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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics
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Using floats to control page layout


From:

Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

with James Williamson

Video: Using floats to control page layout

Although no set standard has emerged for CSS based layouts, one of the most common models is to float container level elements and then position or float the nested contents inside of these containers. Our Cheek Chastain site, will use a fixed two column floated layout with a header and a footer element and before we begin working on it site, let's do a sample layout, so that we understand the basics of using this technique. So I have the example file two_column_float_review open and you can find that in the Chapter 3 site if you are following with us. Notice that we have a header and then we have an area here in the sort of teal blue that is a content area, and below that we have a sidebar, and below that we have a footer. I am going to switch over to Code view, so that we can see the content itself. Notice that we have a wrapper div tag that surrounds the entire content and that's again fairly common. We have a header div tag, a content div tag, followed by a sidebar div tag, and then we have an empty div tag whose id is clear. Now that's not exactly structural and you could say that it doesn't really fit within the separation or presentation of the structure but putting some non- semantic markup in your layouts every now and then is almost going to be required. And of course below that we have the actual footer itself. So I am going to go back to Design view and I will open up my CSS Styles panel and we have already got a few selectors in here that are helping us type background colors and things to identify this. What I want to do right now is start working with the content area and a sidebar area and actually getting them into a two- column layout. So I will grab my content div tag and I will add a property to it and I am going to float it to the left and as I do that nothing really happens. That's because the fact that the sidebar, remember, is going to be coming up underneath it and so that orange background now sort of stretches up underneath that. So I am going to select my sidebar selector and I will add a property to it as well and since I want the sidebar to appear to the right of the content, I will go ahead and do a float on that and I will float that to the right. Just like that, the content area is floating to left and the sidebar is floating to the right. Now the wrapper is actually 600 pixels wide and if we look at our content div tag, it is 380 pixels wide. Our sidebar is 200 pixels wide. So together they are 580 pixels wide, which leaves a gutter of 20 pixels in between the two of them. Now that's actually a very common technique because the last thing you want to do is start drawing a lot of margins or padding on your container elements. In order to control this space in between floated elements, it's better to control their widths so you get this virtual gutter then it is to try to assign that value using margins. That can negatively affect a lot of layouts because certain browsers handle floated margins differently. Internet Explorer for example, has a very common bug in version 6 called the double floated margin bug. If you give a margin to a floated element and the margins on the same side, so if I say give a margin right to a right floated element, then Internet Explorer 6.0 doubles the margin for just no good reason. So there are ways of fixing that but easiest way to fix it is just don't do it. So if I want to contain the elements inside of these floated elements, if I want to move them away from the edge, I will actually put padding on the interior elements rather trying to pad or put margins on the container elements. Now that we understand the basics of using floats for layout, we will next focus on structure and the content of our Cheek Chastain Gallery site.
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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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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics
11h 10m Intermediate Sep 21, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing and customizing the coding toolbar
  • Understanding the CSS Styles panel
  • Using absolute and relative positioning
  • Creating accessible forms
  • Building AJAX pages with the Spry framework
  • Extending templates
  • Working with XML and XSL
  • Building dynamic content
  • Creating custom behaviors in Dreamweaver
  • Running reports
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Using floats to control page layout

Although no set standard has emerged for CSS based layouts, one of the most common models is to float container level elements and then position or float the nested contents inside of these containers. Our Cheek Chastain site, will use a fixed two column floated layout with a header and a footer element and before we begin working on it site, let's do a sample layout, so that we understand the basics of using this technique. So I have the example file two_column_float_review open and you can find that in the Chapter 3 site if you are following with us. Notice that we have a header and then we have an area here in the sort of teal blue that is a content area, and below that we have a sidebar, and below that we have a footer. I am going to switch over to Code view, so that we can see the content itself. Notice that we have a wrapper div tag that surrounds the entire content and that's again fairly common. We have a header div tag, a content div tag, followed by a sidebar div tag, and then we have an empty div tag whose id is clear. Now that's not exactly structural and you could say that it doesn't really fit within the separation or presentation of the structure but putting some non- semantic markup in your layouts every now and then is almost going to be required. And of course below that we have the actual footer itself. So I am going to go back to Design view and I will open up my CSS Styles panel and we have already got a few selectors in here that are helping us type background colors and things to identify this. What I want to do right now is start working with the content area and a sidebar area and actually getting them into a two- column layout. So I will grab my content div tag and I will add a property to it and I am going to float it to the left and as I do that nothing really happens. That's because the fact that the sidebar, remember, is going to be coming up underneath it and so that orange background now sort of stretches up underneath that. So I am going to select my sidebar selector and I will add a property to it as well and since I want the sidebar to appear to the right of the content, I will go ahead and do a float on that and I will float that to the right. Just like that, the content area is floating to left and the sidebar is floating to the right. Now the wrapper is actually 600 pixels wide and if we look at our content div tag, it is 380 pixels wide. Our sidebar is 200 pixels wide. So together they are 580 pixels wide, which leaves a gutter of 20 pixels in between the two of them. Now that's actually a very common technique because the last thing you want to do is start drawing a lot of margins or padding on your container elements. In order to control this space in between floated elements, it's better to control their widths so you get this virtual gutter then it is to try to assign that value using margins. That can negatively affect a lot of layouts because certain browsers handle floated margins differently. Internet Explorer for example, has a very common bug in version 6 called the double floated margin bug. If you give a margin to a floated element and the margins on the same side, so if I say give a margin right to a right floated element, then Internet Explorer 6.0 doubles the margin for just no good reason. So there are ways of fixing that but easiest way to fix it is just don't do it. So if I want to contain the elements inside of these floated elements, if I want to move them away from the edge, I will actually put padding on the interior elements rather trying to pad or put margins on the container elements. Now that we understand the basics of using floats for layout, we will next focus on structure and the content of our Cheek Chastain Gallery site.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics.


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Q: In the Chapter 3 movie “Creating rounded corners with background graphics”, the instructor uses a .last class selector. What are the CSS properties of this selector?
A: The .last selector is as follows:
#current p.last{
background: url(../_images/current_btm_bg.gif) no-repeat bottom
left;
padding-bottom: 2em;
margin: 0;
}
The background is the bottom rounded corner graphic, the bottom padding keeps the type away from the bottom of the box and thus the rounded corners, and the margin ensures that the box elements fit seamlessly with each other.
 
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