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  1. #1
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    Dear All,

    I'm having problems developing a web site with slices and I think I have a few misconceptions about the steps required to do this. I've been doing it the following way but seem to have trouble still. There must be a better way.........?

    My Current Design Process:
    1. Design front page in FWMX.
    2. Slice it up and export to DWMX. Any regions that need to be links (e.g 'click to read article') are exported as separate slices.
    3. I then make the front page into a DW template, leaving some editable regions.
    4. I then base the rest of the site on the DW template.

    Questions:
    1. Is there any easier way to integrate my content with my slicing graphics? Every time I need to change content in the template I reslice the site and then have to update the template.

    2. I want to design the other pages in FWMX and use this work in the the editable region of the template in DWMX. Should I be slicing this editable region content out of FWMX and into the editable region in the DWMX template, or should I work directly in the DWMX template?

    3. What is your design process? Am I way off?

    Thanks so much for any and all help.
    -Ranginald
    www.helpspa.com
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  3. #2
    Senior Member splufdaddy's Avatar
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    Content should not be typed into Fireworks. Fireworks is for making graphics. Content should be entered in Dreamweaver.

    In the areas that you want there to be content, make an area for the content in FW, and when you get into dreamweaver, delete that area and set the background of that cell to be the color of the graphic you just deleted. Then type your content in as planned. This will make the text more ledgible, search engine friendly, and it will be selectable by the user.

    Links should only be graphics if you are using a unique font. If you just want the link to be regular text, type that in in DW as well.

  4. #3
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    1. So if I want a "click to read this article" line in the layout in FW, I should just be thinking of it as 1) a mockup example and 2) as a placeholder for the actual content?

    2. When you say to make the region in FW and delete in DW, do you mean for me to export the slices, delete the region in DW, and write over it the same information (so that the FW is only a placeholder)?

    3. I've tried what you suggested above (to delete the placeholder and add text in DW) and then I find that my tables tend to bounce all over the place and I can't get anything lined up again.....how can I avoid that?

    4) And was the rest of my design process somewhat close to where it should be?

    Thanks again,
    R
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  5. #4
    Senior Member splufdaddy's Avatar
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    1. Yes, make some space for it in FW, but don't type it in there.
    2. Yes, you'll want to delete the slice in DW. If it's a solid color background you've deleted, you can just set the table cell to be that color. If you're using some type of pattern or gradient however, that can be trickier. You'll want to set the table cell's background to be the image you just deleted. You'll need to be careful of tiling and overlapping though.
    3. This happens because the table is being stretched, and the graphics aren't as long as some of the cells. Solutions for this vary based on the circumstances, but first of all, aligning each cell [minicode]valign="top"[/minicode] sometimes will fix this. Other times, if it's a navigation that is being stretched, you may want to make the navigation it's own table, and put that in a cell next to the content cell. This will prevent the nav from being stretched.
    4. Your design process is flawed because you're going about it in the wrong way: your making pages entirely of graphics. After you make the layout, you're mostly done with Fireworks, and the page gets edited and updated in Dreamweaver. The template system in Dreamweaver is pretty good, and you wont have to bounce back and forth from Dreamweaver to Fireworks to use it.
    Hope this helps.

  6. #5
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    Your advice so far has been very helpful! Thanks!

    So I if should really only be using fireworks "once" to make the layout, and then do all else in dreamweaver, do you use fw to create the other pages, or is the template idea the way to go?

    Thanks again!
    -R
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  7. #6
    Senior Member splufdaddy's Avatar
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    With minor exceptions, yes, you usually only use Fireworks once. Going back and making changes does happen, but they are changes in your graphical portion of your layout. Whether or not you're using Dreamweaver's actual template feature, you should still re-use the images from the main page for the rest of your pages (if your site's design includes one layout for all pages). Before I found DW's template feature, I just used the "Save As..." button. I typed my text out, saved it as index.html, then typed in new content and saved it as page1.html. By using the same images throughout your site, the site will be faster, because on page two, the images will load from the user's cache, resulting in a much faster load.

  8. #7
    Senior Member justlivyalife's Avatar
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    Search around WDF for other threads about design processes, but normally I use pen and paper to draw a mock-up by hand, before completely builing the website in my graphics software, which is then followed by slicing and editing and insertion of text. Then I add formatting, colour and whatever else is required. If I'm not happy at any stage of the design, I go back and start again.
    justlivyalife - The future depends on what we do in the present. (Mahatma Gandhi)
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  9. #8
    Junior Member WebGuy's Avatar
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    Here is a great tutorial on how to use FW and DW to create a site.

    Fireworks and Dreamweaver Tutorial

    And if you want to learn on how to use CSS, I found this e-book to be very helpful.

  10. #9
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    Generally speaking, then, should ALL the tables and subtables be set to valign=top?

    It seems that on this site I'm working on every time I make a change in the "main" window (there's a top and a left section) that the left colum slides and break up with different spacing.

    Is the valign generally the solution for this kind of problem?

    Should the whole sliced site be one table with lots of sub tables, or do most people make a few main tables with subtables.

    Thanks,
    R.
    www.helpspa.com
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