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Designers Corner

The collapsible outline tool available with FrontPage is very useful for hiding text in sublists until the user wants to see this text. However, collapsible outlines will hide images in a sublist as well. Simply insert an image into the sublist, perhaps with its superior list item as a caption if this is appropriate. The only glitch is that the bullet for the image item (assuming you've used a bulleted list) is visible. To get around this, create a very small GIF that is the same color as the page background, specify a picture bullet in the List Properties dialog, and use this small GIF for the bullet.

On a broader scale, DHTML/CSS layout gives you much finer control over page element positioning than was possible with straight HTML. For an effective page, use the positioning tools to create a clear, consistent visual hierarchy that will be the first thing the visitor sees when the page appears. His first impression, that of text masses and color blocks as the page loads, will be succeeded by perception of individual graphics, animated elements if any, and then the words themselves along with the text hyperlinks. The positioning of all these elements should draw the eye with good contrast, good proportion, and a sense of balance among them. A page without proportion or balance will give the impression of a disorganized, messy hodgepodge of unrelated text, graphics, and links. Even if the information the visitor wants is there, she may leave in frustration before she finds it.


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