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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

More Magic

Of course, you might want to make some practical changes to the exercises in this project to incorporate your own style—or to expand your own skill set.

Table Manners

Although I recommend dynamic, or a combination of fixed and dynamic, pages for most of today's contemporary web designs, many people use fixed designs. This is especially true for designers who want tight control out of their graphical layouts.

Here are some tips for keeping fixed tables under control:

  • Set the table tag width to a pixel width that's appropriate for your audience—At the time of this writing, the most widespread resolution is 800 x 600, with a substantially growing number of individuals using higher resolutions.

  • Ensure that, in the table tag you set, the cell spacing and padding attributes to a 0 value —This helps avoid gapping between table-cell content.

  • Do your math—Each table cell must have a pixel width that matches its contents appropriately and adds up to the total width found in the table itself.

  • Put the closing </td> table cells on the same line as the table-cell contents—This helps avoid gapping.

  • Place fixed-width layout tables in the center of the page—This placement helps equalize any white space and avoid "left-heavy" pages.

Following these simple rules helps ensure that your tables are strongly built and attractively displayed to your site visitors.

Style Source

Searching for some style resources to help you learn to use style effectively? Try these:

These style resources are considered the most authoritative available. Get familiar with them—you'll be glad that you did.

Server-Side Magic

One important way to help in the ever-present need to keep markup clean is to shift some responsibilities to the server. You saw how this can be done using SSIs.

Languages, such as Java, Perl and PHP, and applications, such as ColdFusion, Active Server Pages, and .NET, can work to your benefit by removing certain activities from the client.

A prime example of this is an alternative print method to the CSS2 print method. By using any of these applications (Perl is an extremely popular choice), you can create scripts that enable print processing of pages without having to rely on the HTML layout or CSS markup.

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