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Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 12. Layers: Interactivity and Animation

The first MTV generation has grown up—and discovered the Web. Unfortunately, putting the average home page next to the average music video is like pitting a minivan against a Maserati. If you want to keep restless eyes glued to your site, adding attention-grabbing animation and interactivity may do the trick.

Using Behaviors (Chapter 11) and a clever design tool called layers, you can make pictures dance across the screen, add pop-up tooltips to your links, and even create Web page sticky notes that visitors can drag around the window. Without Dreamweaver, such animation would require a complex mixture of HTML, programming, and Cascading Style Sheets (Chapter 8) that could leave you crying into your keyboard. You, however, as a Dreamweaver owner, can create these effects without any assistance from therapy or antidepressants.

Tip

As when using any cool new technology, have mercy on your audience when adding interactive effects. Make sure any animations you use contribute to the message of your site and don’t become distracting gimmicks whose novelty wears off after the first viewing. Making a news bulletin wiggle across the screen might look neat, but it’s pretty hard to read.

Creating Layers

A layer is a rectangular container that holds other page material—images, text, form elements, and even other layers. In this regard, it acts like a table cell (page 144). And as with a cell, you can define a layer’s width and height and give it ...

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