Looking to create responsive websites for multiple screens? Learn how to use fluid grids in Dreamweaver to design websites for mobile devices and desktops.

The layout of a website has to respond and adapt to the dimensions of the device on which it is displayed (responsive design). A fluid grid layout provides a visual way to create different layouts corresponding to devices on which the website is displayed.

For example, your website is going to be viewed on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. You can use fluid grid layouts to specify layouts for each of these devices. Depending on whether the website is displayed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, the corresponding layout is used to display the website.

More info: Adaptive Layout versus Responsive Layout


Inspect mode is not available for Fluid Grid Layout documents.

Create a fluid grid layout


You can edit existing fluid grid layouts in Dreamweaver CC 2017. However, you cannot create fluid grid layouts. 

Instead, use bootstrap to create responsive layouts in Dreamweaver CC 2017. For more information on Bootstrap, see Work with Bootstrap files.

  1. Select File > Fluid Grid (legacy).

  2. The default value for the number of columns in the grid is displayed in the center of the media type. To customize the number of columns for a device, edit the value as required.

  3. To set the width of a page as compared to the screen size, set the value in percentage.

  4. You can additionally change the gutter width. The gutter is the space between two columns.

  5. Specify the CSS options for the page.

    When you click Create, you are asked to specify a CSS file. You can do one of the following:

    • Create a new CSS file.
    • Open an existing CSS file.
    • Specify the CSS file being opened as a Fluid Grid CSS file.

    The Fluid Grid for mobile phones is displayed by default. Also, the Insert panel for Fluid Grid is displayed. Use the options in the Insert panel to create your layout.

    To switch to designing the layout for other devices, click the corresponding icon in the options below the Design view.

  6. Save the file. When you save the HTML file, you are prompted to save the dependent files  such as boilerplate.css and respond.min.js to a location on your computer. Specify a location, and click Copy.

    The boilerplate.css is based on the HTML5 boilerplate. It is a set of CSS styles that ensures consistency in the way your web page is rendered across multiple devices. respond.min.js is a JavaScript library that helps provide support for media queries in older versions of browser.

Edit fluid grid documents

You can edit fluid grid documents directly in Live View to:

You can also visualize the HTML DOM structure of a fluid grid document using Element Quick View.

Insert fluid grid elements

The Insert panel (Window > Insert) lists the elements that you can use in a fluid grid layout. While inserting the elements, you can choose to insert them as fluid elements.

  1. In the Insert panel, click the element that you want to insert.

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click Before, After, or Nest to position the element with respect to the reference element highlighted in the document.

  3. Select a class, or enter a value for the ID. The Class menu displays classes from the CSS file that you specified when creating the page.

  4. Select the Insert As Fluid Element check box.

  5. When you select an inserted element, the options to hide, duplicate, or delete the Div are displayed. For Divs layered on top of each other, the option to swap Divs is displayed.

    Swap Div Swaps the currently selected element with the element above or below.
    Hide Hides the element.

    To unhide an element, do one of the following:

    To unhide ID selectors, change the display property in the CSS file to block. (display:block)

    To unhide class selectors, remove the applied class (hide_<MediaType>) in the source code.
    Move up a row Moves the element up by a row
    Duplicate Duplicates the currently selected element. CSS linked to element is also duplicated.
    Delete For ID selectors, deletes both the HTML as well as CSS. To delete HTML only, press Delete.
    For class selectors, only HTML is deleted.
    Align For class selectors, the Align option acts as a zero margin button.
    For ID selectors, the align button aligns the element to the grid.


    Elements on a page can be traversed cyclically using the up and down arrow keys. Select the element boundary and then press the arrow key.

Nesting elements

To nest fluid elements within other fluid elements, ensure that the focus  is inside the parent element. Then, insert the required child element.

Nested Duplication is also supported. Nested Duplication duplicates the HTML (of the selected element) and generates the relevant Fluid CSS. Absolute elements contained within the selected element are positioned appropriately. Nested elements can also be duplicated using the duplicate button.

When you delete a parent element, the CSS corresponding to the element, its children, and associated HTML are deleted. Nested elements can also be deleted together using the Delete button (Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Delete).