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In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.
Styles in CSS are made up of two parts: the selector and the declaration. The selector comes first and describes the element on the page that is to be controlled through this rule. Here we see what is known as an element selector, and it will be controlling all heading 1s in our current document. Next, we have the declaration. The declaration is contained within these curly braces, which essentially tell the browser that all properties contained within should be applied to the element identified by the selector. Inside the declaration, we have properties, and values.
Notice that they are separated by a colon and then ended with a semicolon. This tells the browser to move on to the next property if there are any available. In this case, our rule will take all heading 1s on the page, make them Arial, 1.4 ems in size, and red. Now if you are brand-new to CSS, the syntax is going to look a little intimating, but by breaking down the syntax into its individual parts, it's easy to see how simple a CSS rule actually is. The nice thing about creating CSS within Dreamweaver is the various options that you have when generating styles.
If you were the type that really likes to hand-code, Dreamweaver gives you a lot of support, including code hinting for CSS that really speeds up the coding process. If, on the other hand, you don't like the hand-code, or you have never done it, Dreamweaver does a great job of creating the CSS for you, so that you don't really need to worry about the syntax. Just like any other automated process, it's a really good idea to know how to manually tweak your styles just in case you need to make minor adjustments here and there. So my advice is that even if you use Dreamweaver to generate your styles for you, be sure that you understand the rules and syntax of CSS, just in case you have to go under the hood and work on the code yourself.
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