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Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout

From: Typography for Web Designers

Video: Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout

In this lesson, we're going to work with the CSS and HTML to refine the relationship between our section headers and the resources content in the right-hand column. You'll need the files biblio_sans_ hspace.html and biblio_sans_hspace.css from the Exercise folder. Open the HTML file in the browser to see what we're working with. You can see that the h2s are in a separate column.

Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout

In this lesson, we're going to work with the CSS and HTML to refine the relationship between our section headers and the resources content in the right-hand column. You'll need the files biblio_sans_ hspace.html and biblio_sans_hspace.css from the Exercise folder. Open the HTML file in the browser to see what we're working with. You can see that the h2s are in a separate column.

That's good. But they're not right yet. First of all, some of the headers are running right into the resources text. Also because they're left-aligned, the space between the section headers and the content in the right-hand column varies from section to section. This one is tight, this one is a little looser, and this one is looser still. Using left-aligned headers in the left column is not always a problem, especially if there's a bit more space between the headings and the content.

Then the variations of horizontal space doesn't stand out as much. But we've got the horizontal spacing here on a tighter side and the text is a generous size. The variation in space stands out. I think I'd preferred them if they were right -aligned, so we've got two problems to fix. Change their alignment and make sure there is space between the two columns. Let's change the alignment first. In the CSS file, we go to our h2 and type in align:right.

We can save this and review it with a reload in our browser and I'm going to double-check and see what I did. align, oh, it might be textalign. It is, textalign. That's better. There we go! So now everything is right-aligned, which is great, but it's made our other problem even worse. Now if every single h2 is bumping right into that text in the right-hand column. So we're going to go and fix that next.

Back in the CSS, we have a couple of options here. One way we could approach this is by adding some left padding on the h3s and the p tags and then because we used those in the right column, if we added a left padding, it would add some space. But then this would also shorten the line length of the text and we've worked hard to find and create a good line length. So I don't want to do that. Instead what we're going to do is add padding to the right of the h2 tags.

So this will bump our h2 tags over a little and then it will give us the gutter that we're looking for. So again, we're under our h2 and we're going to add padding-right. And I tested this earlier. We're going to use 1.2em. Let's save it and review it in our browser. And there we go! So now we have the padding giving us that space. Always scroll down and check everything and all of them look good. There's one thing that I'm not crazy about here though.

I don't like how For the Love of Type breaks and how Type is all by itself on that last line. It looks a little lonely down there, and the heading, it doesn't feel as substantial as the rest of the headings. So what we're going to do is we're going to move another word down and we're going to do that with the br tag. So we need to go into our HTML document, we're going to scroll down and find that h2, For the Love of Type, and we're going to put in a br tag here, br /. There we go.

Save that and then we will review this in our browser. And that looks better. It's more substantial. It's more like the h2 above it. A word of warning. Not all web designers or web typographers would agree with me about using a br tag to control the line length of the heading or text. And in fact, I rarely use them. I only use them for an occasional word here or there and only after I've been very thoughtful about finding the perfect size and line length for my text.

I think they're fine to use once in a while when you've already tried to fix word placement with div width and with padding. In fact, this is the only br tag I'll use for this entire course and that feels about right, about usual for how much I actually use br tags. I only use them once in a great while. So now that we've got our h2s working, I'd like to move to h1 over and let me show why. I'd like to move it so that it lines up with our text. I think it'll really help our h2 stand out, so let's do that in our CSS.

So we're moving our h1 over, but we're going to control placement with the div that the h1 is in. Let's find that there. Here it is, h1_container. We're going to float this left and we're going to change our width to 45em. So now it's the same width as the resource_list_container that we're going to line it up with. We're also going to add a padding-left of 15em and that's the same measurement as the section_head_container.

And so that way it'll be bumped over just the same amount as the section_head_container and it will line up with the resource_list_container. Let's save this and review it in our browser. And excellent! It's all lined up. It looks great. We do have a couple of problems. The main heading is a little tight to the rest of the text, but we're going to take care of that later. First, I want to get our rule lines in and we're going to do that in the next lesson.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Typography for Web Designers
Typography for Web Designers

74 video lessons · 13543 viewers

Laura Franz
Author

 
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  1. 6m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
    3. Things to consider before starting this course
      3m 12s
  2. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding how good typography promotes reading
      2m 9s
    2. Understanding legibility
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding how fonts convey meaning
      5m 19s
    4. Choosing web-safe fonts to convey meaning
      6m 13s
    5. Using font size, case, style, letter spacing, weight, and color to convey meaning
      6m 22s
    6. Choosing web fonts to convey meaning
      6m 23s
    7. Downloading web fonts
      4m 9s
    8. Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
      5m 47s
  3. 38m 0s
    1. Choosing a web-safe font for use in text
      4m 13s
    2. Applying the web-safe font to the text and the heading
      3m 4s
    3. Setting a class for the resource titles in the text
      3m 45s
    4. Choosing a second web-safe font for the heading
      2m 42s
    5. Applying the second font to the heading
      2m 16s
    6. Choosing a web font from the Google Font API for use in text
      5m 44s
    7. Adding and applying the Google Font API syntax
      4m 29s
    8. Choosing a second web font from the Google Font API for the heading
      2m 56s
    9. Adding and applying the second font to the heading
      4m 52s
    10. Analyzing the fonts on some professional sites
      3m 59s
  4. 55m 31s
    1. Understanding how we read
      4m 34s
    2. Finding and applying a good font size and line height
      4m 50s
    3. Finding and applying a good line length
      8m 6s
    4. Understanding ems
      6m 17s
    5. Using ems to set font size
      6m 9s
    6. Using ems to set line length
      3m 40s
    7. Understanding how color affects readability
      3m 58s
    8. Improving a color palette by improving contrast
      5m 39s
    9. Improving a color palette by reducing optical vibration
      4m 59s
    10. Analyzing text readability on the professional sites
      7m 19s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding how we "chunk" visual elements
      3m 59s
    2. Developing a system of hierarchy
      2m 17s
    3. Applying hierarchy in HTML and CSS
      7m 16s
    4. Developing a system to help chunk text for readers
      6m 1s
    5. Applying the system in the CSS
      4m 19s
    6. Changing an element by creating and applying a class
      5m 0s
    7. Using multiple columns to create hierarchy
      4m 12s
    8. Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS
      10m 56s
    9. Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout
      6m 1s
    10. Adding rule lines to improve chunking
      5m 50s
    11. Adding emphasis within a heading
      4m 36s
    12. Analyzing the chunking on the professional sites
      11m 18s
  6. 17m 57s
    1. Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
      7m 3s
    2. Understanding how to create rhythm and tension
      6m 0s
    3. Applying typography skills when making design decisions
      4m 54s
  7. 55m 47s
    1. Designing typographic links for the traditional page
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a list of links to the traditional page
      8m 44s
    3. Describing the link states in CSS
      6m 30s
    4. Returning links to their original "unvisited" style
      2m 38s
    5. Using different CSS for different kinds of links
      7m 28s
    6. Using CSS notation to organize syntax
      5m 34s
    7. Choosing a background color or image
      4m 0s
    8. Applying a repeating background image
      2m 58s
    9. Shaping the traditional page layout
      6m 38s
    10. Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites
      5m 23s
  8. 43m 0s
    1. Designing typographic links for the modernist page
      6m 47s
    2. Making a list of links run across the page
      2m 14s
    3. Adding and removing space between the navigation links
      6m 50s
    4. Styling the inline links on the modernist page
      5m 33s
    5. Choosing a background color or image for the modernist bibliography
      4m 4s
    6. Applying a no-repeat background image
      4m 13s
    7. Shaping the modernist page layout
      6m 58s
    8. Analyzing the modernist typographic elements on the professional sites
      6m 21s
  9. 52m 53s
    1. Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes
      6m 59s
    2. Fixing dashes
      6m 33s
    3. Working with lining figures (numbers) and acronyms
      9m 28s
    4. Fixing characters that don't look right
      8m 19s
    5. Hanging punctuation
      2m 54s
    6. Applying typographic accents
      2m 36s
    7. Vertically centering text
      5m 18s
    8. Creating drop caps
      5m 59s
    9. Analyzing the typographic details on the professional sites
      4m 47s
  10. 3m 9s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 9s

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