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Using Live View and CSS Inspect

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using Live View and CSS Inspect

Once you get passed the initial page layout and start focusing on the individual content regions, the ability to make precise edits and tweaks without negatively affecting the overall design becomes critically important. Inefficient style sheets are usually the result of an individual having difficulty in styling a specific page region. To that end, being able to accurately judge how elements are interacting with one another is crucial to writing clean and accurate styles. Live View and CSS Inspect, both of which are tools in Dreamweaver related to Dreamweaver's WebKit integration, can be of tremendous help when writing your layout styles.

Using Live View and CSS Inspect

Once you get passed the initial page layout and start focusing on the individual content regions, the ability to make precise edits and tweaks without negatively affecting the overall design becomes critically important. Inefficient style sheets are usually the result of an individual having difficulty in styling a specific page region. To that end, being able to accurately judge how elements are interacting with one another is crucial to writing clean and accurate styles. Live View and CSS Inspect, both of which are tools in Dreamweaver related to Dreamweaver's WebKit integration, can be of tremendous help when writing your layout styles.

WebKit is an open-source browser rendering engine used a power of multiple browsers including Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. Dreamweaver uses WebKit to give you the ability to accurately preview and troubleshoot your designs from within Dreamweaver. In this movie, we will explore Live View, CSS Inspect, and how they can assist you when writing your styles. So, here we have the index.htm page open from the 10_10 folder and this is more or less our finished layout.

All the background images are in place, all the content is in place, and our layout looks pretty much the way that we want it to. Now, in order to properly show off Live View, CSS Inspect, and what they're capable of, I am going to give myself a little bit of extra screen real estate. I am going to do that by collapsing my panels down to icons, remember you can do that right there and then you can just go ahead and move that over to take them down further so that no labels show up and then I am going to double-click the Properties Inspector. And so now that we've got enough screen real estate to really show Live View off, I am going to go up to my document toolbar and turn Live View on.

Now, as soon as I do that our page is re-rendered using the WebKit rendering engine and as I scroll around, I am seeing the page more or less the way it would show up in the browser. Now more importantly, any of the interactive elements that you have on the page, like rollovers or if you have some Ajax-powered widgets and things like that, you will actually be able to see those working. So, notice that when I hover over my rollovers, they're working and that's true really of any of the links that I've got in my site. So, I can kind of see how all my rollovers are working.

I can test the functionality of a lot of the stuff that I have going on in my page and I can be sure that the layout is going to be reasonably close to what I should experience in most modern standards-compliant browsers. That's awesome, but there are other things that Live View allows me to do. What if I wanted to take a quick tour of my overall site and make sure that everything is looking all right? Maybe you made a one change to a specific region and you were wondering, how did that affect all of the other regions within my site? Well, if you hold down your Ctrl key and this would be the Command key on the Mac, you can click on any one of your links to actually browse to that page right within Dreamweaver.

So, it's almost like you're in-- well, actually you are within a browser within Dreamweaver. Now, at this point, this address bar right here starts to come into play. Notice that it is showing you your current location and if you continue to go around and navigate through your site, you can see I am just clicking out some pages here. Maybe learning more about specific tours, maybe you want me to go in and get some specific information about some hiking trails, or just see how this layout reacted to any changes that I might have made. The navigation bar right up here is taking all that new accounts. So now I can start hitting my Back button, go through my pages, my Forward button to keep going through my pages, and if you get to one of these pages and you are like you know, I really forgot to do something on this page or I would like to go ahead and make an edit on this page, you do have some options when you're browsing. Because right now, if I try to edit any of my code or anything, it wouldn't work because I still have my index page open.

But if I go right up here to this menu option, Live View Options, notice that I have the option to edit the Live View page in a new tab. Whatever page I am on will currently open up and now I am free to go ahead and make any edits on this page that I need. Right well, I am going to close this out and I need to get back to our index page, so the quickest way to do that is just to click right here, just like you're in a browser and click the Home button. So there we go! Okay. So, with Live View still on, I do need to make one small tweak. As I scroll down here, I notice that the Tour Spotlight, Tour Details, and this Explorer's Podcast headline. I would like those to be a little bit tighter.

There is maybe a little bit too much space between that link an that headline. So, one of the first things I would like to do is to know which of the elements on the page I need to tweak in order to make that happen. Do I need to change the margin on the headline to move it up? Do I need to change the bottom margin on this paragraph to move the headline up? Which one of those do I need to do? Well, we have a new feature in CS5 that is really, really helpful when you're trying to determine which element to modify to make a specific change. And it is this one. It is Inspect mode, or as it's referred to CSS Inspect.

When I turn this on, as I begin to mouse around my layout, I see all of the mox model properties for a specific element. Notice that if I hover over Monthly Specials for example, I see sort of an aqua teal color, a magenta color and a yellow. Let me explain those in a little bit more detail. The teal color represents the width and the height of the element. Anything that is a sort of that magenta color represents the padding and the yellow represents the margin for that. So, as you are mousing around, not only can you see who's creating the spacing between elements, but you can tell whether it's margins, padding, content regions, borders, it really gives you a nice overview of that.

Now, as you are mousing around, you may have difficulty finding the exact element that you're looking for. So, one of the tricks that you can use here is if you've moused over an element, you can use your Left Arrow to start going up the document tree to your parent elements and the Right Arrow to continue to introspect in. So, you can go back-and-forth, if you are having trouble mousing over a specific region. Now again, we're interested over here in the Spotlight region, so if I mouse over this paragraph I can see that there is a bottom margin, but it's not touching that headline.

So that's probably not it and if I go down to the headline, well, it doesn't have a top margin. Huh. So, what's causing that little extra bit of space there? Well, it's not the Tour Details link, because that doesn't have a margin either. Wait a minute. This image right over here, look at that. If I mouse over this image, I notice that it has a fair amount of bottom padding on it. As a matter of fact, that bottom padding is lining up precisely with the edge of that headline. So, what I need to do is reduce the padding in this image if I want to move that up.

What I am going to do is hold down my Alt key, that would be the Command+Option key on the Mac, and click my image to bring up the Code Navigator. I am going to go right down to this mainContent img.articleImage. Click on that. It's going to open the CSS for that up in Code View and if you don't see the rule right off the bat, you may have to scroll just a little bit to get it. There it is right there. I am going to take that top padding, top padding amount, and reduce that down to half an em. Now, when I do a Save All, go back in Design View, and turn on Inspect, now notice that the bottom margin of my paragraph and that element are butting right up against each other and that image is no longer interfering with that.

So CSS Inspect really helped us narrow down exactly which element was causing the problem and made it extremely easy to fix. So, Live View and CSS Inspect gives you powerful tools to preview and refine your design during the development process. Although there is no substitute for testing within multiple browsers, if used properly, these features will speed up your development time and help you ensure that you are writing clean efficient code.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89636 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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