When Written: Aug 2007
It is the design of the style sheets for a web site that singularly takes the most time. Get these right and all the content seems to just flow into your web site, get it wrong and you will be trying to patch things for months afterwards. Getting a style sheet to work correctly in all browsers can sometimes be tricky, such considerations as whether the web page should scale with the browser window or be a fixed size, and how will your design handle the user’s browser being set to a larger or smaller size to the default need to be taken into account. These are just a couple of the questions you need to ask yourself and try to resolve when at this stage of the design, so any help in this department is always welcome. When I heard of a Dreamweaver extension by WebAssist ( www.webassist.com ) for creating and editing CSS files which has Eric Meyer’s name on it, it sparked my interest, Eric Meyer is a well respected CSS expert, so to have a tool that would produce CSS sheets that he was happy with must be a good starting point for any design. The interface is a little ‘clunky’ when it applies a change in styles but its preview seems to be accurate. I would have preferred the ability to resize the dialog box so that I could more easily see the effect of my changes without having to preview in a browser window, but that is a very small criticism. The style sheets that it produces are neat and easy to understand with optional comments. What I particularly liked was that it prompts you to style all the standard sort of things like the <H1,2,3 etc tags as well as the link styles and a particularly nice touch is that it will automatically produce a style sheet for when the web page is printed out, so you can decide what areas are printed and which are not. The extension is called ‘CSS Sculptor’ (http://www.webassist.com/professional/products/productdetails.asp?PID=135&RID=930 )and at £75.74 and represents very good value in the time it saves.
CSS Sculptor – Its almost as good as having Eric Meyer sitting in your office
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton