Menus, clickable regions, image placement and opening new browser windows

The title about sums it up. I've been given the task of building a business website.

It's been a while since I did one and things look to have moved on since HTML.

A quick meeting revealed they want the following features on the website:

- Images arranged in a yet to be defined pattern.
- Menu bars at the top of these images with drop down menus
- Some images require clickable regions
- These clickable regions (and some other links) will open a new fixed size browser window containing some information and will be closed with a close button.

Luckily they don't require any interaction as yet so I can ignore forms for now.

I take it I need something more than trusty HTML to achieve all this. The company are willing to shell out for a few books so any ideas what I need?

They might even shell out for some software - is there anything out there that could do all this for me?

At the moment I have a slim Javascript book which doesn't look very comprehensive and Frontpage Express.

rd707
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rd707Asked:
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alleycat123Commented:
I have very little html knowledge, yet am able to make very nice websites easily... with flash buttons and great layout... using macromedia dreamweaver... I love this package, and i believe it is tons way better than frontpage... although both packages get taking used to, after completing basic tutorials and experimenting... i can create good pages...

Dreamweaver comes with ready made buttons... and by positioning layers and making tables automatically from them.. you can create good layouts.....

Go for Dreamweaver... its best out tthere great for beginners and advanced html people...
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alleycat123Commented:
Oh yeah... when i started out i bought two or three books...

Dreamweaver Bible.. Flash Bible... Look for a good book on these two software.. Once u get started making websites it can get a bit addictive... HONESTLY. Its like Art.. You have the whole world looking at the pages you created Going way off the original topic now and looking real corny :)

Just dont over do anything.. keep it simple keep the colours simple too...


A WARNING of what bad taste can do:
http://www.slackorama.net/cgi-bin/content.pl?juk

The most difficult part of web design is Graphics.. I find making a good logo.. or buttons difficult.. But eventually i come up with good stuff...

I doubt uyour company would shell out a lot of money for Adobe Photoshop... So go for Paintshop Pro.. It is very good and easy to use.

I have both...  Photoshop is extremely powerful and brilliant.. may be too much for beginners like myself :)


A lot of these programs are very expensive... even Dreamweaver.. But Dreamweaver i believe is essential if you want ease of use and great layout.

........and dont listen to anyone who says use pirated software....as u can get your company in big trouble. :)
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alleycat123Commented:
A quick meeting revealed they want the following features on the website:

- Images arranged in a yet to be defined pattern.
- Menu bars at the top of these images with drop down menus
- Some images require clickable regions
- These clickable regions (and some other links) will open a new fixed size browser window containing some information and will be closed with a close button.

THese things are done with a click of a button in a WYSIWYG program like Dreamweaver.. no probs.. Even drop down menus are created automatically in dreamweaver... all you do is go to and select from "behaviours"

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dearsinaCommented:
Put your money in Dreamweaver (http://www.macromedia.com/)as the others here have recommended, and get a freelance designer to make up a template, this way you get a nice professional look.
With Photoshop you might venture into it yourself, but it is so expensive and time consuming that you might as well outsource it.



sina
freelance designer (wow, you're in luck!)
view http://5127.co.uk/ for portfolio
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rd707Author Commented:
Sounds groovy. What does Dreamweaver actually output? I'm assuming it is a mix of HTML and some kind of script language.

I've already got the domain parked and the hosting all setup. Will I need to ask them if they're Dreamweaver compatible?

Does anybody know if the Dreamweaver (30-day) trial version is fully functional? I may need to knock up something for a business case (* I hear the sound of my first free weekend in about 3 months being flushed down the toilet ;-) *).

Sina - cool site. I'll mention your talents to the powers that be although I think we've already got some gaudy graphics earmarked - God help us.

rd707
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dearsinaCommented:
Dreamweaver is a very handy program that makes HTML files, first and foremost. It is very comprehensive, yet easy to use. My only suggestion — before my comment starts looking like a Macromedia press release — is that you download the trial, give it a go. If you like it, buy the full version, if you don't like it, you're out of luck, because this is as good as HTML editors get. :-)

You don't need to ask them if they are Dreamweaver compatiable, unless you wan't to crack a joke, if you get my drift.

Dreamweaver can also, and will, if you use some of the WYSIWYG functions, produce some JavaScript code, but you don't actually need to do anything with it, and everything is tucked nicely into the HTML files.

Good luck to you.

sina
london

(The only thing that is beyond me, is how you managed to get that job :-)
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webwomanCommented:
I'd do most of what they want in Fireworks. You can generate your HTML from that, with all the effects, and use it in Dreamweaver.

Don't forget a good HTML reference -- while DW/FW is good, you'll STILL need to tweak the code. Depending on what you need to do, you might need to tweak it a LOT.

A good javascript book wouldn't hurt either.

I would also second the recommendation to download the demos for DW/FW. Give them a try, THEN decide if it's what you want.

IMHO, don't use any of the fancy effects in DW until you're a bit more comfortable with what it's doing. FW doesn't generate quite as much trouble, because it's graphics based and really IS WYSIWYG. DW isn't. The DW design view is NOT what you're going to see in the browser. It's a huge help, but it's NOT exact. In some cases, it's not even CLOSE.

Just a warning...too many people think the WYSI(N)WYG web editors let you do anything with a click of a button. They don't. All those effects don't always quite work (or look) the way they do in the editor. If you do them with no idea of what's going on, you have no idea what's happening or how to fix it if it isn't what you expected.
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BHainesCommented:
You can actually do most of this with a basic image map (clickable regions for images) and javascript without having to shell out money for Dreamweaver. If you aren't proficient in HTML a good drag and drop HTML editor is helpful. If you are familiar with HTML then your issues can be solved as follows:

- Images arranged in a yet to be defined pattern.

If they are providing the images, the basic HTML tag is

<IMG SRC="path/filename.extension" height="##" width="##">

- Menu bars at the top of these images with drop down menus
There is a slew of DHTML drop down menus on the web. Check out some of them at:

http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex1/index.html

- Some images require clickable regions

Most "drag and drop" HTML editors will have an image map tool. There are also freeware imagemap programs such as:

http://www.a1b2c3.com/free/down/mapcreat.htm

- These clickable regions (and some other links) will open a new fixed size browser window containing some information and will be closed with a close button.

This is solved by placing this into the image map A HREF for each clickable area:


  <a href="http://blahblah.com/yadda.htm"  
  onClick="window.open('http://blahblah.com/yadda.htm',
  'myWin', 'toolbar=no, directories=no, location=no, status=no, menubar=no,
  resizable=no, scrollbars=no, width=500, height=400'); return false"
  MAP COORDINATES</a>

Accompanied by this in that htm page you want to pop up in that window to close it:

<FORM><INPUT TYPE="button" VALUE="Close Window" onClick="window.close(myWin)"></FORM>

Hope this helps.
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rd707Author Commented:
Thanks for all the help people - appreciate it.
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