Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Positioning background images


From:

Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Positioning background images

When you assign a background image to an element the image is positioned with this top left-hand corner aligned with the top left-hand corner of the element. Although this is the default, you have a lot of control over exactly how and where background images are positioned inside of elements. You can control positioning of background images through three types of values: keywords, links, and percentages. As a general rule images are easier to position using keyboards or links. Percentages require a little bit more planning, so we'll address them shortly. We will tackle the use of keywords first, since they're the easiest to implement.
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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

Positioning background images

When you assign a background image to an element the image is positioned with this top left-hand corner aligned with the top left-hand corner of the element. Although this is the default, you have a lot of control over exactly how and where background images are positioned inside of elements. You can control positioning of background images through three types of values: keywords, links, and percentages. As a general rule images are easier to position using keyboards or links. Percentages require a little bit more planning, so we'll address them shortly. We will tackle the use of keywords first, since they're the easiest to implement.

Background positioning contains five keywords, top, bottom, center, left, and right. Left and right obviously apply to horizontal placement, and top and bottom apply to vertical placement. Center can be used for both. It doesn't matter which keywords are used and if only one value is given, the other value defaults to center, which might not be what you are looking for, so you need to pay attention to that. So, here we have the 06_04 file open and we are going to concentrate our efforts on positioning our skull icon. You will notice I have applied a background color to the header element so that we can more clearly see how the skull icon is being positioned inside the element.

So I'm going to go to my CSS Styles panels and I'm going to locate our #mainContent. article h1 selector. So, you can see here is our background property, but we haven't really done any positioning for this yet. Now there are a couple of different ways to add this and I'm want to show you how to add this using shorthand notations. So, one of the things I'm going to do is stretch my CSS Styles panel a good bit over. I would still want to be able to see my header, but I do also want to be able to see my entire shorthand notation for my background. So, I'm going to click right beside no-repeat and type in a space.

Like other shorthand notations you don't use commas to separate the properties, you just use a space. So, now I'm going to go ahead and position that to top left and hit Return. Well, I notice that in Design view I don't see any visual change. That's because top and left are the defaults. So I'm going to go ahead and highlight those values again and let's try a new set. Let's type in bottom right. Now, I notice that the icon positions itself bottom right-hand corner to bottom right-hand corner of our heading 1 element.

Now you will also notice that it doesn't really matter when we use keywords whether the horizontal or vertical elements come first. When you use links, you need to put the horizontal first and the vertical second, but for keywords it doesn't really matter. Now speaking of that, I'm going to take my keywords and I'm going to change him just to the keyword of top. So I'm only going to pass my one keyword and let's see what happens then. Now, as soon as I do that, vertically it moves to the top, but you will notice horizontally it moved to the center. So if you only pass along one keyword, the other keyword defaults to center and that's something that you need to aware of.

Now, instead of using keywords, you can use calculated length values. When using those length values the horizontal value must come first. You can use any unit of measurement you like and the image will be positioned by its top left-hand corner offset by the top left hand corner of the element itself. You can use negative values, although they generally result in a section of the image being clipped. Keep in mind that only specifying one value still results in the other value defaulting to center. Now I'm going to change my positioning. I'm going to replace top and I'm going to pass two values. 10px 30px.

When I hit Return, notice what's happening. It's going 10 pixels over and 30 pixels down. So top left-hand corner to top left-hand corner. Well, we don't have to use pixels. We can also use units of measurements like ems, so, 1em. Notice now that we have an offset moving one em over and one em down. That's typically calculating to about 16 pixels, but it also depends on the element itself. In this case, it's a header, so it's a little larger than that. Now, if I just change that and pass one value, just 1em, notice what happens.

The horizontal moves over to 1em, but vertical being the second value defaults to center and that's where we are. Now, let's just try some keywords, because I think we can use keywords to get it where we need. I'm going to type in left for the horizontal, center for vertical, hit Return and sure enough there it is. I'm also going to go ahead and move that background color. We don't need it anymore. We're just sort of identifying where the image is going to be and hit Enter. And now our icon is showing up exactly where we need to. Wonderful! Now that gives us an idea of how to control background positioning using percentage values instead of lengths or keywords. It works a little differently.

So, in our next exercise we are going to explore these differences and how to control background image positioning using percentage values.

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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