A beginner to Dreamweaver, help with nav bars, etc.

I have Dreamweaver MX 2004 and am working on www.aplusprodivers.com.  There are several things I want to do with the page and I was hoping to get some pointers on how to get started.  I am under a time crunch so I don't have hours to search help and solutions  Ok:

1) I want to add vertical navigation bars to point to pages i have already created (I think) to left side of the top of the page, i.e. .  I think when i inserted a nav bar it put it on top of the logo box at the top and not to the left of it

2) I want to add some sort of border around the page

3) I figured out how to change the background color, but am struggling with getting those bubbles in the lower right to be transparent so it isn't a white block with bubbles in it.  I also have Fireworks 8

Thanks a great deal for any pointers to get me started.  


LVL 12
David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAsked:
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RouchieConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There are 2 immediate issues in your code:

 1) Remove the opening DIV that is outside the body tag:
    <div align="">   <--- DELETE THIS
    <body style="border:3px solid #000099; margin;0; padding: 5px;">

2) Remove <BLOCKQUOTE>  and </BLOCKQUOTE> in your code.  This unnecessarily indents all the code.

The overlap is because the menu is within the same DIV as the content.  With small screen resolutions they squash together so one has to take priority over the other.  To avoid this, you need to completely seperate the menu from the content.  The following example does this, but you'll need to add back in the rest of your code (sample taken from http://nemesis1.f2o.org/aarchive?id=7):

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
      <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
      <style type="text/css" media="screen">
                  margin: 0;
                  font-family: Tahoma, sans-serif;
                  color: #000;
                  background-color: #ffffff;
                  margin: 0;
                  padding: 10px;
                  background-repeat: repeat-y;
            #banner h1
                  margin: 0;
                  padding: .5em;
                  float: left;
                  width: 160px;
                  margin: 0px;
                  padding: 5px;
                  border:1px solid #0000cc;
                  background-color: #ddddff;
            #nav p { margin-top: 0; }
                  padding-top: 1em;
                  border:2px solid #cc0000;
                  margin: 0 0 0 200px;
            #content h2 { margin-top: 0; }

            .style1 {
                  font-size: 36px;
                  font-weight: bold;
<div id="container">
      <div id="nav">
            <p><a href="index.htm" target="_blank">HOME</a></p>
                 <p><a href="http://www.bottomtimecharters.com/currentevents.htm" target="_blank">CURRENT EVENTS</a></p>
                 <p><a href="http://www.bottomtimecharters.com/padi.htm" target="_blank">PADI TRAINING</a></p>
                 <p><a href="http://www.bottomtimecharters.com/rebreathers.htm" target="_blank">REBREATHERS</a></p>
                <p><a href="http://www.bottomtimecharters.com/tdi.htm" target="_blank">TDI</a></p>
                <p><a href="http://www.bottomtimecharters.com/dan.htm" target="_blank">DAN</a></p>
      <div id="content">
            <p align="center"><img src="aplusprodivers1.gif" width="423" height="274"></p>
            <p align="left">&nbsp;</p>
            <p align="center" class="style1">A+ PRO DIVERS </p>
            <p align="center" class="style1">Plattsburgh, NY 12901</p>
            <p align="center" class="style1">518-561-7748 </p>
            <p>Remainder of content...</p>
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Hi opie6373,

1) There are tons of ways to add navigation to a site.  You could:

a) learn to use CSS and create a div to hold the navigation (recommended)
b) make a two column table where the left column = nav, right = content (not recommended)
c) download an extension from the Dreamweaver Exchange that writes a DHTML/javascript menu bar

When I look at your site now, I don't really get a sense of what you want to do with navigation, so it's a little tough to give you specific advice.

2) Border

This is best done by creating a div and using CSS to define the border of it.  That div will hold all other content.

3) Backgrounds

Those bubbles are images and you need to edit the image files so that they have transparent backgrounds as well.  This will involve converting them from GIF to JPG and setting the transparency.  If you don't have an image editor, The GIMP is free and works great.
Jason is correct, CSS positioning is the way to go.  I've had a rough go for you but you need to build upon what I've done to finish what you're looking for.

In your page's code, change this:

<div align="center">

to say this:

<body style="border:3px solid #000099; margin;0; padding: 5px;">
<div style="position:absolute; float:left; display:block; height:99%; background-color:#ddddff; width:150px;">
      <p>CURRENT EVENTS</p>
      <p>PADI TRAINING</p>
<div style="margin-left:150px; padding:5px;">

There are other ways to achieve the above, but without understanding the code yourself you will always need to ask here which will slow you down!  For the bubbles, sadly there's no easy fix - you have to make sure that the image is recoloured in your favourity picture editor to have the same background colour as the HTML page.  In years to come when browsers finally become powerful then there will be easier ways - but at the moments its too unreliable so we need to use the hard approach :-(  

Hope that helps.
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David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
what is the best way to learn CSS?

your code is a good start and was what i was looking for.  i played with it however the logo is not centered and the gray menu is overlapping it on the left top side.  any suggestions on how to resolve?

again, this is a "hobby" and I am learning as i go, but i want to get something up quick for now so i can take my time learning and improving upon it.  I just need a decent starting point.

Thanks to you both for your help.

Jason C. LevineConnect With a Mentor No oneCommented:
>> what is the best way to learn CSS?

Depends on how you like to learn.  If you are a book guy, go to your local bookstore where I guarantee they have a metric ton of CSS books. I'm partial to the O'Reilly stuff.

If you prefer web-based tinkering and examples, look at the DevNet:


and also read up at the W3:


I was basically forced to learn CSS in order to decipher CSS based pages such as these:


So, if you prefer to learn by reverse engineering a page, start by downloading templates from the above sites and rip 'em up.

David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I figured out the border thing, I just decrease the margin

An aside question, is dreamweaver going to become adobe go live?  is go live easier to use than dreamweaver? how do they compare?

Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
>> is dreamweaver going to become adobe go live?

I seriously doubt it.  My impression is that, if anything, Go Live will become more like Dreamweaver.  DW has a much larger user base.
David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
interesting, so it would be best to continue to learn dreamweaver then
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Depends on what you end up doing.  If you are going to branch out into database-driven sites, then stick with DW.  If you are purely a HTML/CSS designer and will never integrate PHP/ASP/ColdFusion, then continue to use GoLive if that is what you are comfortable with.
David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I use dreamweaver now.  I doubt i would do database driven sites.  Probably just as a hobby for friends with small businesses who want information type sites.
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
My advice is to pick a development environment, learn it, and stick to it as much as possible.  Whether you use DW or GoLive is less relevant than learning how to write good HTML and CSS.
David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
i haven't forgotten about this, I just haven't had a chance to edit the code yet.  
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Hi mrichmon,

Rouchie's answers are better than mine (more to the point, code examples).  Points should go to him
David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
actually, believe it or not, i am still interested but haven't had time to try rouchie's last post with code.  
David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorAuthor Commented:
sorry for the delay.  thanks for the help.  i did not get a chance to try the last set of code, but i was able to accomplish what i needed to do with both sets of help
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