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Layers AND tables

or am I missing something?

     
1:18 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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OK

I have seen a lot of posts going on about how good layers are compared to tables.

I have used layers but fail to see how you can acheive the look I get with tables.

Am I missing something?

Layers are fine for positioning stuff but what if you want a rounded table or a nice box with boders that looks the same in NN and IE. Nearly all the layers i gave done always end up containing tables.

8:01 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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knighty, you're not missing anything. There are definitely jobs that tables do which are very hard to achieve in any other way -- especially when you need to accomodate so many browser variations.

Nevertheless, css positioning will render a whole lot faster and is much more spider friendly. So the change-over is a good idea, where it works.

We'll still be in the borderlands using tables for some layout jobs for a while. CSS2 even makes some concessions to that fact, addressing tables where CSS1 did not.

8:29 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hey knighty don't forget you can convert tables to layers in DW.

Likewise you can also put table structure inside of layers===with the text still being positioned at the top of the heap right under the body tag.

8:46 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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What I'm doing with the redesign I'm working on right now is breaking the page structure up into three separate tables (header, footer and body), then using CSS divs (layers) to position the tables on the page...

In the HTML, the body table comes first, with the primary content of the page, then the header and footer are called by SSI at the end of the HTML, and positioned at the top and bottom of the page via CSS/layers.

I'm finding that tables and CSS positioning work *very* well together.

9:07 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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In the HTML, the body table comes first, with the primary content of the page, then the header and footer are called by SSI at the end of the HTML, and positioned at the top and bottom of the page via CSS/layers

The only problem with the middle floating is the possibility of the body text spilling out of bounds and flowing over the footer *if*

  • Someone is using WebTV
  • They have the default settings altered on their browser that will somehow overide the css sheet.

    I have struggled with this again and again and concluded that the footer must be attached to the bottom of the body table so that both can "float" proportionately together.

    By using tables inside layers you allow for this movement *both ways* up and down. Netscape and Konquerer tend to be smaller in text rendering. No matter what the height:xxxpx tag is set to in the css sheet the table inside the layer will stretch to accomodate the increase in text size.

  • 9:21 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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    the footer must be attached to the bottom of the body

    Actually, the footer table is called by SSI into the end of the body table's <div>... So they're separate tables, enclosed in the same 'layer'. The order of appearance in the HTML is: 1.body 2.footer 3.header

    I'm also using CSS for most of my text formatting, which is a hassle with Netscape, but finally seems to be working out its kinks well enough to look good cross-browser.

    The CSS declarations which position the content tables are embedded into the <head> of each document, and the text declarations are in an external style sheet.

    I'm pretty excited... it's looking good in all the browser/platform combos I've checked it on. The HTML puts all the text 'meat' right at the top of the page for the SE spiders (instead of burying it under the nested, intricate header tables), and declaring text sizes in pixels via CSS has virtually elminated cross-platform text size problems. (Except for those who override it... and anyone who knows enough about their browser settings to override my CSS should understand that they're asking for ugly trouble. Ditto for those who use browsers too old to understand it.)

    9:27 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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    I'm also using CSS for most of my text formatting, which is a hassle with Netscape, but finally seems to be working out its kinks well enough to look good cross-browser.

    What I've found to work is <td> class for text formating cross browser. Netscape has a problem with it in the <table> tag for some reason.

    The CSS declarations which position the content tables are embedded into the <head> of each document, and the text declarations are in an external style sheet

    Think about that for a second. If I was a hungry spider how would you know I wasn't eating css for lunch. It probably all needs to be external just to be safe.

    and declaring text sizes in pixels via CSS has virtually elminated cross-platform text size problems.
    Care to share the format you're using? I would love to make them all look the same way. ;)

    9:51 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

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    is <td> class for text formating cross browser

    Specifying by tag/class is beyond my level... I just use <div>s for everything! ;) Not too much finesse, but it seems to work.

    I just use the regular HTML tags to build the page, and use <div> tags specifying text formatting in place of <font> tags... ie:

    <div id="headline">Big bold italic headline text</div>

    Then I have the text declaration in the external CSS sheet:
    #headline { font-style: italic; font-size: 25px; font-family: Times, "Times New Roman", serif }

    I've tested the pages in IE 5/Mac, NN 4.72/Mac, IE 5.5/Win, NN 4.08/Win, and Opera 5.02/Win... looks good in all of those browsers, and the *vast* majority of our visitors are either using IE 5.X or NN 4.X, so we should be covered.

     

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