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Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 9. Frames

The Web page elements known as frames are both alluring and confusing. They’re alluring because they can display multiple Web pages in a single browser window —one independent Web page per frame. Clicking a link may change the page in one frame, while leaving the contents of all the other frames untouched.

Frames offer an easy way to compartmentalize different elements within a single browser window. For instance, you can create separate pages for navigation, banners, and articles. Each can appear in its own frame, with its own scroll bars (see Figure 9-1).

At the same time, frames can be confusing to build, since they require a multitude of Web pages—including a special master page called a frameset—in order to work. People who create Web pages by typing pure HTML code into a text editor soon discover that building frames-based Web sites can be a frustrating exercise in file management. Dreamweaver, on the other hand, reduces much of this complexity by providing special Frames tools in the Insert bar’s Frames tab and letting you preview exactly how the finished frames will look and work.

The Frame Page

What your Web page visitor cares about is what’s in the frames: the text and graphics. But for you, the biggest challenge is creating the special Web page—the frameset page—that gives the frames their structure. The frameset page itself usually doesn’t contain text or graphics; it just describes the number, size, and placement of the frames.

This page tells a browser ...

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