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What measurement should I use?


From:

Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

with Garrick Chow

Video: What measurement should I use?

As we set the size of text in the previous movie and in earlier movies, you might've noticed that {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} gives you lots of options in terms of units of measure for text. You can see we have pixels, points, in, cm, picas, and so on. But, if you're like most people, you'll probably use one or two of these measurements on a daily basis, but the rest of them, you probably never use at all. In this movie I want to give you a brief overview of these different units. The first four items that you see here are screen measurement units: pixels, ems, exs, and percentage. Meaning that they're only relevant when you're talking about the size of your text onscreen, which given the nature of the Web, is probably where most people are going to be viewing your site.
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  1. 1m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
  2. 20m 56s
    1. HTML vs. XHTML
      3m 3s
    2. What is CSS?
      3m 48s
    3. What is XML?
      2m 10s
    4. What is DHTML?
      1m 9s
    5. What is JavaScript?
      1m 22s
    6. File naming conventions
      3m 22s
    7. What is an index page?
      6m 2s
  3. 46m 11s
    1. Setting up your workspace
      2m 38s
    2. The Welcome screen
      4m 10s
    3. Windows and Mac differences
      3m 17s
    4. The Insert bar
      4m 37s
    5. The Property Inspector
      1m 49s
    6. The Document toolbar
      6m 6s
    7. The Document window
      9m 10s
    8. Panels and panel groups
      6m 58s
    9. Saving workspace layouts
      2m 21s
    10. Defining a default browser
      5m 5s
  4. 24m 57s
    1. Defining a site
      9m 4s
    2. File and folder management
      3m 11s
    3. Understanding path structure
      3m 16s
    4. Adding content to a site
      6m 6s
    5. Creating a site map
      3m 20s
  5. 38m 37s
    1. Creating a new blank site
      6m 0s
    2. Creating and saving a new document
      7m 54s
    3. About DOCTYPE
      3m 59s
    4. Inserting images
      9m 26s
    5. Inserting text
      3m 34s
    6. Aligning text and images
      4m 8s
    7. Inserting meta tags
      3m 36s
  6. 45m 54s
    1. Link basics
      6m 4s
    2. Linking with Point to File
      5m 18s
    3. External links
      4m 15s
    4. Creating email links
      5m 48s
    5. Named anchors
      7m 36s
    6. Linking to a file
      7m 34s
    7. Image maps
      9m 19s
  7. 1h 7m
    1. About CSS
      4m 51s
    2. Anatomy of a style sheet
      4m 9s
    3. CSS and page properties
      10m 11s
    4. Moving an internal style sheet to an external style sheet
      6m 45s
    5. The CSS Styles panel
      3m 48s
    6. CSS selectors
      2m 37s
    7. Type selectors
      12m 13s
    8. ID selectors
      10m 21s
    9. Class selectors
      5m 41s
    10. Creating rollovers with pseudo-class selectors
      7m 21s
  8. 42m 51s
    1. CSS vs. the Font tag
      2m 42s
    2. Formatting text with the Property Inspector
      8m 41s
    3. What measurement should I use?
      3m 15s
    4. Managing white space with margins, padding, and line height
      8m 34s
    5. Using font lists
      5m 45s
    6. Aligning text
      2m 46s
    7. Creating lists
      5m 7s
    8. Creating Flash text
      6m 1s
  9. 43m 14s
    1. About tables
      1m 27s
    2. Tables in Code view
      2m 36s
    3. Creating and adding content to tables
      7m 40s
    4. Changing table borders with XHTML
      5m 45s
    5. Coloring tables with XHTML and CSS
      6m 40s
    6. Aligning table content
      6m 39s
    7. Sorting tables
      3m 5s
    8. Setting table widths
      4m 48s
    9. Creating rounded-corner tables
      4m 34s
  10. 28m 20s
    1. Dreamweaver's layout tools
      3m 8s
    2. Tracing images
      4m 57s
    3. Adding AP div tags
      7m 28s
    4. Working with Layout Tables
      6m 55s
    5. Adjusting table widths and nesting tables
      5m 52s
  11. 16m 19s
    1. What is a device?
      3m 14s
    2. Attaching a printer-friendly style sheet
      3m 5s
    3. Styling for print
      7m 41s
    4. Adobe Device Central
      2m 19s
  12. 29m 51s
    1. Rollover rules
      3m 30s
    2. Creating simple rollovers
      5m 36s
    3. Creating disjointed rollovers
      7m 12s
    4. Creating navigation bars with multiple states
      9m 20s
    5. Creating Flash buttons
      4m 13s
  13. 26m 30s
    1. Viewing the code
      6m 8s
    2. Editing in Code view
      2m 59s
    3. The Code toolbar
      5m 11s
    4. Working with Code Collapse
      4m 27s
    5. The Quick Tag Editor
      2m 20s
    6. Working with snippets
      5m 25s
  14. 32m 42s
    1. About forms
      3m 23s
    2. Adding text fields
      9m 51s
    3. Adding checkboxes and radio buttons
      5m 36s
    4. Adding lists and menus
      6m 4s
    5. Submitting form results
      3m 23s
    6. Styling form elements with CSS
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 16s
    1. Opening a new browser window
      9m 38s
    2. Creating a popup message
      2m 49s
    3. Validating text fields
      2m 42s
    4. Getting more behaviors
      7m 2s
    5. Removing extensions
      1m 5s
  16. 14m 57s
    1. External image editor preferences
      3m 18s
    2. Built-in image editing tools
      3m 10s
    3. Roundtrip editing from Dreamweaver to Fireworks or Photoshop
      4m 39s
    4. Copying and pasting
      3m 50s
  17. 34m 14s
    1. Templates in action
      5m 12s
    2. Creating a new template
      6m 36s
    3. Applying templates
      3m 36s
    4. Modifying a template
      1m 40s
    5. Adding repeating regions
      3m 27s
    6. Working with repeating regions
      3m 13s
    7. Adding optional regions
      3m 34s
    8. Creating a library item
      3m 47s
    9. Modifying a library item
      3m 9s
  18. 13m 1s
    1. Using the History panel
      4m 23s
    2. Saving History steps as commands
      3m 25s
    3. Using Find and Replace
      5m 13s
  19. 14m 40s
    1. W3C accessibility guidelines
      4m 6s
    2. Accessibility preferences
      1m 28s
    3. Inserting accessible images
      3m 1s
    4. Inserting accessible tables
      2m 52s
    5. Inserting accessible form objects
      3m 13s
  20. 26m 16s
    1. About media objects
      2m 6s
    2. Linking to audio and video files
      5m 56s
    3. Embedding audio and video files
      7m 7s
    4. Setting parameters
      4m 26s
    5. Inserting Flash content
      2m 37s
    6. Inserting Flash video
      4m 4s
  21. 28m 44s
    1. Getting site reports
      3m 34s
    2. Checking links sitewide
      3m 30s
    3. Signing up with Tripod
      6m 35s
    4. Entering remote info
      4m 13s
    5. Publishing your site
      5m 41s
    6. Updating and publishing pages
      5m 11s
  22. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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Watch the Online Video Course Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training
10h 22m Beginner Apr 16, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training, instructor Garrick Chow delves into the many powerful features of the latest version of this powerful web design application. He covers everything from the simplest basics of using Dreamweaver CS3 to applying it to develop a fully interactive, accessible site. Garrick explains the new interface features, and demonstrates how to create, edit, manage, design, and publish a professional website with Dreamweaver CS3 and complementary applications. Exercise files accompany the training.

Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
Garrick Chow

What measurement should I use?

As we set the size of text in the previous movie and in earlier movies, you might've noticed that {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} gives you lots of options in terms of units of measure for text. You can see we have pixels, points, in, cm, picas, and so on. But, if you're like most people, you'll probably use one or two of these measurements on a daily basis, but the rest of them, you probably never use at all. In this movie I want to give you a brief overview of these different units. The first four items that you see here are screen measurement units: pixels, ems, exs, and percentage. Meaning that they're only relevant when you're talking about the size of your text onscreen, which given the nature of the Web, is probably where most people are going to be viewing your site.

The remaining units at the bottom here: points, in, cm, mm, and picas are print measurement units. You'd only really use these if you intended to print out your web site so, you probably won't use these measurements too much. But, let's see what each of these mean anyway. First of all, pixels refer to the actual pixels of the device viewing the content. So, if a font size is set to12 pixels, its height would be 12 pixels on the device viewing the content. Pixel measurements are the most reliable between different operating systems, and devices because they sort of lack in the size. The em size is a relative measurement, which means it can change based on the context it's used in. One em is equal to the current size of the text. So, if you set a font to be 1.5 ems, it will be 1.5 times the default size, whether that default size is generated by another CSS rule, or by the browser's default.

The ex measurement is similar to the em, but its height is based on the height of a lowercase ex in the current font. And, I've never really had a use for this particular measurement. You can pretty much ignore it. The percentage measurements will render pretty much exactly same as em measurements. So, if you set a font size to be 150%, it's the same as rendering a 1.5 em, and so, it's going to be 150% of the default size again, whether it's generated by CSS rule, or the browser default. Point measurements are used for printing, and each point is equal to 1/72 of an inch, if you want to jot that down for some reason. You can also size print content by in, cm, and mm if you wanted to.

And you also have picas. A Pica is actually equal to 12 points. So, if you want to do the math feel free. Again, I really highly doubt you'll ever use points, in, cm, mm, or picas. So, which measurements should you use? Well, pixels are going to give you the most control over how your text will appear and I tend to prefer pixels myself. There's a growing movement to use ems, because instead of locking your visitors into a fixed text size with pixels, ems will change in relation to the base font size either set by you in the body tag, or CSS, or by their browsers default text size. So, ems allow users to have more control over the size at which the text on your page is displayed. But, pixels lock down the sizes more. In some browsers when you use pixels, you can't actually use the browser to make the text smaller, or larger at all. If that's concern to you, if you want people with maybe slight vision problems to be able to make your text bigger, you might want to consider using ems. If you want to be able to lock in the size more, you can use pixels.

It basically depends on who you want to have the control. But for consistencies sake, we're going to continued using pixels as our measurement unit for the rest of these exercises.

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