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Layers and Positioning

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DHTML is a collection of techniques to control movement on a page in space and time. In this article, Shelly Brisbin explains the use of Floating Boxes in Adobe GoLive to assist web designers in layering and positioning elements.
This article is excerpted from Chapter 12 of Adobe GoLive 5 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide, by Shelly Brisbin.
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Absolute, predictable precision-never the strong suit of HTML-is nonetheless what designers crave from the Web.

Floating boxes-Adobe GoLive's mixture of JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and HTML-have several advantages over layout grids. (This combination of tools is often called Dynamic HTML, or DHTML, though the term is controversial among Web developers, and somewhat imprecise.) Floating boxes act like miniature HTML pages nested within a page. Floating boxes can contain any sort of object, including text, images, or multimedia, and can themselves be animated. Floating boxes can be stacked on top of each other in definable layers, opening up a whole new dimension for designers.

Unlike layout grids or tables, floating boxes can be positioned anywhere on the page.

How Layers Work

Dynamic HTML (DHTML) is a collection of techniques using JavaScript, layers, and Cascading Style Sheets to control movement on a page in space and time.

DHTML layers, are implemented as floating boxes in GoLive. They add two important capabilities to GoLive's toolbox-precise positioning relative to each other and stacking.

Layers, in the form of floating boxes, can effectively divide a page into sections, much like a table or layout grid. Layers can be positioned precisely-at least in theory-on the page, without regard to the location of other elements.

You can stack and overlap layers, either to achieve a layout goal, or to simulate movement on the page. With layers, a section of your page can have its own unique look. Attributes can be defined in a layer rather than for the entire page. Style sheets can be used to define layers, while the underlying page can be left to the default display preferences of the receiving browser.

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