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Chapter 9. Using Tables for Page Layout > Converting Layers to Tables - Pg. 68

Using Tables for Page Layout Autostretch 68 A new layout table is created with a fixed width. You may want to change the width to match the target browser size for your project. If you target variable browser sizes and want the content to flow into whatever size is viewed, you can use Dreamweaver's autostretch feature to adjust the tables accordingly. Autostretch enables you to identify a single column that expands or shrinks, based on the user's browser window and the content that is being displayed. This gives the effect that the content is customized for any given browser window--all within a single file. To use autostretch, first decide which column you want to stretch. Click the Width button for that column, and from the pull-down menu, select Make Column Autostretch. You need to provide a spacer image, or let Dreamweaver create one called spacer.gif for you if you have not already specified one. Spacer images are invisible 1-by-1-pixel GIF files that resize themselves in Dream- weaver to force the columns to draw with the correct widths. The location of the spacer image is specified in the Dreamweaver Preferences Layout Mode category. Because browsers are more precise sizing images than they are sizing table cells, adding a row of spacer images to the bottom of your table forces browsers to better maintain your design. Tip You can also use spacer images in tables that do not use autostretch if you notice that some of your columns are sized wrong in the browser. To do so, click the Width button for the desired column and select Add spacer image. Converting Layers to Tables Layers and layout tables are layout tools that can be used to create complex designs quickly and easily. Because some people favor one tool or the other, or because of technology concerns, it's