 100% white?
A: Try using the CSS3 drop shadow property, or use transparent PNGs as background images. A useful technique is detailed here: http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/css3-border-background-boxshadow/ The technique covered in the "CSS drop shadows" movie in the Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training course will work if the drop-shadow file is prepared with a transparent background and saved as a 24 bit PNG file.
Q: While attempting to share assets between layers of a Fireworks file, as instructed in the Chapter 3 tutorial “Page creation and asset sharing,” an error message reads "Master page layers are not editable from other pages. Shared layers cannot be made a sub layer.”
A: This problem often occurs when attempting to edit or move a layer that is set as a master page layer. To avoid this error, switch to the master page and note the shared layers. Any editing to those layers must be done while on the master page.
Q: Is it possible to build a page using Dreamweaver CS4 Starter Pages, then use the CSS code in a site that was written using Visual Studio? In Chapter 2, the author states that the CSS must be embedded within Dreamweaver. Does that mean a Starter Page cannot be used withing a site built with another tool?
A: When the author states, "the CSS must be placed inside the page," he is referring to the creation of custom Starter Pages, in addition to the ones already included in Dreamweaver. Once the Starter Page is created, CSS can be placed as embedded styles or in an external style sheet, so it is possible to use Starter Pages with Visual Studio or another web design tool.
Q: In the "Preparing custom starter pages" video, the author’s screen shows the CSS Styles panel with listings displayed in an outline mode, connected by vertical lines. How can I get my CSS Styles panel to display this way? I am using a Mac, while the author uses a Windows machine. Is this a case where the difference is based on the specific operating system?
A: That is indeed one of the (minor) interface differences between the Mac and the PC. In the Mac version of Dreamweaver, the All view of the CSS Styles panel shows top-level CSS files or style tags with a small triangle beside them. They can still be explored or minimized by clicking on them to toggle them. They still show an "outline" view, just without the connecting lines. The functionality is not affected in any way.
 
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