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The Background-Table Combo

The Background-Table Combo

Teacher: Candice Pardue

Ever wondered how some websites seem to have multiple "layers" of designs?

Although some use frames and other design techniques to accomplish this look, I'm going to show you a simple way to create the look without the "headaches" of complicated design techniques.

You'll be glad to hear that you can create a dimensional look for your website using only two simple tools.

1. Background Images
2. Tables

How to Insert a Background Image:

When you open up a blank page in Composer, html, or any other design program, it's wise to insert your background image first - before beginning your design work.

This allows you to lay the foundation for the web page from the start, and eliminates confusion as well.

A background image can be inserted the same as any other graphic image.

In Netscape Composer, you would open a "blank" web page, click on "Insert" and then "Image".

On your image screen, you'll see a section near the top labeled "Choose File". Here you'll select the background image from your hard drive that you would like to use. It will probably be a ".gif" file such as bg001.gif or bg002.gif. Whatever you named the background image on your hard drive, you'll find it, and insert it here.

Next, check the box where it says "Use as Background". This will cause the image you have selected to become the background for your entire web page. Click "Apply" or "Okay", and your page's background should now be the image you've selected.

Where Can You Get Background Images?

The background image on my sample page was free from http://www.free-backgrounds.com/

You can visit their website for a huge selection of free backgrounds available that you can use on your website.

You will save the background image to your hard drive the same as you would any normal graphic image or clip art. Simply hold your mouse over the background image you would like to use, right-click

your mouse, and click on "Save Background As". A screen will pop up for you to save the image to your hard drive. You can name the image whatever you would like with .gif being the suffix.

Such as: mybackgroundimage.gif

Inserting Tables

Once your background image is in place, you may begin designing with tables.

On the sample web page you viewed earlier, I inserted one table that was 730 Pixels in width first. I chose a color for my table that was complimentary to the background, and then began typing.

Next, I created a second table within the first table, and gave it two columns or "cells". I resized the column or "cell" on the right to be only 20% of the entire table width. This creates a sidebar navigation section on the right. I also colored this table white to distinguish it from the rest of the web page.

Please remember to insert your background image before beginning your design with tables. Some designers place a background image, and then begin their writing without tables. But, I recommend using tables for the simple fact that it helps you to organize your web pages and keeps everything in it's rightful place on your page when others are viewing it.

I hope you'll be able to accomplish many new looks with these simple little tips.

About the teacher:
Article written by Candice Pardue, author of the new Graphic Design Training Course for beginners. Go here to read more about the course. FREE online version now available...


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