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Covering diverse topics such as improving workflow and managing CSS styles, Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics is a hands-on course that teaches users how to move beyond standard, static websites. Instructor James Williamson explores how to increase productivity, interactivity, and accessibility with Dreamweaver. He also discusses how to extend the application's capabilities with XML and XSL. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
Now that we have finished our layout, we want to test it to make sure that it is going to work in multiple browsers and one way to do that of course is to have as many browsers as you can loaded on your system but legacy browsers or cross-platform browsers are sometimes pretty hard to do. So Dreamweaver has a Check Browser feature and it's been around for several releases but in the CS3 release they have really beefed it up. What I want to do is show you how you can set up which browser to check for and then a really quick and easy way to do that. So I am going to go up to the menu and we will go to Window and we are going to go down to the Results panel. You can find it about midway through the menu. Notice that there is a hot key of F7 to opening up as well. Now the Results panel opens up and there are a lot tabs for this. Search, Reference, Validation and in the chapter on publishing, we will talk about how to run reports from this panel as well. I am going to click on the Browser Compatibility Check. Now you can do the Browser Compatibility Check from here but there is a much easier way to do it. So in this panel we are just going to setup which browsers to check for and then I will show you how to do that without having to open up this panel every time want to check. So I am going to go over to the Play button on the left hand side and I am going to scroll down to the Settings and click on that. So notice the browsers that we can check for. We have got Firefox, Internet Explorer, IE for the Mac, Netscape, Opera and Safari. You are going to see a little drop down menu that has a version.
Essentially what that's going to do is it is going to check for that version and higher. So if I wanted to check for Internet Explorer earlier than 6.0, I could go all the way back to 5.0, for 5. 5, for example, I could go back to the 1.0 browser and so for Safari I can go back to 1.0 as well. I am just going to leave them at their defaults but you might have a specific browser that you are checking. For example, many people do not check for IE 5.5 anymore because we are so far into release cycle now that most people have 6.0 or 7.0 or higher but there are still a lot of legacy browsers out there. So if you think the audience you are designing for, has one of those older browsers, then you can check for it. I am going to leave the values at their default and I will just click OK. I am also going to close the Results panel because I want to talk about doing this without the Results panel. If you look at the Document tool bar, on the far right hand side, there is a little check box right here that says Check Page and that allows us to run our Check Browser Compatibility. So I will click that pull down menu and I am just going to choose Check Browser Compatibility. Now when I do that, the Results panel comes right back up and it gives me all the list of this. To make this a little easier to read, I am going to reposition this screen and expand it a little bit so that we can really see all the results. Well there really isn't a lot going on with our CSS, so we have got to feel pretty good from that standpoint that our CSS passed the browser check for all of those, so it will validate on all those browsers. But the problem is we have this little bug here called the Extra Whitespace in the List Links Bug. Now what's really nice about CS3 is not only does it tell you the issues and the line that issue is found on but it actually gives you description of it on the right hand side. Notice the description is telling us that, hey if you set a link with the display property as block and you don't pass any explicit with dimensions, the spaces or line breaks that follow it can cause extra whitespace to appear in the browser and our culprit here or the browsers that this is most likely to effect is Internet Explorer 6.0. IE is generally going to be a culprit when you find problems like this and the likelihood is listed as, very likely. Well, another thing that they have added to Dreamweaver and to Adobe's website in general is if you look at the very bottom of the Browser Check, Compatibility Check results window, there is a little link that says View solutions to the Extra Whitespace in List Links Bugs on Adobe.com. So if I click that, that will launch my browser and it will browse out to Adobe site and it is going to go to a new section on Adobe site called the CSS Advisor Beta. This is a community based website where people can report errors and browsers and rendering and post solutions to it. So it's kind of an aggregate on a lot of problems that people have in rendering issues. So this is good to search even if you are not having any problems. The address for it is you just go to Adobe's website, go to Developers Central section and go into the Dreamweaver Developer Central and there is a link to the CSS Advisor.
Well, we get a little note here about our Extra whitespace in List Links and there is the problem, there is a solution and then there is a detailed description of it that follows. Well this problem really affects vertical navigation bars, a lot more than it affects the horizontal ones. So since we are doing a horizontal list, I am not quite that worried about it. If this was something that was going to cause us a lot of problems and we want to fix it, we can just go back into our CSS and modify our links tag by giving it an explicit width. We can also pass along a hack, which is a way of making a browser basically ignore the issue. If I scroll down, we see in this little block right here down towards the bottom of the page that we could actually pass a display value of inline block and then pass back in a display block value and inline block is recognized by Internet Explorer but not so much by Firefox or Safari. So Windows would recognize the inline block property and display it properly and the other browsers would use the display block property. So that would help fix ratio. I will move back into Dreamweaver and we know that this is a problem for vertical list but it's not really a problem for our horizontal lists. So we will close our Results window and we are finished with the layout of our initial Cheek Chastain Gallery page.
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