[Pro] Pro6 Master Page Tutorial?

I had a really long and unproductive day today trying somehow to grasp Freeway Pro 6’s master pages. A simple 7-page inline-built site in which each page shared the same basic layout structure and a navigation menu.

I wanted structural items like inline divs to inherit their widths and heights from their Master items so in instance pages I had checked Use Master Settings and unchecked Use Master Content. In the case of the navigation menu, I checked both.

But every time I made a change to the menu (a CSS styled unordered list) weird things would happen - even to things that had nothing to do with the menu. Some items that were set to Use Master Settings would lose their id names - they would go from id names like #footer to #item1. If I selected each affected item I could re-check the Use Master Settings box and the name would revert. But doing that several times a page, on every page, every time I made a minor change that was NOT to any of those items really wore me down.

Some items that had the Use Master Settings re-applied would not keep checked, even though they took on the master item settings.

In another thread, I expressed some disappointment with another aspect of master pages - the addition of a class to identify instance items that are different from their master items… the f-ms class. While I’m still not very happy about this approach, I am trying to get my head around it enough to find better ways to work to avoid problems with it. An example of such a problem, as I found today while trying to get a small bit of custom CSS to work, is that it sets up challenges to using the Cascade Order. Style code written like #myitem.f-ms will always over-ride #myitem - preventing you from remotely targeting an item by id. To overcome this I ended up doubling up my custom style definitions to cover the possible ways Pro6 might write its code - so #myitem, #myitem.f-ms. More work, more complex, less predictable, less elegant.

Then at one point, fighting with the Master pages caused the id’s of several page items to completely disappear! Gone! To a better place, I hope.

Finally I gave up. I didn’t really use Master Pages in previous Freeway Pro versions - and that may end up being the case again. But if there’s a chance they would work, I hope Softpress will step up with some instructions or tutorials. I’d do it, but this is the first time I’ve ever even seen this application.


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Hi Ernie.
I sympathise with your situation. I abandoned master pages when I began using the inline model to construct my sites after watching Dan J’s videos. Master pages and inline model didn’t bode well in Freeway 5*

When I was putting together the little demo I did for responsive, I hit the issue you mentioned about the appended css class .f-ms . I was targeting ID’s and ‘missing’ them because of this little demon. It did force me to explore CSS further reading this article http://css-tricks.com/multiple-class-id-selectors/ so every cloud has a silver lining and all that. I particularly liked the linked specificity value article.
Like you, I don’t use master pages, mostly because if I flick back and forth to preview it returned me to the actual page and not the master, and I’d end up editing the wrong document - frustrating but my own fault.

My wish would be for Freeway to use the actual div% rather than what I believe it shows as ‘available’ div capacity. Ie: add some padding to a 25% div and it drops to 24% without physically changing its outer dimension. I know this is purely cosmetic, as we can override it and break the layout but produce perfect output, but it would be nice if it just worked. This way if we make something for someone else to use, they would see the relationship between template and output, rather than seeing a ‘poorly aligned’ page that outputs fine. I did consider removing dimensions from the divs and adding them back in via CSS, but again it would need to be explained.

Hopefully, when we provide feedback on our experiences with Freeway, it will help the developer team to further improve a great product. And as you mentioned, more tutorials would always be welcome.

Regards - Alan


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