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Chapter 7


Frames allow you to split the browsers window up in to as many sections as you like, each capable of displaying its own document. Usually used for displaying a list of Contents (Links) on left side of the browser, which once clicked, display a document on the right side. When using frames, it's important you use the <!Doctype html public "-//wc3/dtd html 4.0 Final//en"> tag. As frames were only recognized by the w3c (world wide web consortium) as of version 4, the doctype tag ensures the file is correctly interpreted.

Here is the full source code for a simple frameset.


<TITLE>Simple frameset</TITLE>

<FRAMESET cols="50%,50%"> <FRAME border="1" name="frame1" src="frame1.html"> </FRAME> <FRAME border="1" name="frame2" src="frame2.html"> </FRAME> </FRAMESET>




Save this code as a completed .html file.

This will open a new window displaying one html document in each frame.

The code above is a complete script. You don't need to anything between the <BODY> tags. Although here's a good tip, pre version 4 browsers can not render the frames tags, so for these browsers the contents of the body tag will be displayed. This is where I usually place a link to a free browser upgrade and a friendly note telling the user we are now in the 3rd millenium and that lasts millenniums browsers are not capable of 'viewing the content on this page'.

The file is telling the browser to split its window in to two frames and which documents to place in inside those frames.

The code in red

OK. First tag first. Open up a <FRAMESET> tag and use either the attribute rows="" for creating rows, or cols="" for creating columns. The attributes values ( separated with commas ) can be in the form of pixels for each frame as in  cols="400,300" or percentage as in  cols="50%,50%" or use the '*' for a variable value as in  cols="100,*". You can add as many rows or columns as you like just use the <Frame> tag to define each frames information in order. Refer to the table 2 for its attributes. The frame tag is closed with </FRAME> and then the frame set is closed with </FRAMESET>

Note: Although Netscape 4 tries to understand pixel values in the frame tag, it is really putting your specified value through a complex calculation that rounds down the value through each step of the formula, thus returning a close, but inexact value. That is why you can never quite position frames precisely in Netscape. A well known, but undocumented bug.

Table 1     A FRAMESET's attributes
attribute used for
cols="33,10%,*" setting the number of columns (each separated with a comma )
rows="20,20,20,20" setting the number of rows
border="2" setting the frames border for Internet Explorer in pixels
frameborder="2" setting the frames border for Netscape in pixels
framespacing="2" setting the frames spacing for Netscape in pixels

Table 2     A FRAME's attributes
attribute value used for
frameborder="" 0 or 1 0 or No to hide, 1 or Yes to show a border between frames
framespacing="2" 0 - 100 setting the frames spacing for Netscape in pixels
marginwidth="" 0 - 100 If set to 0 the frame will be displayed flush with the left and right edge of the frame
marginheight="" 0 - 100 If set to 10 , there will be a space (10 pixels wide) between the window and the top of the frame
name="" any name Assigning a name to your frames so you can use them as targets with the <A> tag
noresize none Disallowing the user to resize the frame.
scrolling="" auto-on-off Turning the scrollbars on the right side of each frame on or off.
src="" filename.html Sets the file name and its location on your hard drive,(or the servers hard drive) to be displayed in the frame. Remember servers use unix which make file names case sensitive.

Multiple frames

Creating many frames gets a little more complicated. Lets say you want 2 columns, each having 2 rows. You would open a frameset tag and assign it the attribute    cols="30%,70%". Then you open another frameset tag with the attribute   rows="50%,50%". Then you use the frame tag twice to name the files that will be displayed in each row in the 1st column. Now you close the second frameset you opened. Open a third frameset tag with the attribute    rows="20%,80%", use 2 frame tags to name the files to be displayed in the 2nd column. Close this frameset and finally close the 1st frameset. Here 's the code and its example if you dare to press the button.

<FRAMESET cols="30%,70%">

<FRAMESET rows="50%,50%" > <FRAME frameborder="1" name="frame1" src="frame1.html"> </FRAME> <FRAME frameborder="1" name="frame2" src="frame2.html"> </FRAME> </FRAMESET>

<FRAMESET rows="20%,80%"> <FRAME frameborder="1" name="frame3" src="frame3.html"> </FRAME> <FRAME frameborder="1" name="frame4" src="frame4.html"> </FRAME> </FRAMESET>


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