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Setting CSS preferences

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

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.

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89034 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

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