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To help you build out elegant responsive designs, Webflow enables customizations at 4 different breakpoints / device sizes: desktop, tablet, mobile landscape, and mobile portrait. In this video, we'll introduce you to some must-know concepts like:
Want to follow along with this lesson? Fortunately, we created a zip file which contains all the assets used in the project, and we've included that linkright here
As we already know, we can create and Style content on the Canvas. By default, the Canvas is set to Desktop view, meaning we're Styling for devices which have viewport widths we traditionally associate with desktop displays, laptops — larger screens. But the Canvas also has other device Views. We can use these to preview how our design will look on different ranges of devices, and we can even make changes to Style and layout to accommodate these different screen sizes.
We're going to cover Views (essentially our different Breakpoints) and Styling.
Let's begin with Views. Quick overview: from Desktop, we can grab right at the edge of the Canvas here and drag to change the size of the viewport. We can click Tablet, and do the same thing (note that certain devices — many common tablet devices will show up at various widths down at the bottom). We can go to mobile landscape, do the same thing — grab the edge and adjust the viewport width so we can test the fluidity of our design. And finally, we can go down to mobile portrait. Same thing here: we can see what the design looks like at different widths inside this view.
Those are our Views for device ranges.
Now let's talk about Styling.
By default, Styling cascades down. In this example, we haven't done anything to Styling in Tablet, Mobile Landscape, or Mobile Portrait. All the Styling you see has been done on the Desktop view. But here's the thing: this design looks a little clunky on some of the other Views. There's some crowding. And unrealistic sizes which make things challenging to read and navigate.
On Tablet, let's adjust the size of our heading. With the heading selected, let's make a change to the font size to more practically adapt to this type of device. Same with the button here. On desktop, it looks pretty cool. But sometimes we might want tap targets on touch devices to be a bit easier to tap, since a fingertip is more crude (in terms of precision) than a mouse or a trackpad. Let's adjust the padding on the button here.
Okay, so we've made these changes to our Styling. Back over to Desktop? And the original Style values are still there. That's what we expected. Styles cascade down; not up here.
Back to Tablet? We see the changes we made here. But what about Mobile Landscape? Those changes indeed cascaded down. In fact, with our heading selected, we can click our indicator on the font size and see that we inherited this Style value from Tablet.
Let's change the font size again. Make it even smaller. And let's make our button take up the full width.
Back on Desktop? This didn't change anything. Tablet? Same deal. Mobile Landscape? We were just here. Mobile Portrait, through, inherited the Style changes from Mobile Landscape. Again, with our heading selected, we can check the inheritance. And of course, it's inheriting the value from Mobile Landscape.
Now CSS is all about Styling, right? The word Style is in the initials, right between cascading and sheets — that's how you know it's important.
We already know that if we make a change to a Style in Tablet view, that Style change will cascade down through Mobile Landscape and Mobile Portrait.
It's important to note that settings — like those found in our Element Settings Panel? Settings here apply to the overall element; not the view that's currently selected up top. Styles cascade; settings affect the element regardless of the current view or device width.
CSS. Cascading Styles. Not cascading settings. Same goes for content. If we go back to our example in Mobile Portrait and change the button text? Let's go over to Desktop. It's been changed there, too. Only Styling will change between Breakpoints.
Lastly, if we drag to reorder an element and move it somewhere else, that's affecting its position in the HTML. Of course that means it will be moved everywhere. Same if we delete something. Delete it in one view and it’ll be deleted everywhere. If we want to control visibility on different devices, we can always select something and affect per element visibility in the element settings panel. Or if you want to do this on a bunch of elements, we can use styling on our break points, we can use classes to completely stop an element from being rendered using display none.
Now, we’re all thinking the same thing. That sentence was needlessly complicated. It contained two commas, an emdash, the words use and using, conflicting pronouns, it's in Courier New. Let’s clean it up. Want to control device visibility for an element? Use the element settings panel. Want to control device visibility for a class, like on tablet? Go to tablet, and use display none on that class. Everything with that class applied will disappear.
So. Webflow Breakpoints. Different Views for different device ranges. Styles cascade down.
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