Writing for the Web

Creating: Define a Basic Layout for Your Pages

Once you've created your first page, create a basic layout. Think about the decisions you've made about the overall look and feel of your pages and your style guide and style sheet (if you've created them). Refer to the sketches you've created as you designed your pages and decide whether you'll use a table to control the layout of your pages, or whether you'll use general formatting commands.

Pete Jacquez, a writer whose work is featured in the second edition ofThe Bedford Researcher, used a table to guide his layout of the pages he created for a Web site about wind power in Colorado. He made notes about where elements—such as images and text—would go in each cell of the table.

layout

Using a Table to Define the Layout of Web Pages in Microsoft Word

Tip: Once you've set up pages that display and function to your liking, consider saving these files with a name such as pagetemplate.doc. You can open your page template and save it with a new name, filling in the content, images, and other elements. This approach allows you to create similar pages without building them from scratch. For instance, you might create a site that reviews dozens of your favorite books. Once you've decided on a particular look and feel and developed the layout for a review, create a template that you will use for all of your reviews.

Similarly, you can create layout templates for pages that introduce the main sections of your site (assuming you divide your site into sections), as well as templates for pages in those sections.

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Introduction