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Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Refining selections in the Theme Builder


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Drupal Gardens Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Refining selections in the Theme Builder

In the video about introducing CSS, we peeked at the style sheets that make up a typical Drupal theme, and you saw how mind-bogglingly complicated they can be. The biggest problem is in determining which styles affect a given element on your page; even with developer tools like Firebug, it ain't easy. The Theme Builder in Drupal Gardens goes a long way to making CSS more accessible, including the ability to select individual styles; but it's still a little tricky. This video leads you around some of the traps.
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  1. 29m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Previewing the finished project
      1m 29s
    3. What's new in the late 2011 update?
      5m 28s
    4. What is Drupal?
      5m 8s
    5. What is Drupal Gardens?
      5m 57s
    6. Getting started with Drupal Gardens
      5m 35s
    7. Getting help
      4m 1s
    8. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 17m 40s
    1. Using the administrative overlay
      2m 54s
    2. Using the dashboard, toolbar, and shortcut bar
      5m 36s
    3. Touring the newly created site
      3m 55s
    4. Configuring the site
      5m 15s
  3. 59m 47s
    1. Creating and managing content
      11m 11s
    2. Creating and managing content types
      10m 35s
    3. Embedding YouTube videos and other media
      4m 5s
    4. Subscribing to RSS feeds
      4m 49s
    5. Categorizing RSS feeds
      5m 1s
    6. Managing tags and taxonomies
      5m 50s
    7. Creating dynamic pages with simple views
      4m 29s
    8. Creating complex information collections with Views
      8m 59s
    9. Creating image galleries
      4m 48s
  4. 37m 50s
    1. Working with blocks
      10m 26s
    2. Setting up rotating banners
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding menus
      7m 27s
    4. Setting up contact forms
      7m 7s
    5. Adding and removing functionality
      5m 5s
  5. 54m 54s
    1. Managing users
      6m 28s
    2. Adjusting user permissions
      6m 35s
    3. Managing comments
      7m 7s
    4. Slowing spam
      5m 20s
    5. Starting discussion forums
      9m 3s
    6. Creating blogs
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up mailing lists
      4m 50s
    8. Allowing users to rate content
      4m 21s
    9. Using best practices for online clubs
      6m 29s
  6. 44m 35s
    1. Getting feedback with webforms
      6m 14s
    2. Publishing RSS feeds
      6m 40s
    3. Taking advantage of social media
      9m 33s
    4. Emphasizing external links
      2m 44s
    5. Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
      7m 30s
    6. Internationalizing sites
      8m 6s
    7. Tracking site usage with Google Analytics
      3m 48s
  7. 34m 40s
    1. Understanding Drupal themes
      5m 44s
    2. Understanding the Theme Builder
      5m 25s
    3. Switching, saving, and copying themes
      7m 13s
    4. Introducing custom CSS
      6m 51s
    5. Refining selections in the Theme Builder
      5m 48s
    6. Exporting themes
      3m 39s
  8. 48m 31s
    1. Changing the site's color palette
      2m 32s
    2. Changing the site's main logo and favicon
      5m 22s
    3. Changing the column number and arrangement
      5m 7s
    4. Adding background colors and images
      6m 29s
    5. Changing element spacing and borders
      6m 11s
    6. Adjusting typography
      4m 24s
    7. Using fonts from outside sources
      5m 7s
    8. Inserting raw CSS code into themes
      6m 57s
    9. Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
      6m 22s
  9. 14m 18s
    1. Finessing theme design
      7m 51s
    2. Eight ideas for modifying themes
      6m 27s
  10. 23m 38s
    1. Monitoring sites
      4m 11s
    2. Duplicating and deleting sites
      4m 23s
    3. Adding custom domains
      3m 48s
    4. Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
      3m 46s
    5. Hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites
      7m 30s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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Drupal Gardens Essential Training
6h 6m Appropriate for all Jan 05, 2011 Updated Nov 10, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating and managing content and content types
  • Embedding videos and other media
  • Publishing and subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Setting up blocks, banners, menus, and forms
  • Allowing users to rate content
  • Managing comments and spam
  • Tracking site usage
  • Collecting feedback with web forms
  • Duplicating and deleting sites
  • Adding custom domains
  • Changing the site's main logo and favicon
  • Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
Drupal Gardens
Author:
Tom Geller

Refining selections in the Theme Builder

In the video about introducing CSS, we peeked at the style sheets that make up a typical Drupal theme, and you saw how mind-bogglingly complicated they can be. The biggest problem is in determining which styles affect a given element on your page; even with developer tools like Firebug, it ain't easy. The Theme Builder in Drupal Gardens goes a long way to making CSS more accessible, including the ability to select individual styles; but it's still a little tricky. This video leads you around some of the traps.

First of course, we go up to Appearance to bring up the Theme Builder. Just as a reminder, this little tab up here shows that we are working with the exp_cal_02 theme. That's one of the themes we created earlier. I am going to save it as a different name once again, as a good sort of way to make sure that we can roll back if anything goes wrong; ex_cal_03 and save it. I will also publish that theme so we can keep track of it as we go.

In the Theme Builder, CSS is mostly affected through the Styles tab. As we go around the page and click on things, we see this message here, "You are styling," and then it describes what it is: "All links in all list items in the navigation region." This is actually an English language translation of what the CSS actually is. Over here, you can turn it on so you see the real CSS. So I'll switch it from off to on, and watch what happens with this, "You are styling" message.

See, it was all links in all list areas in the navigation region. If we turn it off again, you can see. I'm going to keep it on the CSS Styling, so that we can start to learn CSS as we go. By the way, this is a great way to learn and understand CSS. It's a good way to even test yourself. You can point at something and say, okay, with the CSS off, it's all links in all list items. Okay, if I would have put that in CSS, it's going to be something like #preheader-second li a, and then if I turn it off, that's exactly what it is. Very good.

The other switch here is this Power theming switch. Watch what happens with this You are styling area as I turn it on. There are two changes. First of all, there's a hierarchy indicator. It shows exactly what is being styled, even if there aren't any styles that are affecting it from that thing. For example, the bit up here which is what we're styling: We know that it's a link. We know it's in list. It's also part of this ul container, which is again in a block. This is a block up here. It's part of the body, which is the entire page, and so on.

The other thing that's different when you turn on the Power theming is these little pop-down menu show up. Let's do that next to the a here. We can now select to change the theme, not only for the link as it shows right now, but what happens when you hover over it or when it's already been visited. These are those pseudo-classes I mentioned in that earlier video about introducing CSS. There is something that you will notice as you point at elements on the screen; they will often have these little arrows which will be either above, below, or to the two sides.

As you hover over them, it tells you exactly what it is you're going to go to by clicking on that arrow. In this case, it says, Select the parent element. Let's click it and see what happens. See, it went from li to ul. If we were to click it again, it then goes to the larger area of header. Similarly, we have these siblings to the right and sometimes to the left. These words--parent, sibling, and child-- are somewhat complicated, but they're all related to the way that web pages are structured, and that's according to something called the Document Object model, or DOM.

Two lynda.com courses that explain it well are "XML Essential Training" and "Real-World XML." If you search the lynda.com site for XML of course, you may find others. I would like to go back and start selecting individual elements here, like let's click this Mission element here. Now as you go down here, you can actually turn on or turn off other styling selectors, like ul or navigation. Let's say that we want to do the entire navigation bar instead of just this navigation region, and we want it to be everything inside it, not just these links.

Well, we could turn those off by clicking like that. As we do that, you see that the selector, this little blue line around it, expands to show exactly what's being styled. Or if we were to say that we want all link items by clicking the a here and turning off navigation, you see that it actually selects every link on the page, no matter how it's styled. Even though this one looks different from this one, they're both styled with the a. So you can see that the Theme Builder really helps you understand CSS more than pretty much anything I have seen.

Now while you're doing this and you start styling things, try not to get too discouraged. CSS selection was one of the hardest things for me, personally, to understand when I first started using Drupal Gardens. Even after playing with it for a while, I still get stumped from time to time, particularly because some styles are located on top of each other so you can't easily click the one that's on the bottom. One good example of that is these links up here. In the menu you have the text, but then you also have the boundary box that contains the text, and it goes on like that.

It can be kind of confusing. Once when this happened to me, I got a lot of great help from the Drupal Gardens staff by posting a question in their community forum. You can learn how to do that in the video about getting help. One reason they were able to help me is that all of their themes are standardized, including the CSS style names. That also means when you learn how to style one Drupal Gardens theme, you are actually learning how to style all of them.

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