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What's your favorite way to write css?
An editor? By hand?

 6:34 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

What is the best way to create Style Sheets?

using dreamweaver?
using Top Style?
or manually?

Please share your experiences.



 6:41 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Personally, I use DreamWeaver for everything, stylesheets included. However, as with many WYSIWYG editors, the code can be trimmed down (bloat, however, is not something I'm particularly worried about).

You'll find just about every "best way to..." opinion here. My suggestion is just use whatever is easiest for you to use, but learn enough of the syntax to make adjustments/changes as you see fit.


 6:44 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>My suggestion is just use whatever is easiest for you to use

Very good sugestion. I see writing CSS just as HTML. Sometimes DW can fall short, and you need to go manually.

I dont know about TopStyle.


 6:52 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your advise.

I find DW is a good tool to write CSS, but when editing classes and IDs that I already defined, I find that it causes problems.

(edited by: fashezee at 7:08 pm (utc) on Mar. 26, 2002)


 6:53 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Personally, I use DreamWeaver for everything, stylesheets included

Been there done that :)
Love it too.


 6:54 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Top style is great little editor for those of us html coders who prefer homesite to dreamweaver. We want to see the code but like the help. Top style is not as easy as dreamweaver. You need to know the language to produce it. Its definitly not as fast as dreamweaver, but it is easier to customize. It is more for control freaks who want some help. If you want amazing dhtml that is code intensive I suggest dreamweaver.

Macromediacs please don't blast me I like dreamweaver.


 6:59 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I generally use GoLive's built-in CSS generator to get the "framework" of my style sheet written out, and then apply the random little tweaks by hand while flipping between BBEdit and my browser window.


 7:08 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Macromediacs please don't blast me I like dreamweaver

LOL...Macromediacs - I like it.

korkus (if you don't mind the more familiar useage of your nick)..you needn't worry about being "blast"[ed] here. This board doesn't necessarily flame people for their opinions...disagree, yes, but not flame.

TopStyle is good...I downloaded the demo but it just turned out to be more than I really wanted to learn. The aspect I DID like was being able to see the sheet laid out before you. with Dreamweaver, you open stylesheets in the Text -> CSS Styles window of your site and don't get the actual sheet in front of you. I tend to build my sheets in DW and then open them in a text editor to do any tweaks.

click watcher

 7:17 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

i use topstyle and hand edit afterwards...

because i've caught a bad case of compression fever from reading WebmasterWorld

you may want to take a look at

this thread [webmasterworld.com]

and this [webmasterworld.com]

also there is a top style extension that integrates it into dreamweaver, a free download from the macromedia site.


 7:21 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

It depends on how in-depth you want to get with CSS.

I exclusively use Homesite/TopStyle, but that means you have to hand-code everything (something I think everyone should know how to do). On the plus side, you get a lot more control, and it visually lays out your changes in a preview section.

You can d/l the demo and use it indefinitely - it is the same as the paid version, except you have a promo splash screen on enter, exit, and about every 5th or 7th save.

I haven't really tried Dreamweaver, so I don't have an opinion on it's CSS merits...


 7:22 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tend to build my sheets in DW and then open them in a text editor to do any tweaks.

I agree. For that text editor I use top style. I use homesite the same way. I usually use DW for initial layout and design. Then I take it to homesite and top style.

Dreamweaver to me is a high level web page designer. Then I need something else to tweek the code.


 7:25 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

text with the W3C specs on the side. Topstyle was a help in learning some tricks though.


 8:51 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Personally I think it depends what kind of site I am designing. If it just a quick page or section with solely html and a bit of css then I might use DW for its tables and quick code generating. However for sites where I am using Javascript/DHTML ect I will write the whole code in Notepad. Its just easier for me to understand the placement of elements in the document.
One other exception where I sometimes use DW is when I am writing ASP because it highlights the code. This is where having UltraDev really helps. :)


 11:01 pm on Mar 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I write all of my code using Homesite 5.0 - I do have Top Style Pro 2.5 but I only use it to manage my external style sheets; it is handy to cut and paste blocks of styles between .css files. Since I manage a number of sites, I will often find a better, more condensed way to declare a group of styles or handle a particular element, so I will apply what I have learned to previously written style sheets.

I write ALL of my CSS by hand, in fact, even when using Top Style, I write the large majority of the styles rather than selecting from the drop down menus. I find there is better "sticking power" this way... and I develop a greater appreciation and understanding of CSS as well.

With Homesite, I will often write my styles directly into the head content for quick editing. I can see the results almost instantly so this is a great work aid for me; it speeds up the development cycle.

Also, if I am working with positioned elements, divs with assigned id's for instance, I can monitor the effect of any additional .class declarations that may be applied to elements contained within the positioned divs.

After I have finished the layout and made any final adjustments to the styles, I will add the .class declarations to an external stylesheet. At times I will add the #id declarations as well - but if they are primarily for positioned elements used only on this partcular page, I will leave those embedded in the document, rather than adding "single-page-only" styles to an external stylesheet, thereby saving unecessary caching. If however, the positioned #id declarations are part of a "template layout" then I will add them to an external stylesheet. Here again cut and paste works nicely, and Topstyle IS a nice tool for managing a large group of style sheets.

One point I want to stress is this: much of CSS is about RELATIONSHIPS; how elements and styles relate to each other within a document. I cannot stress this enough. Understanding these relationships is key to learning and appreciating the power of CSS.

External editors often become a hindrance when they mask the obvious importance of this issue through separation, i.e. write over here, edit over there and then view the result. Writing directly to the document allows quick observation of applied styles. It is quicker, as well as being a great "debugging" method. I catch any style errors within the parent document.

CSS - a study of relationships using applied styles.

If you are not quite sure what I mean, then think about the CSS box model (margins, padding & borders) or consider position:relative and float. How about the top and bottom margins of headings and lists? Yep, as I said:it's all about relationships!

Whew! That said on done, the abbreviated answer is: manually! ;)


 12:14 am on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I write my css by hand in notepad. When I come up with something useful, I paste it into a page in DW test on multi browsers and then add it to my "Snippets" pallette. From there I can choose from a growing list of styles and build my css by adding one by one into any page any time building the final css before converting to external css file


 2:10 pm on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Personally I like CSS but it isn't as second nature as HTML for me yet. So I prefer to put in a rough draft of a page in HTML and then let my editor suggest CSS. I then go in and tweak my HTML and CSS by hand. I guess it is just plain faster that way for me.


 2:49 pm on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I find it easier by hand in a text editor then copy/paste,


 3:40 pm on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use Top Style Pro. It's fast, easy and I can make sure they validate.


 4:13 pm on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

depends on CSS.

Size + Liquid - Notepad

Small Sites and Speed - Dreamweaver

Large Sites - Topstyle Pro 2

When being lazy I pass it to one of the programmers ;)



 6:50 pm on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm really just starting to write CSS much. I've been using Top Style Lite together with Dreamweaver. It seems to be a nice combination for learning.


 5:52 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just came across a software program called "style sheet generator"
does anyone have any experience of this program?


 6:01 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Real Webmasters code by hand

I know there are a couple of exceptions here at WebmasterWorld but I've yet to talk to anyone who uses editors who even comes close to the kind of understanding and skill you develope by coding by hand.

Go ahead, fry me ;)



 6:08 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I know you are Right
And a full understanding can only acheived by doing it by hand.

However is it not easier to cut a tree down using a chainsaw rather than an axe. and then clean up using an axe.


 6:11 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

No, bad analogy.

Depends how you go about your work but it's well off topic so...



 6:15 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Since my last post, I've made a concerted effort to switch over to using BBEdit for most everything (except complex tables, which I still use for some things)... and I've found BBedit's CSS generating functions are lovely. It's cut down on my hand-coding time a great deal when setting up the initial style sheet...

...but when I get to that point of changing things one property at a time and testing and retesting in three browsers after every change, trying like h*ll to get everything to act acceptable in NN4, nothing beats keeping the CSS file open and changing things by hand as I go.


 7:16 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm all for coding by hand, but how do you people stand Notepad for anything? No syntax highlighting, no decent word wrap, no context-sensitive spell check, no quick navigational key combos for getting around big documents, and last I checked, a maximum file size it could open. I need Emacs. I'd probably even settle for (gasp, horror) learning vi if I could get a vi port for Windows and not an Emacs port, since I know it can do the same things.

Hats off to anyone with the fortitude to do anything important in Notepad!



 8:59 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks, entire web site (ecommerce) written using Notepad :)

I believe coding by hand/manually is the best. You can avoid all tags that can cause problems, and with Notepad you soon learn the ALT+F,S, ALT+Tab, F5 trick that saves the file, takes you to IE and refreshes to the latest version. Or maybe Netscape 4, for everyone that wants they work to function on any browser!

Better than Notepad though (a recent find), is CSE HTML Validator, available at htmlvalidator.com. I don't use it for anything other than the syntax highlightin and you can check syntax with a press of the F6 key.


 9:05 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Vim is my tool of choice everytime, though I never use syntax highlighting...

Like most things *nix, a little steep on the learning curve but, mind-bendingly fantastic cnce you get the basics sorted...



 9:16 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

So it seems no short cut, I shall have to put the time in and learn how to code by hand.


 9:27 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

;) Good for you! ;)

The funny thing is that coding by hand is outstandingly easy. We assume that because software is doing it for us then it must be both:

  • Time consuming to code by hand, and
  • very difficult

Not so! HTML/XHTML -> CSS is very easy...


This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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