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The Designer is the heart of Webflow's visual web design platform, the canvas on which you'll design and develop beautiful, responsive websites. In this video, we'll take you on a quick tour of the Designer's key features and sections, so you'll know the lay of the land before we dive into details.
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
This is the Designer. From here, we can visually manipulate all our HTML and CSS and interactions. And we'll divide this into three groups:
On the left toolbar, we have our controls. On the top, we can click to quickly switch to our Project Dashboard, our Project Settings, or the Webflow Editor, but for now let's stay in the Designer.
Underneath, we can click Add to access our Elements panel and our symbols.
We have our Pages panel, where we can organize and manage page settings.
We have CMS which gives us access to our collections — all our dynamic content.
And of course, we have the Asset Manager. From here, we can upload and organize assets we use or link to in our project.
At the bottom of the left toolbar, we have more granular controls for working with elements, as well as links to video lesson content, help, keyboard shortcuts.
That's the left toolbar.
The major area here is the Canvas. It's where we can interact with the page in real-time. We can select elements, we can move them around, we can access our element hierarchy. And we can edit content right on the page.
Rest assured: the layout of everything we build on the Canvas is following the box model. That is: when we drag in an element, it's respecting the normal document flow. Boxes can stack on top of and next to and inside other boxes — this gives us tremendous flexibility to not only develop powerful, responsive designs — which we can test on all our different views — but it ensures that we're generating clean, production-ready code.
Speaking of which, at any time, we can go in and export our code, which is prepared and downloadable in a zip file. Or we can publish our changes instantly without having to worry about FTP and file versions and unsecured networks. Tornadoes. Sloth attacks. Or FileZilla asking us, again, to update to the latest version.
Now we don't even have to publish to see how a project would look live. We can just hit Preview. A quick way to interact with the project as if it was fully published. Let's click again to leave Preview.
Finally — the third major section — the panels on our right, give us extremely granular control over our elements. What we have here is the Style panel — and we cover the other panels in additional content. But the Style panel gives us immediate access to all our CSS. And we can manipulate these values in real-time.
So instead of doing the guess work when it comes to things like 3D transforms, we can go in and manipulate our CSS values visually. We can spend less time switching back and forth to tweak our code and more time focusing on the design and the functionality.
Quick recap. Three major sections: Our tools to the left, including add (which lets us access our Elements panel); the Canvas, which has all the content on the page; and the panels to the right, including the Style panel (for visually manipulating our CSS).
And that's a brief overview of the major areas we can access in the Designer.
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