Ryan Wood

Product Builder, Rubyist, Entrepreneur of sorts
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14 Jan 2006
Moving To A Css Layout

For the past 3 years or so, there has been a shift in the web design field away from table based layouts toward the nirvana of standards-based, xhtml compliant, CSS driven layout. It is often a frustrating topic for those that have used tables for layout (pretty much every designer/developer I know). So most, despite noble intentions, end up doing a hybrid design (tables & CSS) or simply abandon CSS layout all together using CSS solely for formatting.

Well, times are changing and this task is getting slightly easier. With the new browsers (e.g. Firefox 1.x – get it and use it!), there are far less cross browser issues though some still exist. Here are some resources that I hope you find helpful:

Also,) a side note on Firefox. It has a couple phenomenal extensions to help in this area:

  • The Web Developer Toolbar is invaluable. Just install it.
  • Aardvark lets you alter a web page on the fly, view partial source, delete elements for printing, and many more goodies.
  • IE Tab lets you open up IE within a tab in Firefox and see how the page will render without ever opening IE.

Hopefully you can start using CSS layout s in your app. The power is amazing. One thing that forced me to do this on a recent project was the print-friendly requirement. I wanted to hide both the header and menu areas when printing. With tables, I was stuck, but transitioning to a CSS based layout, it now works like a charm.

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