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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics
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Using the new CSS template pages


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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

with James Williamson

Video: Using the new CSS template pages

In this chapter we will explore using CSS to control the layout of elements on pages. First, we will take a look at Dreamweaver CS3's new pre-designed page layouts. Now if you are following along with me in Dreamweaver, just go to File and choose New and that will bring up our New Document dialog box. Now on the left hand side, this dialog box has been totally redesigned for CS3 and on the left hand side, notice that we have a Blank Page, a Blank Template. Starting out from like Blank Template, Page from a Template, and that sort of thing. Well, Blank Page doesn't necessarily mean totally empty. Now we have all these different types of pages, HTML, XML that sort of thing. I am going to choose HTML from the top of the list. Now on the middle panel here, we have a layout column, and as I scroll up and down that, you can see that we have sort of some preset page designs already setup for us and these were done by a friend of mine, Stephanie Sullivan, but if you select one of these layouts, you will actually see a preview on the right hand side of the layout. Now if you are not familiar with doing CSS layout, some of the icons are-- some of the things that you see over there in the preview might look a little confusing, so let's talk about those for just a moment. If I click on the Layout 2 column elastic, Left Side bar, you will notice that it has this sort of little curly symbol and then another line and several curly symbols on the right hand side and it's trying to show you you have a sidebar and a main content area. Anytime that you see this little curly symbol, that means that you have got something that's going to stretch as the browser resizes, so it's not a fixed size. When you see the characters em above that stretching symbol that means that that width is actually defined with ems and there's one down here that says, all widths in ems (so they scale with font size) go with left sidebar. An em is a relative unit of measurement. 1 em is equal to whatever the default size of the font for the element that it's defined in. So if you just go ahead and say body 1 em, it will use whatever the browser's default font size is for that particular size. So what we are doing here when we use ems for a width, you are actually making that section relative to the default text size, which is in neat for mobile devices and smaller things and layouts where they need to be incredibly flexible.
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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 the new CSS template pages

In this chapter we will explore using CSS to control the layout of elements on pages. First, we will take a look at Dreamweaver CS3's new pre-designed page layouts. Now if you are following along with me in Dreamweaver, just go to File and choose New and that will bring up our New Document dialog box. Now on the left hand side, this dialog box has been totally redesigned for CS3 and on the left hand side, notice that we have a Blank Page, a Blank Template. Starting out from like Blank Template, Page from a Template, and that sort of thing. Well, Blank Page doesn't necessarily mean totally empty. Now we have all these different types of pages, HTML, XML that sort of thing. I am going to choose HTML from the top of the list. Now on the middle panel here, we have a layout column, and as I scroll up and down that, you can see that we have sort of some preset page designs already setup for us and these were done by a friend of mine, Stephanie Sullivan, but if you select one of these layouts, you will actually see a preview on the right hand side of the layout. Now if you are not familiar with doing CSS layout, some of the icons are-- some of the things that you see over there in the preview might look a little confusing, so let's talk about those for just a moment. If I click on the Layout 2 column elastic, Left Side bar, you will notice that it has this sort of little curly symbol and then another line and several curly symbols on the right hand side and it's trying to show you you have a sidebar and a main content area. Anytime that you see this little curly symbol, that means that you have got something that's going to stretch as the browser resizes, so it's not a fixed size. When you see the characters em above that stretching symbol that means that that width is actually defined with ems and there's one down here that says, all widths in ems (so they scale with font size) go with left sidebar. An em is a relative unit of measurement. 1 em is equal to whatever the default size of the font for the element that it's defined in. So if you just go ahead and say body 1 em, it will use whatever the browser's default font size is for that particular size. So what we are doing here when we use ems for a width, you are actually making that section relative to the default text size, which is in neat for mobile devices and smaller things and layouts where they need to be incredibly flexible.

Notice that also we have some fixed. So if I click on 2 column fixed, left sidebar, you see the icon changes and there's a little padlock and that means there is going to be a fixed width for both the sidebar and for the main content area. And that's generally the way most sites are done. There are some flexible, there some hybrids, there are some mixtures. Speaking of hybrid, I am going to go find a 2-column hybrid, left sidebar, and we are going to open this one up. You will notice that this one has an em over the sidebar, indicating that sidebars are defined with the text, and our content area is defined via a percentage. So I am going to go ahead and click Create, but before I do that I want to point out one more thing too. Notice that for the layout CSS, it's actually asking us, do we want to embed that ahead of the document, do we want to create a new CSS files based off of those styles, or is there a file that we already have the styles defined in that we want to link to this? So you have all those options. We can even add other CSS files there that maybe aren't controlling layout, but maybe are controlling typography or things like that.

So we will just apply to the head of the document and we will click Create. So we get a page that comes up that has dummy text in it and you will notice that left column has a id of DIV Sidebar1, so the id is sidebar1, and if I click in the main content area, I can see that it has an id of main content. Now I am looking at this down here on my Tag Selector, so if you look at the bottom of the document window, your Tag Selector, when you click in a section, notice that it tells me I am in a paragraph, which is inside of a DIV, which is inside of another DIV, which is inside of a body tag that has a class style applied to it. So there is lot of behind the scenes stuff going on here with our CSS.

If I go to my CSS Styles palette and I open up the Style tag, I can see all the rules that are driving our layout right now. We have got a body selector, and then everything is being driven more or less by classes, and by that class attached to the actual body tag, and then the ids inside of it. So we have some fairly complex descendant selectors. If you switch over to code view, you can go up and see exactly what's going on with the CSS. Now one of the great things about these pre-designed page layouts is that Stephanie was really good about commenting out the CSS. So just from an instructional standpoint, if you want to learn how to do layout, these are excellent to just open up and sort of pick through.

You can see that the body tag, for example, has a font of 100%, which would mean the default browser size, whatever the browser would set at, it would use that font. Verdana and it has a great background and no margins, no padding, the text-align is aligned to the center, and the color is set to black. And so, if you are wondering why we are zeroing out the margins, notice that the comment line that says it's good practice to zero the margin and padding of the body element to account for different browser defaults, because each browser has a different default margin and it can cause your page to offset slightly to the right or to the left, depending on which browser you are in.

So by going ahead and doing those out, you're basically just telling the browser, "Now whatever default margin you have got, let's go and get rid of that." So this is a really good tool from an instructional standpoint. If you are looking to pick up a lot of tips and tricks for CSS, if you are brand new to layout and you are really curious about it, this not only gives you a great starting point, because you are free to go ahead and just replace the existing content on the page with your content, and just kind of go from there but it's a good instructional tool to learn from. For those of you that are brand new to doing CSS layout, I hope you will take advantage of the instructional nature of these pre-designed page layouts, especially in the commenting. And in our next video, we will explore structuring our pages with DIV tags and how that can help us as we begin to plan and prepare to style our own pages and lay those out.

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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