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Understanding the CSS Styles panel

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Understanding the CSS Styles panel

I this chapter we will examine Dreamweaver's extensive CSS capabilities and explore a few concepts that will make tackling page layout in our next chapter much easier. We first want to focus on the CSS Styles panel, since it's the nerve center for creating managing and editing styles in Dreamweaver. Now for those of you following along with our example files, we have defined a site for the Chapter 2 folder and I want you to go in your Files panel and opening the file rendering.htm. So here we have a sample file that has a few different sections of content, some headings, some paragraphs and in this chapter we are going to see how we can target different areas of this by taking advantage of a couple of CSS concepts. Before we get into that however I want to talk about the CSS Styles panel that you can find that panel at the very top of your panel stacking order and it's positioned right beside the renamed AP Elements panel.

Understanding the CSS Styles panel

I this chapter we will examine Dreamweaver's extensive CSS capabilities and explore a few concepts that will make tackling page layout in our next chapter much easier. We first want to focus on the CSS Styles panel, since it's the nerve center for creating managing and editing styles in Dreamweaver. Now for those of you following along with our example files, we have defined a site for the Chapter 2 folder and I want you to go in your Files panel and opening the file rendering.htm. So here we have a sample file that has a few different sections of content, some headings, some paragraphs and in this chapter we are going to see how we can target different areas of this by taking advantage of a couple of CSS concepts. Before we get into that however I want to talk about the CSS Styles panel that you can find that panel at the very top of your panel stacking order and it's positioned right beside the renamed AP Elements panel.

The AP Elements used to be called Layer in the last version of Dreamweaver and I am really happy that they have renamed it AP Elements because Layer wasn't the title I was really comfortable with. All right, so, I am going to roll up or collapse my Files panel and that will give me a little bit more room when I am working with my CSS Styles panel. And first I am going to click on the button All. There are two buttons at the top of it and there is Current and there is All, and All gives me a nice overview of every rule that's affecting my file, and you can see there are really three panes to the CSS Styles panel and right now I am going to grab this little dividing line to pull this down a little bit further and that gives me a little bit more room and I can see all my styles. I have got an external style sheet called rendering.test.css applied to the page, and I know it's an external style sheet because it actually says .css, giving me the filename. Now we have an embedded style and we are about to create one of those in a moment. Dreamweaver actually represents style tag in ahead of the document for you. So you can really tell the difference and tell what type of style it is. Well if I click on one of the rules. Notice that just below, in the pane below, my All Rules panel, I am getting properties for that specific rule. You can see that the body tag has a color applied to it, a font-family, a font-size and a line- height. Now all the way down at the bottom of the CSS Styles panel, we have a series of icons, and the icons on the right-hand side, you are probably familiar with, they give you the attach style sheets, create new rules, edit an existing rule and delete a rule if you want to. But it's the icons on the left- hand side, these three icons that I really want to pay attention to here. If you hover over them, they will actually give you different views. You have got category view, you have got list view and my favorite, which is Show only set properties. If you try the first one, which is Show category view, notice that you get instead of a list of just the properties that have been applied you get a series of categories. Font, Background, Block, so forth and so on. And these correspond exactly to the property categories that you would see in the CSS Rules definition dialog box.

So if you are used to using that dialog to create your styles, this is the view that's going to give you, exactly what you are used to seeing in that particular view. I find this one a little hard to find exactly what's been applied. So I am not a big fan of this one, but if you define a lot of your styles using the CSS Styles Definitions panel, then this might be more your taste. Now the middle icon shows list view and what this does for you is it shows you every rule that's applying to your style up top in blue and then every available rule after that that hasn't been applied is actually there in alphabetical order. You can see as I start to scan down, I am going through backgrounds and borders and so forth and so on. So when I go back up, if I wanted to apply another property to this, I would simply click on the property I wanted to apply and I could type in a value for in the left-hand side. I can even use this to modify existing properties. So if I want to change my font-size for example, if I wanted to take the font-size with my body tag and move that up to 1m instead of .95, I could do that right there without actually having to go back into the CSS Styles Definition dialog box or even going to code itself, and I will just change that back, .95. And you can see it actually modifies the content underneath it. Now my favorite view as I mentioned before is the third icon and this one is the Show only set properties. I am a big fan of this one, because it really gets through the clutter as I click on each of the rules. Notice that only the properties that apply to that rule show up. All the rest of them are hidden. Now you can still modify the properties here and you can even add additional property. So if I came up to heading1 for example and I decided that for my h1s I wanted a specific background color. I could click Add Property and I could begin typing in, and although it doesn't look like I am getting code hinting, when I click on the pulldown menu, notice that just by typing in the word back, it jumped me down the list and I could find background color pretty easily. Now I could type in a color value or even give me the color-picker here that would allow me to go in and choose a specific color-picker and you can see on the page that my heading has that background color applied to it. And of course if I decide that I don't like a property, maybe I look at that and say that's not so great. I can grab that particular property, click on the trashcan and it just deletes that property. It doesn't delete the whole rule. So it offers you a lot of flexibility when modifying and updating your current styles. Now if we switch over to current view, you can see that based on where I have selected over here, I am going to see a series of rules. Now I might actually have to resize a couple of these panels so that I am getting my summary correct. So every now and then you are going to have to go in and sort of redo some of these. But you will notice that as I click on a different property or a different element, I am actually seeing another set of rules up here and I will have to scroll up to get those. But you can see as I click around the page and I click on heading -- the sidebar heading over here, I see one set of rules. When I click on my main heading over there, I see another set of rules and when I click on paragraph I see another set of rules.

I am looking at the summary for selection area up the top, and if you hover over, almost every element, you will get a tool tip that tells you where that rule is defined, which is really nice. As you click through the different rules, all the different rules down here, you will actually see where it's been applied. Now the middle panel here, it doesn't look that effective at the moment, but it's actually one of the most effective sections of the CSS Styles panel. You will notice that there are two icons in the middle panel on the right-hand side. The first one shows information about the selected property.

The second one actually shows a cascade of rules. Now we are going to talk about the cascade in the next movie. But briefly, the cascade shows us exactly which rules are applying to an element on the page. So if I click in the sidebar paragraph for example, you can see that it actually lists, one, two, three, four rules in the order that they are applied. So I can actually see all of the selectors that go into styling this particular element and the order in which they will be rendered within the browser. That's a tremendous amount of information for you when you design your CSS Styles and it can really help you rapidly edit and find your errors in your styles. So the CSS Styles panel is the nerve center of working with your CSS styles as we go into the remaining units in this chapter and our CSS Layout chapter later on, we will be using this panel extensively and we will actually use this view to troubleshoot a lot of the things that we run into. In order to explore some of the more advanced CSS concepts that we touch on, our next few movies will focus on three core CSS techniques that form the bedrock of truly understanding how cascading style sheets work, we will explore the cascade, order of inheritance and specificity, and we will start by examining the cascade.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38692 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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