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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS
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Reviewing the CSS that Joomla! provides


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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS

with Jen Kramer

Video: Reviewing the CSS that Joomla! provides

Let's take a look at all of the different places that CSS resides within our Joomla! system. We are going to use our Firefox Web Developer toolbar to go to CSS > Edit CSS. And as I mentioned previously, this pulls up all of the external style sheets and the embedded styles that are associated with this particular web page. The first style sheet of interest is default.css. This style sheet is the one that we generated with the custom template that we have built on this particular website. To learn more, make sure you take a look at the Joomla! creating and editing custom templates on the lynda.com website.

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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS
2h 29m Intermediate Jan 09, 2009

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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS shows how those familiar with Joomla! and with hand-coded HTML and CSS can take the next step in creating a dynamic website with a unique look and feel. Jen Kramer McKibben goes deep into the functionality of this open-source content management system, exploring topics like putting more style into modules, editing CSS on the fly using the Firefox Web Developer toolbar, creating horizontal and vertical menu layouts, and including images in those menus. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Using the Firefox Web Developer toolbar
  • Styling Joomla! modules
  • Styling a multi-page article
  • Creating horizontal and vertical menus
  • Incorporating images in menus
  • Styling banner ads
Subjects:
Developer Web CMS Web Development
Software:
Joomla!
Author:
Jen Kramer

Reviewing the CSS that Joomla! provides

Let's take a look at all of the different places that CSS resides within our Joomla! system. We are going to use our Firefox Web Developer toolbar to go to CSS > Edit CSS. And as I mentioned previously, this pulls up all of the external style sheets and the embedded styles that are associated with this particular web page. The first style sheet of interest is default.css. This style sheet is the one that we generated with the custom template that we have built on this particular website. To learn more, make sure you take a look at the Joomla! creating and editing custom templates on the lynda.com website.

Now also notice that we have two other style sheets here, called system.css and general.css. These are style sheets that are associated with the Joomla! system itself and it provides a baseline level of styling for a number of items on the website. This helps with styling some of the WYZIWYG editors, editing web pages from the front end, Balloon pop- ups and other items within Joomla. Finally, if you install the extension such as FireBoard, a very popular discussion board that integrates easily in Joomla!, or XMap, a great site mapping tool, these also come with external style sheets that are associated with these particular extensions.

Some of these components and modules will come with their own style sheets while others will not. You will just have to check depending on which ones you install. In any case, you can generally override any of the styles that come from system.css, general.css or any of the other style sheets associated with Joomla! extensions via the style sheets that are attached to the template that's controlling the web page you are working on. In general, you will only need to edit one style sheet within Joomla!. That's default.css. The styles in default.css will override any settings that you may have in system.css or general.css or any style sheet associated with an extension, provided that you make your style declaration specific enough.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS.


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Q: I’m having trouble understanding the role of the Start Level/End Level function in developing a menu, as described in the  “Styling Menus Vertically” video.  What is the key to understanding this function?
A: The Start Level and End Level are the way a menu is segmented, to show all or part of that menu.

By default, the Start Level and End Level are set to 0. This means that the entire menu will show.

If you would like to have just the top level navigation show (perhaps for a top menu bar), but none of the secondary, tertiary, or deeper navigation, set Start Level to 0 and End Level to 1.

If you would like to have just the secondary navigation show (i.e. you're in the "about" portion of the site and you'd like to have the about secondary navigation show on the left side of the page), set the Start Level to 1 and the End Level to 2. If you'd like to show all of the navigation (secondary, tertiary, and any deeper navigation), set the Start Level to 1 and the End Level to 0 (i.e. infinite).

The only tricky part about setting the Start and End Levels is that zero means different things in different locations.

For the Start Level, zero means the very beginning of the navigation. Engineers start counting with zero, while we are normally taught to start counting with 1, so this may be the cause of some confusion.  This means that 1 actually corresponds to the second level, 2 to the third level, and so forth.

For the End Level, zero indicates "infinity", or however far out the navigation goes.
 
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