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Julio
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Hi,

This is my first post.
I'm completly new to Web Developing and CSS. And I need help.
I have visited lots of foruns and tutorials, but I can't find the answer to my problems.

I'm designing a new site with dreamweaver mx 2004 and using layers. You can see the site here:
http://electron.home.sapo.pt/mElectron.htm

The design may not the best, but I like it Smile. Still, I have 2 problems:

1st: How can I center the whole site on screen?
2nd: When you press a button on the horizontal menu, it will make a layer with the text and images become visible. On that layer I want to create links, but I don't want to link to another page. Instead, I want to turn the current layer invisible and make another layer visible. Is it possible? How can I do it?

Sorry for the long post and thank you for your time,
Júlio

roytheboy
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

Welcome to the forum Julio Smile

I don't think I can break this to you gently, but I'll have a go...

If you're going to design and build a website that meets modern standards of usability and accessibility, you need to ditch Dreamweaver and learn to code HTML and CSS properly (by hand). Your site looks wonderful as a piece of graphic art, but it is inaccessible for those without perfect vision (and also for those with perfect vision and hi-res monitors); it is far too large in terms of file size for those with slow connections; it breaks even in Firefox/Mac (left nav panel too low); it relies on Javascript for navigation (a big no-no); it is too wide for the vast number of people with 800 pixel wide monitors; it fails HTML validation; and it uses in-line absolute positioning for its structure.

You're going to hate me for this, but if you want to design and build commercial websites then you are going to have to learn your trade like everyone else. The skills that make a good website developer cannot be bought from a box! It takes years of hard study but you can learn the basics in months if you're keen.

If this is a private site and you don't care about any of the issues I have raised, then put the whole structure within a 'wrapper' div and give it margins of .wrapper { margin: 0 auto; } but don't ask me how to do that in Dreamweaver - ask on a Dreamweaver forum.

Not what you want to hear I'm sure, but you did ask!

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

Julio
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

Hi,

Well, it's not exactly what I was expecting, but I understand.
The site is commercial, but it is for my own company that I am creating and expecting to start in October Smile
Anyway, thank you for your replay.

I'm already studying CSS and trying to solve the particular aspects relating the site, but it seems too complicated Sad
But I won't give up! By the way, can you recommend a good book about CSS?

Thanks once again for your reply and help!
Julio

roytheboy
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

I have not read any books on CSS but I'm sure others on this forum have (...suggestions please folks Smile ).

What I can say is that by studying and trying to understand what DW is doing WRT CSS, you are going to tie yourself up in knots and cry with despair! It doesn't have to be that crazy, but DW has no idea what you want to achieve so it just guesses away and you end up with a complete mess. Forget DW's version of your site altogether and start from scratch with a basic CSS div structure. There are plenty of page layout examples to be found within this website alone. Then work your way up to the complex stuff but don't try to run before you can walk as it takes a while to walk!

A few other tips: Use text for your navigation links; work to a page width of 800px or give the site a fluid width; and forget all about absolute positioning until you know its pros and cons and when you need it and when you don't.

Feel free to agree, disagree, or add to my comments fellow forum regulars Smile

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

n8gz4ez
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

Julio,

I have probably 5 books on CSS, and they all sit on the shelf collecting dust. The best resources are online tutorials, viewing the source of websites, reference sites, and forums like this one, in my opinion. I used Dreamweaver at first, but I realized it's limitations very quickly. Roy is right, hand-coding is much more rewarding. Back to the books, I guess my favorite one is "The Zen of CSS Design." The accompanying website is here. I like this book mostly because it is beautiful, not too many computer type books I would lay out on my coffee table. Smile

Nate

This is my big chance . . . yep, I blew it . . .

Hugo
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

Be extremely careful here, if your new to coding html/css then start simply, do not assume that owning a copy of DW qualifies anyone as a coder/web developer/designer it doesn't every time you rely on DW to add code or do stuff for you you are in fact not learning a thing and moreover DW will lead you astray with phrases such as 'Layers' this does not exist as a defined term in CSS/HTML it is a proprietary term for a way that DW believes a layout should be constructed and is fairly meaningless outside of the DW interface.

I would hazard a guess that at the moment what your experiencing as difficult is getting to grips with the DW interface, it's way of doing things and is not really something we can help with.
What we can help with is in guiding you through hand coding layouts and avoiding bad layout mistakes such as position absolute and in helping develop your confidence in working this way, you will find many willing members who will help you along that path. By all means use DW for it's text editing capabilities, but no more than that.

You really need to spend a bit of time just reading as many tutorials as you can find around the web and to start to think in terms of working in a hand coding text editor style rather than relying on DW WYSIWYG and preview modes which will cause all sorts of problems.

I will not pretend that it's going to be easy there is a certain amount of work that must be put in with learning CSS/HTMl and it doesn't come overnight, I also understand that programmes like DW can seem attractive as they give the impression that one is creating stuff quickly but to a large extent this is an illusion and you will find that to truly use DW to it's fullest you need to have a good grasp of it's limitations and when to fall back on manually working; as with CSS, which really is best served by being hand written as it's just not possible for any programme to correctly generate CSS rules, they need to be tailored to fit each design and filters and hacks employed where needed which auto insert stuff can't foresee. As already demonstrated it looks as though DW is putting all the style declarations inline and positioning everything absolute, this is the worst way of doing things and is one reason good reason to dislike DW .

As for books anything by either Jeffrey Zeldman or Eric Meyer will serve you well as they seem to be the two best writers on the subject, but it's a tricky subject to write about due to it's slightly ephemeral nature, the basic properties and the syntax used is relatively simple, it's the choice and combination of those rules for each unique situation that is difficult to write about as solid fact.
Reading online guides is still the best way of picking up on current methods and thinking on a subject that is continually changing and evolving. Books will help but in combination with online resources.

Hugo.

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roytheboy
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

I would also like to add that if you learn and progress with CSS due to the help that you receive on this forum, please hang around and help other newbies in the future. Take and Give; don't just Take Smile

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

HellsBells
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

I've mostly learnt what little I know by reading article after article on the web at such places as Alistapart.com. From there you gather a selection of other sites that you'll consider "authorities" on CSS.

Recently I have bought a couple of books - Jeffrey Zeldman's Building with Web Standards and Dan Cederholm's Web Standards Solutions both of which are excellent.

I do think the best tactic though is to "mooch" around the web, learning as you go. There's not a day goes by that I don't learn something new (usually just after I've finished a site!).

My strategy is so simple an idiot could have devised it!

"Also, your CSS (no offence) makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon" - TPH

Julio
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CSS/HTML

Thank you all for your replays and help.
I will study more and more to learn CSS/HTML.
Lots of work but, no pain no gain, right?

About helping others, don't have to worry. I like to help as much as I like to be helped Smile

Thanks once again.
I will post news as soon I have my site reconfigured Smile

Julio

psypent81
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

I too am having the same problem.
So DW is a big no-no?
Dang, and I though WYSIWIG was good for site building...
So what do you guys use for a "universal" CSS and HTML editor?
Thanks

-Psypent

n8gz4ez
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This is my big chance . . . yep, I blew it . . .

gary.turner
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

Hola Júlio,

Bienvenidos a los foros. Lo siento, pero no sé Portugués. Sad

One important key is to learn to write well structured content and to mark it up with proper semantic and structural html tags with no regard to presentation. Once you have marked up content, start creating the major groupings of elements and styling their layout. Each group can then be further dealt with almost independently of the rest of the page. This may be one of the more difficult steps conceptually. If you get this part right, it all comes together.

If it doesn't come together for you, we'll be here to help you get back on track.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Hugo
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Rather an old thread Gary Smile

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gary.turner
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It's not old 'til I've thrown in my 2¢ American. Now it's old. But how'd I miss it the first time around.Sad

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Julio
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Arranging layers and linking layers with Dreamweaver

Hi you all,

And to kk5st, and don't speak spanish, although I can understand it... or most of it Smile

Thank you all for your kind coments and support.
I started reading/following some tutorials I found on the net.

I must confess I asked a friend of mine (who works with flash) to get my site done (a simple one) since I need it for yesterday. This way, I can concentrate my attention in to CSS Smile

Then, I will make a big update with a lighter version, yet more powerful... well, I hope so... Wink
So, I will probably ask you all a lot of questions...

Thank you all once again for your support,
Júlio