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Another question about Equal Column Lengths and the contentWrapper Background

Thread began 3/02/2011 3:50 am by Lon Winters | Last modified 3/21/2011 10:53 am by Jason Byrnes | 1796 views | 5 replies |

Lon WintersBeta Tester

Another question about Equal Column Lengths and the contentWrapper Background

After searching and reading several topics on this, I did find out that with the Equal Column Lengths checks, I can't insert my own contentWrapper background. My work-around has been to replace the image with my own after the page is created, but I like having as much as the final layout complete in the preset as possible.

So it seems that equal columns are not possible without the BG image in the world of CSS, but I don't understand why that is - it's a background image, not inserted as content.

What are the pros and cons of using equal columns? The one thing I notice is that the overall layout seems more stable and easier to work with.

I also read that the default image used is "created" when the equal columns is checked - is that true, is it actually created according to the set background colors, or is it merely using a pre-made image that goes with the theme?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

The Equal columns setting uses a 2px high background image to create an illusion.

the columns themselves are not equal, but the background image which includes the colors and borders of the column layout creates the illusion of the shorter column extending to be the same length as the longer column.

in reality the shorter column is still shorter, but the end user cant see it.


perhaps it would make more sense if you viewed the equal column layout in Fire Fox with the Firebug extension installed. With fire bug you can edit the css in real time, you could disable the faux columns background image to see what the design looks like, then toggle it back on to see what the effect is doing.

see this article for more details:
fauxcolumns/

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Lon WintersBeta Tester

The explanation makes perfect sense. I can also observe theneffect in Dreamweaver when the div containers are being highlighted.

So, as I understand it, the way the extension works - the act of checking the box merely assigns a Pre-made background image from the chosen theme and makes it unchangeable in the design tab?

Is there a reason it's unchangeable at this point, do you feel it would create more problem than it would solve if the user inserted an image that wasn't the right size or design?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

if you look in the archaived documentation section of the CSS Sculptor support page, there are instructions for how to it manually after the design is created.


checking the box in the wizard automatically generates the image that will be used by generating a screen shoot of the current design and saving a slice as the background image, if you make changes to the design after checking the box, the background image will no longer be accurate.

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Lon WintersBeta Tester

I couldn't find the exact documentation you were referring to, but there were some documents explaining faux columns. It is easy to simply replace the image in the website files, but I was wondering if the documents also advocate replacing the images as part of the files the go with the preset in order to have the new preset complete.

The method you describe is ingenious in creating faux columns. But it needs a preset design to start with, so since I always start with one of the WA presets, the slice it creates comes from that design. And I do understand your explanation of what occurs when the Equal Columns checkbox is checked, and why it happens.

What I'd like to know is, why then is the contentWrapper background image uneditable from within the wizard? Is it a technical reason or is it to ensure the user doesn't insert an incompatible image and really mess up the design?

What if we did the workaround another way - leaving the checkbox unchecked, inserting the background image, creating the page - then add the necessary code to the page and or stylesheet?

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

the tutorial i was referring to is "Creating Fixed Faux Columns" in the archived documentation section of the CSS Sculptor support page.



the content wrapper image is not editable within the wizard, because it is created by the wizard, I'm not sure what would be gained by making it editable.

I version 1, it did not create the image automatically and you needed to follow the tutorial to apply it manually. Many people had difficulty with this, so the process was automated.


you can certainly do it manually after the design is created if you prefer.

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