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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS
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Using the exercise files


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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS

with Jen Kramer

Video: Using the exercise files

If you are a Premium member of the lynda.com Online Training Library or if you are watching this tutorial on a DVD-ROM, you have access to the Exercise Files used throughout this title. The Exercise Files are organized into chapters with individual folders for each video. In most of these folders, you will find a text file. The text file contains the CSS that I will be typing in over the course of that movie. It's not replacement CSS for the entire template, but additional CSS that you should add to the template that we will apply to in this case, the search module.

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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

Using the exercise files

If you are a Premium member of the lynda.com Online Training Library or if you are watching this tutorial on a DVD-ROM, you have access to the Exercise Files used throughout this title. The Exercise Files are organized into chapters with individual folders for each video. In most of these folders, you will find a text file. The text file contains the CSS that I will be typing in over the course of that movie. It's not replacement CSS for the entire template, but additional CSS that you should add to the template that we will apply to in this case, the search module.

In a few of these folders, you will find different types of files, but I will refer to those files in the movie itself and where they are located so that you can retrieve them to use them. Because this is a more advanced set of Joomla! instructions, we're not going to take the time to build out the whole website that we're going to use for putting together our templates. Plus, we also want to make sure that we start with all the same modules, the same content and the same menu structures. So we've written a little component for you that you can put on your Joomla! installation that will completely wipe out your entire Joomla! database and all of your images.

Let me just repeat that- it's going to wipe out your entire website and replace it with the exercise files that you are going to need for this tutorial. So we strongly recommend that you make a fresh Joomla! installation somewhere in your web hosting space or on your personal computer. Do a separate Joomla! install in a separate Joomla! database that's strictly devoted to lynda.com. You really cannot use this as part of any of your client's websites or any of your personal websites because again, all of your data will be wiped out.

We have a fresh Joomla! installation here. This is our standard Joomla! installation for Joomla! 1.5.7 and we have installed the Joomla! sample data just so you can see what the site looks like. As you already know, there is a back- end to the Joomla! website. In another tab here in Firefox, I am going to go to my localhost/ChocolateBliss1, in the administrator and I am going to login. Now I need to install my component from the Exercise Files.

So I am going to go to Extensions > Install/Uninstall. I am going to browse for my package file, which is located in my Exercise Files in the Introduction folder. Did I mention this is going to wipe out all of your files and all of your data when you install this component? If you are really sure, go ahead and upload the file and install. You should get an Install Component Success message. Now we need to run the component. If you haven't backed your site up yet, now it would be a really good time to do that.

Under Components, you'll find the item the Lynda.com Tutorial. Click this. By the way, did we mention that your current site is going to be completely reset? Everything is going to go away? Are you absolutely sure? If so, click here. Make sure you are really, really sure before you do this! If you are not sure about how to backup your site or how to set it up, make sure you go back and review the Joomla! Essentials Training Videos with Joseph LeBlanc. If you click this Yes button, your files and your data are all going to go away.

Make sure you are really, really sure. So our demo restore has been completed successfully. Now, if you go back to the front page of your website and hit Refresh, you will see all of the data that you need to successfully complete our Joomla! Advanced CSS videos. At any point in time, you can run this same component again and it will completely reset your website back to this point if you make big mistakes along the ways in the video tutorials. But again, remember that you are going to go all the way back to this point and none of your data will be saved. No backups will be made unless you've made them yourself in advance.

If your homepage looks like this, you've done everything right. Yes, it's horribly ugly. But isn't that the point of this video, to do all of the styling? So we have basic menus here, unordered lists for our main menu and you will see that our featured products are also another bulleted list. The login is a little bit too wide. We do have some styling in place, which we did in our previous video Joomla! Creating and Editing Custom Templates. Now that you have all of the files in place, let's get started making this web page look pretty.

If you are a monthly subscriber or annual subscriber to lynda.com, you don't have access to the Exercise Files, but you can follow along from scratch or with your own assets.

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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