There is no such thing as pixel perfect layout in Web design. Everything -- color, type, images -- will look different on every computer. As you get more practice at designing web pages, you learn to keep the page layout as open and flexible as possible. That's especially trrue of the length or height of columns. To keep text flexible and flowing properly, use em's or % to size it rather than pixels. While you can force a browser to display text at a particular size by using pixels, it can create difficulty for folks with visual imparements, for example, who set up thir browsers to display larger text sizes for readability.
Thank you, Linda. I read a bit about using em and percentages in type (in pace of pixels) a couple days ago, but didn't explore it enough. So I guess the crux of my question comes down to this: Can I use a non-repeating background designed in Fireworks for a liquid page I will build in Dreamweaver?
If yes, then I think my type problem is solved. The pages will expand or contract to accomodate the type I've placed on them. But I've googled this question and can't get a clear answer. One blogger, reveiwing Fireworks, says "Automatic slicing does not allow for liquid design."
Is this true? Would this mean that I can't use my design, non-repeating or therwise, on a liquid site?
Again, any help is very much appreciated.
When you write the HTML, you place the images next to the paragraphs they're associated with so if the font or viewport changes size, then the whole document reflows, but everything stays logically in its intended place. This can be frustrating for people who are used to setting exactly where images appear with respect to text and even kerning and spacing to make a line look "just so." You will have awkward gaps somewhere. Let it go...let the medium free you from that worry.
Everything's in a box, though. In that box you can put repeating or non-repeating images. So yes, you can put a non-repeating background image behind the text on each of your pages and you should be able to define the box so that any overlap of the background image won't show if it is wider than the current box. (I think that would be in the CSS overflow property on divs...you'd have to check.)
Here are a couple of tutorials using large, non-repeating background images for the page. You could adapt the technique to a content div:
On the other hand, however, text lines that are more than 2-2.5 alphabets wide are difficult to scan. If your site is intended to be text-heavy, you might be better off with a fixed-width box for your text.
I think the blogger's comment refers to using Fireworks' page slicing to export HTML, which gives you a fixed, table-based design. The HTML you can export from FW isn't meant for live sites. It's just for prototyping. It's better to use CSS for layout, rather than tables, as the code is easier to maintain. I ran across this nice tutorial (the author uses Photoshop, but any graphics program works if you want to follow along):
(Hope some of that helps you!)
An enormous help. Thanks so much.