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Which to use: frames or tables?

In Dreamweaver 4 you can use frames or tables to implement most Web page layouts. Deciding which to use can often be confusing.

Frames are most commonly used for navigation. A Web page can use one frame to hold the navigation menu and another frame to hold the page content. Since the navigation menu is in a frame, a visitor to your site can click a menu item and the content will appear in the content frame, but the navigation menu does not change at all. This can keep the user oriented within your site.

Frames can be confusing to implement, however, and you can often create a Web page with tables that accomplishes the same goals as a page using frames. For example, if you want the navigation on the left side of your page, you can either split your page into two frames, or just include the left navigation on every page in your site (using tables). The difference is that with frames you only have to create the navigation one time.

Differences in appearance
Drawbacks of using frames
Tips for using tables instead of frames

Emily Ricketts

Emily Ricketts is a technical writer in the Dreamweaver documentation team.

15 March 2001

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