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Chapter 10. Into the Great Beyond > Layered Interfaces

Layered Interfaces

If your interface won’t fit properly in a reasonably sized dialog box, you can break it into two or more dialog boxes, or you can create one multipart dialog box that is essentially several dialog boxes’ worth of interface sharing one space. Multipart dialog boxes are used throughout the Dreamweaver interface. They’re created by putting different form elements on different layers, and using JavaScript to alternately show and hide each layer. In some dialog boxes, the layered effect is done almost invisibly—the Preferences and Site Definition interfaces, for instance,display different contents depending on which category is chosen—an effect easily created by showing and hiding layers (see Figure 10.11). In other dialog boxes, such as the Drag Layer behavior and Clean Up Word HTML command, the layers are a graphic presence, appearing like a stack of tabbed note cards (see Figure 10.12). In this section of the chapter, we’ll be focusing mainly on the tabbed layer interface because it’s more graphically challenging; but similar scripting techniques are involved in both kinds of interfaces.

Figure 10.11. Subtle layer-swapping can create interfaces like that seen in the Preferences dialog box.



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