Tip for using Design-time Style Sheets

Dreamweaver Design-time Style Sheets (DTSS) allow you to show or hide design applied by a CSS style sheet as you work in a document in Design View. They only apply while you are working on the document in DW. When the page is displayed in a browser window, only the styles that are actually attached to or embedded in the document appear in a browser. This is handy for working around shortcomings in DW’s rendering engine.
DTSS are implemented as “User” style sheets. More info here:
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/cascade.html#cascade
“By default, rules in an author’s style sheet override those in a user’s style sheet. However, for balance, an ‘!important’ declaration takes precedence over a normal declaration. Both author and user style sheets may contain ‘!important’ declarations, and user ‘!important’ rules override author ‘!important’ rules.”
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/cascade.html#important-rules
So, give your DTSS properties the !important modifier to always override what’s on your page.

  • I most typically use DTSS for working with SSI where they come in quite handy.
    I was sad to see that the link to a Design-Time style did not update when i changed the .css filename in the Files panel of a site I had defined in DW. I then had to delete and re-add all the DTSS. What a pain for all those files! I would think DW should be smart enough to update those links as well when a filename changes. I hope that oversight could be fixed on a future version.
    Thanks,
    Dan

  • Randy Edmunds says:

    Dan, Good suggestion! Thanks for the feedback.

  • It’s a pain to have to set up DTSS individually for each page in DW, when I want the same stylesheet for all of my pages and want to hide one different stylesheet likewise in all pages.
    Am I missing a method of applying this to an entire site or group of pages? I’m a beginner with DW so this could easily be the case.

  • Randy Edmunds says:

    Dan, Thanks for the feedback. I was not aware of that bug.

  • Randy Edmunds says:

    Kevin,
    In general, you need to apply DTSS to each page, with the following exceptions:
    Starting in DW CS4, all DTSS applied to a Template will be propagated to pages generated from that Template.
    There is a commercial ($5) extension written by a third party that allows you to apply a DTSS to multiple files at once:
    http://www.communitymx.com/abstract.cfm?CID=61265

  • Randy,
    Thanks so much for pointing us to that extension. I’m using a PHP framework at the moment, so all view files are simply PHP/HTML files with no body or head or CSS so this has been a life-saver!
    Cheers,
    Dave

  • Whoah, i really didn’t know that Dreamweaver Design-time Style Sheets (DTSS) allow you to show or hide design applied by a CSS style sheet as you work in a document in Design View..I guess that i am still a newbie.. Thanks anyway!

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