What to do with Dreamweaver’s invitation to attach more than one style sheet

Do you use Dreamweaver’s built-in layouts and sample pages to start a new design? Then this information is for you.

My precise topic is the ability to add more than one style sheet when you select a CSS layout. In Dreamweaver, when you open a brand new page, go to Blank Page > HTML. You can select a built in CSS layout, such as the 2-column elastic left sidebar one shown here. Among other options on the lower right, you have the option to attach a second style sheet to your layout page when it is created.

link icon will let you browse for another stylesheet

That’s really swell, if you have another style sheet all ready and waiting. Since the CSS layouts are all just shades of gray, it would nice to have a color scheme and some font choices all ready to go and to attach them from the first step. Click the link icon, browse for the style sheet, and when you click the Create button, your new page has both attached. Easy, right?

Browse for the second style sheet to attach

But here’s where it gets tricky. What if you don’t have a style sheet ready and waiting? What if you want to use one of the color schemes built in to Dreamweaver? These are found in the new file dialog under Page from Sample > CSS Style Sheet. They sport names like “Full design Arial Blue/Green/Gray.

a page from sample in the new dialog

It will be easy to use this style sheet. The trick is that you have to start by picking this Page from Sample before you pick your CSS Layout. When you’ve picked one and click the Create button, you get this message.

locked file message

Click View. You get an untitled style sheet that you can save by any name you want. Now you have a style sheet ready and waiting to link to your CSS Layout. Go through the new dialog again, pick your layout, and attach this style sheet at the same time.

You still have some work to do integrating the rules in your two style sheets so that they aren’t conflicting with each other. But you are off to a built-in Dreamweaver start.

Why this site has a funny domain name

This is my story and I’m sticking to it. Several years ago a whole truck load of new top level domain names were added to the rather limited batch that included .com, .org, and .net. I was determined to have the title Web Teacher for this site, but the .com, .org and .net versions were already taken. So I looked at some of the new possibilities. I didn’t think .biz or .tv would be good, but there was something called .ws available. According to the domain registrar that I was using to buy this domain name, .ws meant web site. Very cool, I thought, that will really catch on. There will be lots of sites with .ws in the name, and it won’t seem so strange.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m still the only site I’ve ever seen that uses a .ws domain. But now I learn the sad truth. The actual meaning of .ws is Western Samoa. So, okay, maybe the good folks in Western Samoa are getting some really superlative use out of .ws, but I’m still suffering from my acceptance of the notion that .ws meant web site and would become commonplace.