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Lesson 9. Creating Frames > Specifying Frame Properties

Specifying Frame Properties

When you create a frameset, get in the habit of naming each frame. The name you assign to a frame does not name the file that appears in the frame—it just identifies the framed area of the document for your reference. Naming your frames is important when you create links to display pages within a framed area. In the previous exercise, you used the predefined top and left framesets. Each frame in the frameset has already been given a default name. In this exercise, you will change the name to reflect the future content of the frame.

Select the top frame by choosing Window > Frames and clicking inside the top frame in the Frames panel. Alternatively, you can Alt+click (Windows) or Shift+Option+click (Macintosh) in the top frame in the document window to select the frame.

The Frames panel shows a dark border around the top frame with the name topFrame shown in the center. The property inspector displays frame properties for topFrame.

In the Frame Name text field in the property inspector, type logo. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh), or click in the document window to apply the name.

The Frames panel displays “logo” in the top frame. You can always refer to the Frames panel for the name of a particular frame.


Don't use spaces, hyphens, periods, or special characters in the frame name, and don't begin the name with an underscore.

Make sure to select No in the Scroll drop-down menu and check the No Resize box.

The scroll option defines when scroll bars appear and applies to both vertical and horizontal scroll bars. The Auto setting will display scroll bars whenever there is not enough room in the frame to display the content of the page. The Default option is the browser default setting, which is usually Auto. Be careful how you set this option—if it is set to No and the frame is not large enough to display all the contents, the user will be unable to scroll to see the rest of the content; if it is set to Yes and the contents fit within the frame, scroll bars that are grayed out will still take up space on the page, even though it isn't possible to scroll.

No Resize locks the size of the frame when viewed in the browser. If this option is unchecked, users will be able to drag the frame borders in their browser window. Regardless of whether this option is checked or unchecked, it will not affect your ability to resize frames within Dreamweaver.

Select the bottom-left frame and name it nav. Set scroll to No and check No Resize.

The Frames panel displays the name “nav” in the bottom-left frame.

Notice that the Borders drop-down menu has Default selected. The predefined framesets that you used to create the page layout are automatically set to have no frame borders. When the Default setting is selected for the Borders option of an individual frame, that frame uses the setting of the parent frameset. If another setting (Yes or No) is selected, then the frame will override the setting of the parent frameset.

Select the bottom-right frame and name it content. Set scroll to Auto and check No Resize.

The Frames panel displays the name “content” in the bottom right frame.

Notice that the text fields for Margin Width and Margin Height are blank. This is the default for the predefined framesets you used to layout your page. Margin Width sets the left and right margins of the frame in pixels. Margin Height sets the top and bottom margins of the frame in pixels. Leaving them blank will use the browser default, which may vary in size depending on the browser version and type.

Save the frameset.

When you change Frame properties, you are really modifying the frameset. Frame and frameset properties are both defined within the frameset.

Leave this file open to use in the next exercise.



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