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The above links demonstrate a basic navigational structure using an unordered list styled with CSS. Use this as a starting point and modify the properties to produce your own unique look. If you require flyout menus, create your own using a Spry menu, a menu widget from Adobe's Exchange or a variety of other javascript or CSS solutions.

If you would like the navigation along the top, simply move the ul.nav to the top of the page and recreate the styling.


Be aware that the CSS for these layouts is heavily commented. If you do most of your work in Design view, have a peek at the code to get tips on working with the CSS for the liquid layouts. You can remove these comments before you launch your site. To learn more about the techniques used in these CSS Layouts, read this article at Adobe's Developer Center - http://www.adobe.com/go/adc_css_layouts.


Because all the columns are floated, this layout uses overflow:hidden on the .container. This clearing technique forces the .container to understand where the columns end in order to show any borders or background colors you place on the .container. If you have a large element that protrudes outside the .container, it will appear to be cut off. You also won't be able to use negative margins or absolute positioning with negative values to pull elements outside the .container or they will also won't display outside the .container.

If you need to use these properties, you'll need to use a different clearing method. The most reliable will be to add a <br class="clearfloat" /> or <div class="clearfloat"></div> after your final floated column (but before the .container closes). This will have the same clearing effect.


Adding a footer following the columns, yet still inside the .container, will cause this overflow:hidden clearing method to fail. You can place a .footer into a second .container outside the first one with no detrimental effects. The simplest choice may be to start with a layout containing headers and footers and remove the header to utilize the clearing methods in that layout type.

Internet Explorer Conditional Comments

These liquid layouts contain an Internet Explorer Conditional Comment (IECC) to correct two issues.

  1. Browsers are inconsistent in the way they round div sizes in percent-based layouts. If the browser must render a number like 144.5px or 564.5px, they have to round it to the nearest whole number. Safari and Opera round down, Internet Explorer rounds up and Firefox rounds one column up and one down filling the container completely. These rounding issues can cause inconsistencies in some layouts. In this IECC there is a 1px negative margin to fix IE. You may move it to any of the columns (and on either the left or right) to suit your layout needs.
  2. The zoom property was added to the anchor within the navigation list since, in some cases, extra white space will be rendered in IE6 and IE7. Zoom gives IE its proprietary hasLayout property to fix this issue.


By nature, the background color on any div will only show for the length of the content. This means if you're using a background color or border to create the look of a side column, it won't extend all the way to the footer but will stop when the content ends. If the .content div will always contain more content, you can place a border on the .content div to divide it from the column.