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Author Tom Geller demonstrates how to create and publish a complete web site with the powerful tools in Acquia's hosted service, Drupal Gardens. The course shows how to leverage the pre-built page layouts and add custom styling using the ThemeBuilder tool; integrate rich site features, such as surveys, user ratings, and media galleries; and push content to Twitter and Facebook. The course also covers transitioning from a Drupal Gardens site to a self-hosted Drupal site. Exercise files are included with the course.
Modern CSS handles just about every aspect of page display, but early versions focused more on typography than on such matters as positioning. If you know how to handle type on a print layout program, such as InDesign or even on a word processor such as Microsoft Word, then you will be right at home with Drupal Gardens' controls. As usual, the hard part is making sure that you have the right CSS selectors before you start making changes. The only thing I am going to do on this page is to make these menu items look a little bit more classical, maybe give them a serif font, maybe put them in caps.
But along the way, I will show you some of the other controls that you have for typography in Drupal Gardens. As usual, you bring up the Theme Builder by clicking Appearance, and then click Styles. We want to change the typography, so we will just leave it on Font. Then we go and find what exactly we want to change. Let's change these main menu items, as I said. Click there and then click Font, and you will notice that you actually have a large selection of fonts to choose from. I am going to take Georgia. I like its classic look. Once you have something selected, you will notice all of these things that you can change: underline obviously, italics, bold, any combination of those if you like.
You also can change the alignment. Now it's not always obvious when you change alignment, because it changes it within its own little bounding box. Like if I make this align right, it doesn't actually change anything. You might think it would go all the way over here, but the individual bounding box is right here. It's not the entire bar. So I will change that right back to the way it was. And as I described, you can change it so it's all caps. One thing to watch out for: when you change something to all caps, it does make it larger over all. So sometimes it's a good idea to bring down the font size just a little bit.
And I will publish that. Now, I didn't mention these two controls here which control leading and kerning. I will show how that works by going down to some body text here. Let's just actually select the main body text right here. And if I look at the selector, it's all field items that are in between p tags in the main area. Okay, so that would be anything that is right in the middle here. We are going to change it back, so it doesn't really matter. If we go and change the leading, you see that it actually changes the amount of vertical space between the lines that are within a paragraph.
The kerning changes horizontal space between the letters. Generally speaking, you want to be very subtle with this, because as you can tell, it gets really ugly really fast. One thing that people sometimes do is they will do a very subtle kerning inward if they want to fit more text onto the page. But for us we are not going to do either of those things, so I am just going to leave the Theme Builder, discard my changes, and we are back as we were. Once again, I will go back in just to show one or two other things.
I clicked Appearance to go into the Theme Builder, then Styles, and I am back at Font. Let's scroll down here and take a look in our right column. Let's say that we wanted to change just these titles in the left column. I will click there, and we see it's h2 in #sidebar-a. Now, we could say we want h2 that's only in a block in #sidebar-a by clicking there. Or we can make Drupal Gardens change all of the h2s throughout the page by removing the #sidebar-a. We learned about this in the video about selecting CSS, but just to review, let's take a look at what exactly that does.
Well, that would affect this, and it would affect this, basically throughout the entire page. This is a good way to give your page a very consistent look. Like let's change that to Georgia now. Because we expanded what exactly we are selecting, we now have that Georgia look throughout the entire page. And I think it looks pretty good, but actually I am just going to close out and leave as it was with our main menu changed and nothing else. Now, I want to mention two more things to watch out for when you change font styles: First, if you're using the background graphic, and you make the type larger, text might end up running past the end of the background graphic, and that could look really bad.
Second, be careful when you change font color, because it might disappear into a similarly colored background shade. That's especially tough to watch for when you change the style that shows up on multiple places on the page. As always, vigilance is the watchword, and it's a good idea to look at your site both as a visitor and in multiple browsers.
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