Crazy Dreamweaver: pages blow out of their formatting

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by CineSight, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. CineSight macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #1
    I am running a website on a 14" iBook that's just 3 years old. Have Dreamweaver CS3.

    My website is designed with a banner, two side boarders and a footer.

    Too often when I am doing literally ANYTHING with one of my web pages, the formatting will blow out, instead of text wrapping over to the next line, suddenly the page is so wide you have to scroll four screens across to see every line. Literally anything can set it off, from dropping in a photo, to changing text to bold, to just trying to save changes.

    There is usually no way to step back to the point before it happened. You have to close the file, without saving changes, lose all your work. and then open it again... lately that won't work either.

    This is probably the biggest problem, one that has wasted hours and hours of time spent rebuilding over and over. Today, I have rebuilt a page numerous times, and every time at some point the formatting blows apart and it's back to square one. I finally had to give up. I even tried copying back the online version of the page to overwrite the damaged one, and it opens up all blasted out, too...

    Learning code is not going to happen anytime soon, nor is hiring a pro, or buying new software. Best I can hope for is someone to get on skype or IM and talk/walk me through the process of fixing this stuff. If it can indeed be fixed.
     
  2. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #2
    You dont want to learn code at all, but you want help with the code?

    Sounds like a conundrum to me!

    From the quick description, as an actual URL to see the problem would be best, it seems like you are dropping things out of tag...

    in other words, youre putting, say, an IMG file inside a P tag or a DIV tag or something is just plain wrong with the code formatting.
     
  3. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    #3
    +1 that the URL is required before anyone here is going to be able to help. The problem could be something simple like tags not being balanced (ie opening paragraph tag but no closing tag).

    You will need to learn at least some code if you want these problems go away. It's one of those "teach a man to fish" scenarios :). I would hesitate to ask for help when you're not willing to attempt to learn the skills yourself. Anyone able to fix the problem has invested their own valuable time to learn what is necessary. The community here is very generous, but you're not likely to find someone who will volunteer their time every time your site needs an update. A couple hours at www.w3schools.com might be enough to get you up to speed and show you where the problem is.

    Kind regards
     
  4. CineSight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #4
    I didn't mean that I refuse to learn code, just that very complicated stuff is not something I am capable of now. And it's not very encouraging that no one has said it was a simple fault with a setting in Dreamweaver. This problem is something that comes and goes with no apparent cause, and it makes absolutely no sense that the slightest thing will touch it off... or won't.

    Obviously I haven't posted the faulty page, but here is the URL: http://cinemasightlines.com/
     
  5. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #5
    One question: are elements breaking out of layout in dreamweaver or in your browsers when you test it?

    Dreamweaver's visual preview simply does not work. For very simple pages or pages that use tables for layout (a big no-no) it can sometimes give you a decent preview, but it does not take much to make the design view freak out. As someone who codes to web standards dreamweaver's preview has not been useful for years... when I use the program its as a text editor only.

    The good news is that dreamweaver's visual preview has no effect on how the page will actually lay out in a browser.

    So, use dreamweaver to create your HTML, and use firefox to view and evaluate your page...
     
  6. CineSight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #6
    If you look at the front page in Safari and in Firefox, it looks normal in the former and skewed in the latter. This was not the case until Firefox came out with their latest version.

    And yes, it blows apart the page in DW design view, which is pretty much exactly how it would look online.
     
  7. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I thought angelwatt gave you the fix for this in the previous thread you started on the subject. Maybe you should look into that again and follow the direction he's already given you.
     
  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    I'm guessing you're referring to this thread, post #14 (I already forgot about it, good catch ChicoWeb). Not sure if it's the same problem as CineSight was trying to resolve then or a new one. I don't have DreamWeaver so can't say too much on that aspect of it. I'm also not sure what CineSight meant by it looking skewed. It might be that former problem from the other thread, but could be something else.
     
  9. CineSight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #9
    This is a different aspect of an overall problem. The other problem is that what looks perfectly normal in design view and Safari looks weird on Firefox.

    I was recently told that one of my pages looked like a single column of words in IE. It looked fine everywhere else. I had to take out all the text, covert it to plaintext in text edit, (which lost all the hyperlinks) then drop it back in, and the version of that page that's up now is pretty basic. Every time I try to go back and add something to it, at some point it will blow apart, and I'll have to start all over again from the plain text. I have probably rebuilt that one page over a dozen times in the past 24 hours.

    I have not been given any suggestions that I could use.
     
  10. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #10
    When it "blows out" trying putting your cursors and clicking outside the table you're working on. I've seen Dreamweaver bug out like this before.
     
  11. CineSight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
  12. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    #12
    The quickest way to find the problem is probably to post the page to your site as broken.html. If the problem occurs with HTML edits, the sample page will not affect the rest of your site. It's much easier to see issues when the layout is already broken. There are plenty of things that can break a site when using CSS-based layout, but most are easy to spot.

    It's good to know you're open to learning. HTML/CSS is not nearly as difficult to learn as you think. I have always enjoyed Dan Cedarholm's publications. You can find them here:

    http://simplebits.com/publications/

    Kind regards

    PS: If nothing else, I would recommend installing Firebug for Firefox and learning how to use that. It's a great way browse the document tree to find where your layout is breaking.
     
  13. memco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    #13
    Well, it's not much, but there are a few errors in your stylesheet that you ought to fix. Run them through http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/ to see where they need fixing. There are some issues with the syntax of your float styles, which might account for the "blowout" you're seeing.*

    *Might be more to the problem, but start here.
     
  14. pelsar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    israel
    #14
    dreamweaver solution....not for programmers

    the blowout problem is not new for us non programmers (please note: all programmers are not to read the following solution).

    i get the impression that when your rebuilding your page (tables?) your cutting and pasting your text/images back in from your original site....the principle here is to "lose" the existing code. That means once your rebuilt your site structure you either retype in your code or paste it in from a text editor (text edit after your chosen "make plain text".

    if the problem still persists, you have to isolate that little bit of text/pict that is causing the trouble and actually retype in within Dreamweaver...dont laugh it works.

    only after its all in, you may apply a stylesheet....and you may discover that is where the problem lies...so remove all existing styles ( or make a new style sheet (external) destroy the old one.....but apply it one paragraph at a time.....

    another trick with tables...(assuming your using tables)....in order to keep the columns width constant...we use invisible gifs (again, to remind the programmers here...no smirking)
     
  15. CineSight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #15
    thanks, but you are making a great leap of faith assuming I have a clue what you mean by tables... Unfortunately I really don't understand much of what's been said here.

    http://cinemasightlines.com/roadshow_westsidestory.php

    I already have, as I have stated here, run the text through text edit to convert to plaintext and therefore strip out all the hidden code. It also lost hours spent carefully researching and thoughtfully placing hyperlinks. I have, as stated before, rebuilt the page from scratch numerous times, and there is NO indication whatsoever what exactly causes the blow apart, because it happens at different points every time. there is no single element that can be isolated as the cause.
     
  16. pelsar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    israel
    #16
    you got tables in tables..

    the solution lies in your tables, grabbing each individual one and moving them.....do you know anything about them?...the way the page is built?


     
  17. CineSight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #17
    as I've said... not a clue. I'm using design view in dreamweaver. I deal with what i see there and that's complicated enough.
     

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