Chapter 2. Building Floating Page Layouts
In This Chapter
Creating a classic two-column page
Creating a page-design diagram
Using temporary borders
Creating fluid layouts and three-column layouts
Working with and centering fixed-width layouts
The floating layout technique provides a good alternative to tables, frames, and other layout tricks formerly used. You can build many elegant multi-column page layouts with ordinary XHTML and CSS styles.
Creating a Basic Two-Column Design
Many pages today use a two-column design with a header and footer. Such a page is quite easy to build with the techniques you read about in this chapter.
Designing the page
It's best to do your basic design work on paper, not on the computer. Here's my original sketch in Figure 2-1.
Draw the sketch first so you have some idea what you're aiming for. Your sketch should include the following information:
Overall page flow: How many columns do you want? Will it have a header and footer?
Section names: Each section needs a name, which will be used in both the XHTML and the CSS.
Width indicators: How wide will each column be? (Of course, these widths should add up to 100 percent or less.)
Fixed or percentage widths: Are the widths measured in percentages (of the browser size) or in a fixed measurement (pixels)? This has important implications. For this example, I'm using a dynamic width with percentage measurements.