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How to Set the Page View

Dreamweaver provides features that help you design and lay out your pages. One of the first page-design choices you should make is a pixel width for your pages. Most Web designers choose a width of either 640 pixels or 800 pixels to ensure that their pages can be viewed on monitors with a lower resolution. Dreamweaver lets you view your page at different resolutions as you work, letting you keep track of the page. Even more importantly, you can change the resolution to get an idea of what others will see when they view the page, regardless of your own screen size.

Know Your Options

To help with your layout, you can show horizontal and vertical rulers and display gridlines. These options are available under the View menu. Other settings will resize your page to match a page displayed on a lower resolution monitor, as we will see in a few minutes.

Figure 3.19

Show Rulers

Rulers in the document window show you exactly where each and every element has been placed. Rulers are particularly handy if you are not accustomed to using the pixel measurement system. Although rulers can be displayed in centimeters and inches, they appear in pixels by default. To show the rulers, select View, Rulers, Show. The rulers appear across the top and down the left edge of the document window.

Figure 3.20

Change and Remove Rulers

From the View, Rulers submenu, you can select a different unit of measurement for your rulers. If you want to turn off the rulers, you can. Just select View, Rulers, Show again.

Figure 3.21

Show and Remove Gridlines

Gridlines display on your page as squares set to a size of your choice. They can be used with or without the rulers to help you achieve exact placement of elements and layers on the page. Grids are commonly used for "snapping" layers, described in Part 7, "Considering Layout and Design". To show the grid, select View, Grid, Show Grid. Select this command again to turn off the grid.

Figure 3.22

Change Grid Settings

You can set the grid to look the way you want it to by using the Grid Settings dialog box (choose View, Grid, Edit Grid). You can change the appearance of the grid so that it displays as either lines or dots, and you can adjust the color and the measurement units.

Figure 3.23

Change the Window Size

You can change the size of the document window to check how your pages will look in different sized browser screens. The current window size in pixels is displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. Click the arrow next to the current size to see a list of alternative options; click the one you want. The screen resizes immediately. Even when you work, the setting that Dreamweaver uses might not appear in the list. To create these screen shots, I am working on a large monitor set to low resolution, giving the rather strange size showing in my settings.

Figure 3.24

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