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Using relative positioning

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using relative positioning

In addition to floating elements, you can specify element placement by using the position style property. The position attribute has three values: relative, absolute, and fixed. The default value is considered to be static, which can be explicitly stated if you need to override another value. Unlike absolute or fixed positioning, relative positioning is still considered part of normal document flow, and the positioned elements are treated as such. Relative positioning basically offsets an element relative to where it would be normally found within the page.

Using relative positioning

In addition to floating elements, you can specify element placement by using the position style property. The position attribute has three values: relative, absolute, and fixed. The default value is considered to be static, which can be explicitly stated if you need to override another value. Unlike absolute or fixed positioning, relative positioning is still considered part of normal document flow, and the positioned elements are treated as such. Relative positioning basically offsets an element relative to where it would be normally found within the page.

We can set left, top, right, and bottom values to control its location. The space originally occupied by the element is left untouched and behaves as if the element is still there. This can sometimes create a hole in your document where the element used to be. Other items in your layout still react to it when the positioned element is modified. And the empty space that marks its original location will expand or contract based on that. Well, let's take a look at that in action. Here we have the relative_positioning.htm file open from the 10_05 folder.

We have three div tags on the page. They are identified as Box 1, Box 2 and Box 3 and they each have a paragraph inside of them. If we look over our CSS styles, we have some very generic styles that are styling our divs and the paragraph inside of the div, but nothing that's driving any of the individual boxes. So we're going down to create those. So I'm going to add a brand-new CSS rule and I'm just going to go ahead and make this an ID selector and I'm going to do #box1. So we're going to position the Box 1 element and we'll go ahead and define it in This document only.

Go ahead and click OK. Now, if you go down your categories and you go the Positioning category, you can see the Position attribute right here. If you grab the pulldown menu, notice that we can choose between absolute, fixed, relative, and static. For this exercise, we're going to choose relative. So after relative positioning, if we want to offset it, we can use any of the Placement values. We can offset it by the top, the right, the bottom and the left. Now, if you offset something using the right value, the right edge of the object will be offset from the right edge of the containing element.

If you use left, the left edge of the element is going to be offset from the left edge of the containing element. The same is true for top and bottom. So typically, you're going to use the main conjunction with top and or right or left and bottom and or right or left. But you probably won't use more than two of them at a time. So here, we're just going to do a left offset and I'm going to give this a left offset of 150 pixels. Now, I'm going to go ahead and click OK and watch what happens to our layout. Box 1 moves to the right, but Box 2 and Box 3 are totally unaffected by this.

This is very different than floats. If I would've floated Box 1 to the right, Box 2 and Box 3 would have moved up to occupy the empty space. But with relative positioning, the other elements on the page still assume that the first element is there. In fact, if we go to Box 1 and increase its height value, so let's make its height say 200 pixels, notice that it pushes 2 and 3 down correspondingly. So relative positioning might seem fairly easy, but as layouts get more complex, it's difficult to remember where an element's original position is supposed to be.

Trying to keep track of which element is going to respond to other elements being modified can be a nightmare. Because of this, page layouts are not created using only relative positioning. Rather relative positioning is used more to tweak or nudge elements within your existing document flow. Now, relative positioning has another more common use for page layout as well. It's very common to set an element's positioning attribute to relative and then not offset it. This allows the element to act as a parent element for any absolutely positioned elements inside of it.

That might not make a whole lot of sense right now but it will when we discuss absolute positioning in our next movie.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89061 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  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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