MS FrontPage

Nesting Layers

Nesting layers is not like nesting tables. One layer doesn't sit inside another. Instead, nesting is a way to group layers within parent-child relationships. In this arrangement, child layer settingslike display and positioningare linked to those of their parent layer. Why would you want to group layers like this? The advantage is that parent layers manage the attributes of their children (just like in real lifeyeah, right).

Figure 8-5. The far left side of the Layers task pane features a visibility column topped by an eye icon. This column provides a handy way to set visibility and is also great for viewing the visibility properties of all your layers at a glance. Click in the visibility column to the left of a layer. An open eye appears. This is the pictorial equivalent of the Visibility: Visible command, explained above. The open eye indicates that the layer is visible. Click again, and the eye closes, setting the layer to hidden. Click one more time, and the eye disappears, returning to default (inherited) visibility.

For instance, if you move a parent layer (say, a long menu bar), all its children (submenus for the menu bar) move with it. So, if you've spent the morning setting up a beautiful multi-layered composition and find you need to move it in its entirety over to the right, you can do so in one move. Child layers also inherit some display attributes from a parent layer. For instance, if you set a parent to be invisible, all its children are invisible as well (unless you specify otherwise). Or, if you set a parent's foreground color to green, then the text in any child layers becomes green, too.

Nested layers stick together. This remains true even when you're positioning nested layers along the z-index. If you lower the z-index setting of a parent layer so it appears behind all other layers, all its children will also display behind other layers. In other words, FrontPage won't let you insert an outside layer between nested layers.

Inserting Child Layers

You can give any layer one or many child layers. Even a child layer can have its own children.

To create a child layer, select the layer that you want to make the parent and then click the Insert Layer button or select Insert » Layer. FrontPage creates a new layer. In the document window, it looks like any other layer, but you can tell that the new layer is a child of your existing layer because within the Layers task pane, the child layer is indented below its parent, as illustrated in Figure 8-6.

Figure 8-6. The Products layer is indented below the Shop layer, indicating that Shop is the parent layer. Control layer properties using either the "Borders and Shading" link or the Positioning link within the Layers task pane.

Changing Parent-Child Relationships

Even if you've already created layers, it's not too late to organize them into parent-child relationships. For example, you can easily give a layer a new parent. First, create the parent layer. Then, in the Layers task pane, click the layer that you want to turn into a child layer and drag it onto the layer you want to make its parent. FrontPage moves the layer beneath its new parent and indents it. The child layer will take on the attributes of the parent layer.

If the relationship isn't working out, go ahead and free a layer from its parent. Select the child layer in the Layers task pane and drag it up onto the column heading bar just above the pane, or down into the empty space beneath the list of layers. Now you've got two completely independent layers.