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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
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Setting CSS preferences


From:

Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Setting CSS preferences

As you begin to work with more and more sites, you will find that you have a specific way that you want your styles to be presented and formatted. If you are like me, those preferences might change over time as you get more comfortable with doing things by hand. Fortunately, Dreamweaver has multiple preferences that allow customization of exactly how your styles are created, presented, and formatted. Let's take a moment to go over these preferences and customize how Dreamweaver goes about creating your CSS. So I have the main.css file opened, and if I just scroll down, I can see that there are a lot of styles in this document.
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  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

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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
15h 22m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Defining and structuring a new site
  • Creating new web documents from scratch or from templates
  • Adding and formatting text
  • Understanding style sheet basics
  • Placing and styling images
  • Creating links to internal pages and external web sites
  • Controlling page layout with CSS
  • Building and styling forms
  • Reusing web content with templates
  • Adding interactivity
  • Working with Flash and video
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Setting CSS preferences

As you begin to work with more and more sites, you will find that you have a specific way that you want your styles to be presented and formatted. If you are like me, those preferences might change over time as you get more comfortable with doing things by hand. Fortunately, Dreamweaver has multiple preferences that allow customization of exactly how your styles are created, presented, and formatted. Let's take a moment to go over these preferences and customize how Dreamweaver goes about creating your CSS. So I have the main.css file opened, and if I just scroll down, I can see that there are a lot of styles in this document.

Hundreds and hundreds of lines of them actually, and these are the styles that are driving our Explore California site. Now before we get into creating these styles, I think it's useful to take a look at some of the preferences that govern how these styles are displayed in our Code view. So I am going to go out to my Preferences. Again, you can go to Edit > Preference on the PC, Dreamweaver > Preferences on the Mac, and the first preference I want to go to is Code Coloring. Now some people complain about the magenta, and I think it's a little hard to see. Well, you can change that if you like. So if I go to Code Coloring, I can select the CSS Document type, and click on the Edit Coloring Scheme.

We have a little preview down here that shows you any changes that you make and what they are going to look like within your structure, but you can come right down here and choose CSS Selector, for example, and you can change the color of that. So maybe you might want to make them red, for example. Now just be consistent with that because if you using red for Selector, and a friend of yours is using green for Selector, it's going to be really different. Also, recognize that some colors are pretty common. For example, green is typically used to denote literal strings like you see here. So changing that to something else might actually throw somebody that's used to seeing in the green.

So just be sure that what you change is going to be consistent for you and any team that you are on. I am going to switch that back to magenta. I actually don't mind it, to be honest with you. Now there is another setting that you can change as well. If I go into the Code Format preference, and for the Advanced Formatting choose CSS, I can choose exactly how my CSS is formatted. Right now, each property is on a separate line. That makes it extremely easy to read, and as you are writing your CSS code for the first time, I really recommend that.

However, it also takes up more lines of code. So if you turn that off later on, you can shorten the lines of code that your CSS is taking up, and that might actually make it a little bit easier to deploy. So that's usually something I change once I am ready to go ahead and make this code live online. I am going to go and click OK here. Now there are a couple of other preferences that you can change, but I want to show you why you might want to change those preferences. So I am just going to go ahead and click OK, and I am going to write a rule for you that shows off what I was talking about. Oh - they changed to red anyway. Well that's okay.

Again, it's so easy to change that preference. I can go and change it in just a little bit. Okay, so, just anywhere on here, I am going to create a rule for my heading 1s. Now if I open up my curly brace and hit Return to go down to the next line, I am just going to do some margins here. So I am going to do a margin-top. So that's going to add a top margin to my headings of 10 pixels. Then I am going to add a margin to the right of 10 pixels. Then I am going to add a margin to the bottom of 10 pixels.

Then I am going to add a margin to the left of 10 pixels. Now don't worry about doing this with me. I am just trying to show you one of the things that Dreamweaver can do to speed up the creation of your CSS and make your CSS a little bit more efficient. But what I have done here is I have created a rule for heading 1s that contain both the top, right, bottom, and left margin, and you can see they are all 10 pixels. Well, that's four lines of code. That's adding a good bit of weight. I could have actually written the exact same rule this way. I could have just typed in margin: 10px, much shorter, right? Well, this is what we call shorthand notation, and if you are having Dreamweaver generate your code for you, it's not a bad idea to go ahead and tell Dreamweaver that you would like to use the shorthand notation so that your code becomes as efficient as possible.

Let me show you where to set that. If you go to Edit > Preference or again, Dreamweaver > Preferences on the Mac, you can now go down to the category CSS Styles. You will notice that we have some check boxes here for creating shorthand notation, Background properties, Margins like I was just working on, and padding, Border, border widths, List- Styles, Fonts. All of those have an ability to create shorthand notation. Well, I am going to go ahead and check everybody except for Fonts, and why is that? Well, if you do a font shorthand notation, and if you are brand-new to CSS, this might not really make whole lot of sense right now, but trust me, as you learn more about CSS, this will make a whole lot of sense.

But if you do font shorthand notation, you have to set properties for font weight, font size, font style, font family, and you have to do it in the proper order, font variant, all that stuff. The main problem with that is that if you don't state one of those, let's say you left out font weight, or you left out font variant, what would happen is the default would be used for that, and it might actually overwrite one of your other styles. So I typically don't use font shorthand notation unless I am really sure of where I want to use it. So I typically turn that off and do font shorthand notation by hand.

So I have got those four items checked. Notice that we can also tell Dreamweaver exactly when to do that. Notice that we can say, "Hey, only change it if the original uses shorthand, or change it based on all these settings that we have above." So we are going to do that. Then finally, we have an option of what to do if we double-click the CSS file in the CSS panel. Now if we edit a rule, for example, let's say, I was to double-click on an h1 rule in the CSS panel, it would open up the CSS dialog box that we are going to be seeing in just a moment, or I have the opportunity of editing it within the Properties Pane, I will show you that option in a just a moment, or the opportunity to jump into Code view.

This is all about personal preference. If you are brand-new to CSS, I recommend leaving this as Edit using CSS dialog. That dialog box is typically a little bit easier for people who are new to CSS to use because it just presents you with certain options, and you don't have to worry about any of the syntax. So with those options set, I am going to go ahead and click OK, and now I know that my CSS is set up to the preferences that I want for my particular workflow. Now, not everybody likes to work with CSS the same way, and I think it's great that Adobe makes it so easy for us to get Dreamweaver's workflow to match our own personal preferences.

I would advise you to monitor how you work with Dreamweaver over time, so that you can make sure that Dreamweaver's workflow reflects the way that you like to work.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: After creating a website following the instructions in the course, the header background graphic appears correctly in all browsers except Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7.  The graphic works properly in IE 8. What can be done to make the graphics appear in IE 6 and IE 7?
A: To make the header background graphic appear, wrap the header div tag in another div tag and give it an ID like “mainHeader.” The problem stems from a bug in Internet Explorer that prevents the browser from dealing with absolutely positioned elements that are right next to relatively positioned elements.  Following the steps above should solve the problem.
Q: In the tutorial, the author links the Tool Tip to the word "More" at the bottom of the thumbnail photo field. I can't figure out how to place the <a> "More" on the thumbnail photo field.
A: In the example, there is a paragraph that wraps an <img> tag and the word "More," which is surrounded by an anchor tag (<a>). The author uses CSS to make sure the parent div tag of the thumbs floats to the left, and is only wide enough for the image. This causes the link text to break down onto another line. Then, the instructor uses CSS to align the link text to the right of the <img>. The link itself is a void JavaScript function, ( javascript();). This gives you a "dummy" link without returning you to the top of the page as the "#" dummy link tends to do.
If you were manually typing the text in, you could select the image, hit the right arrow button, and begin typing. The text should then appear on screen.
Q: In this movie, you are making changes to the HTML in order to customize the text layout on your page (i.e. h1, h2, and h3 tags as well as strong and em tags). I'm wondering why you are not using CSS to do this (i.e. font-size, font-weight). Do you typically use one method, or is it customary to do use both in a layout, and if so, what guidelines would you suggest to determine which to use when?
A: We modify the page's structure through the use of h1, h2, and other heading tags. So when we are choosing heading levels, we're not concerning ourselves with typography; we're establishing page structure. A heading is chosen to denote the level of importance for the heading, not typography.
CSS should always be used for presentation, not HTML.
Q: In the “Understanding ID selectors” movie, the author states that only one ID tag can be used per page, but then he adds two ID tags. Can you please clarify this for me?
A: You can use as many IDs per page as you wish. They just must all use a unique name. Therefore if you assign an element the ID of "header" no other element on THAT page may use the same ID.
Q: I noticed that in this course, the instructor uses this code on his CSS external sheet: @charset "UTF-8"; I was under the impression that this code wasn't necessary. The W3.org site is unclear on the matter. Is it necessary? Is it a best practice? Is it an older form of CSS?
A: The characterset attribute is added automatically by Dreamweaver, and there’s no practical reason to remove it. While it's not needed (the HTML page should indicate which encoding to use for the page) it is helpful if the CSS file is ever imported or used on a page where the characterset isn't specified. Think of it as a safety net for characterset encoding. Not necessary, but not harmful either.
Q: I need to add captions below images that I insert in pages of text. I played all the lessons in Chapter 5 (Adding Text and Structure) but none dealt with captions. I hope the author has an answer or can refer me to a source.
A: In HTML 4 and XHTML 1 (which is what Dreamweaver CS5 uses by default), there wasn't really a way to add captions below your photos. Most web authors would "fake" captions by having paragraphs of text below their images and using CSS to position and style the captions in the desired manner. Many would use a class such as .imgCaption to control the styling. To do this you would essentially position the text underneath the image through CSS (often by grouping the image and the paragraph in a div tag) and italicizing the text.

However in HTML5, there are new elements that allow us to associate images and their captions, the figure and figcaption element. Our author James Williamson just finished a course on HTML5: Syntax, Structure, and Semantics which details how to use it.

HTML5 Doctor also has a nice article on the figure and figcaption elements at http://html5doctor.com/the-figure-figcaption-elements/.
 
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