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Can the right or left sidebar be turned off?

  1. When I search for free themes using the feature filters I end up with 4 choices that have both flexible width and a left sidebar.

    Sandbox 1.1
    Sandbox 0.6.1
    Garland
    Andreas09

    Sandbox 1.6.1, the new theme, also has those 2 features. It is not yet pulled up though by the feature search.

    Garland and Andreas09 have both a left and right sidebar. Can the right sidebar be turned off? I have long chart images in my posts and pages that extend far to the right. The images can't be reduced without losing legibility, and I don't want to use clickable thumbs.

    So I don't want charts and a right sidebar to interfere with each other. Especially on smaller screens in netbooks, laptops, etc.. That is why I would like to turn off the right sidebar. The sandbox themes are fairly boring without a CSS upgrade.

    The blog I need help with is healthcharts.wordpress.com.

  2. If you are searching for "free themes" on the internet you are getting themes that are designed for wordpress.ORG self-hosted blogs. They cannot be used here.

    Sandbox themes have no CSS and do not offer the ability to turn off the sidebars without using the CSS upgrade.

    Why not look at the new iNove theme. With that theme you can turn off the sidebar at appearance > iNove theme Options" but the theme is not flexible width.

    Flexible width themes will not automatically resize the images as the browser window is widened or narrowed so you will have to size the image for the minimum width you expect people to have for their browsers, and if you are talking netbooks, that is 800px in width, which means you will have to figure on a net maximum width of 700-720px.

  3. On Garland and Andreas09, you have to have the CSS upgrade to hide the sidebars.

  4. Thanks much. There are 10 free WordPress.com left-sidebar themes. Is there a fixed-width, left-sidebar theme that does not automatically resize images?

    That would be perfect for what I want. I do not want people to have to enlarge chart images in separate tabs in order to read a page or post that has long, left-right charts.

    I only chose the flexible-width theme in order to stop the automatic image resizing.

    I guess, technically, an image extending past the right side of a fixed-width column makes for a flexible-width column. :)

  5. The problem is that inserting an image that is wider than the post area will typically "break" the theme regardless of whether the sidebar is on the right or left. Also, in most case the post areas are set in the CSS with overflow: hidden; which means that anything wider than the post area is cut off and will not be visible.

    Again my suggestion is iNove since you can turn the sidebar off. That gives you about 900px in width in the post area to work with.

  6. I happened to find this page, "Maximum displayed image width":
    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/maximum-image-width/

    Using the info from that page I found two free WordPress.com, left-sidebar themes with fixed-width columns that did not automatically resize images:

    Andreas 09
    Garland

    I previewed them both on my blog. Unfortunately, they clip the longer images at the right margin where they bump up against the right sidebar. I don't know if the images would not be clipped if there were no right sidebar.

    I wonder if anyone with custom CSS capability has tried removing the right sidebar with either of those themes, and noted if images are still clipped.

  7. Again, generally good CSS practice is to do a overflow: hidden; in the CSS so that if there is an issue in one element, it will not overrun and mess up other elements. How many themes here have overflow: hidden; on the post area and how many do not I do not know.

  8. I really want a left sidebar. They are great navigation tools.

    I missed one of your comments as I was writing and posting one of mine. I just previewed the iNove theme. It is one of those fixed-width themes that automatically resizes images to a maximum size. It is maximizing the width at 600 pixels.

    I will have to research overflow: hidden. I am studying CSS for a regular website too, and not just this blog site. This is very useful info. Left sidebars via HTML tables work poorly with extra-long images in the main area of a regular web page. The image will move all the way down to the bottom of the left sidebar if it is too long.

    Blog sidebars don't do that since they are tableless CSS, I believe. My blog here can be viewed at any screen resolution without problems. The image just has to be scrolled horizontally.

  9. Blog sidebars will typically move to the bottom if stuff in the post area overflows into the sidebar area. People have come to the forums here complaining of that all the time, but it is less of an issue now since wordpress I believe has added overflow hidden to most all themes to keep that from happening.

    With the images, you can bypass the sizing by uploading them to the media library and then inserting them via URL instead of selecting them from the media library.

  10. The largest image on the http://healthcharts.wordpress.com/costs page is
    708 by 424. That is the full size of the image.

    I had some problems when I tried various themes when I first created the blog. Just changing the theme caused the images to be resized on the page. Going back to the previous, non-problematic Sandbox theme did not return the image to full size.

    I discovered that the only safe way to look at other themes was to preview them. Then I wouldn't have to change the image HTML, or reload the image, when I returned to the original Sandbox theme after previewing other themes.

    The sandbox themes that I have ended up using allow image overflow. Since they are left-sidebar themes, the images don't overflow into sidebar areas.

    "Overflow" only occurs at lower screen resolutions, or when using smaller windows. Then one has to scroll horizontally to see the long images. It isn't really a problem though since one only has to scroll one time. It aligns the main column for easier viewing. One can then page down without problems.

    I can see why right-sidebar themes need either automatic resizing or overflow hidden. I don't remember much success trying to get around the automatic resizing. I think I tried your method. Not sure. I just could never get the full size image to show up in some themes.

  11. Getting the URL of the image and then inserting it by URL does work if you want to try it again.

    If you go the CSS route, make sure and set the "maximum image size" on the CSS edit page, but make sure and set it to the maximum width of the post area that you design in so that it doesn't cause issues and look bad by overlapping the side of the theme.

  12. At the bottom of my post and page I added the HTML directly for this 2000-pixel-wide panorama image:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Grand_Canyon_from_Moran_Point.jpeg

    I used the standard <img src=URL/> method.

    In the sandbox theme the image is fully visible. One only has to scroll horizontally.

    I then fully activated another left-sidebar theme, Tarski, and it cut off all the images at the right margin. It did not resize the images.

    So I returned to the Sandbox theme, and all the images are fully visible.

  13. I did some further image experimentation at the bottom of
    http://healthcharts.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/healthspending

    I tried several methods of inserting the panorama photo using the "Add an Image" button. I see what you mean about the difference in results from using variations of the "From URL" tab, the “From Computer” tab, and the "Media Library" tab.

    I experimented while using the Sandbox 1.6.1 theme.

    Some methods get the 2000-pixel-wide panorama photo to show up.

    With other methods 1024 pixels wide is the maximum allowed by the Sandbox 1.6.1 theme.

  14. The reason that most themes cut the image off at the right is because they have overflow: hidden; on the content section of the CSS. This is done because when it is not there, people insert images that are too large and it breaks the theme and then they come to the forums in a panic crying OMG! my blog is broken! people are dying, halp!!!!.

    In the past at times, probably 25% of the posts here in the forums had do do with just that issue. Bloggers inserted images that were too wide and it broke their blogs. To keep bloggers from breaking things and then getting all stressed out over it, wordpress fixed the themes so that they would not break. They also made the "add an image" stuff so that it would not in general allow the blogger to insert an image that was too wide for the theme.

    The following is just my opinion based on nearly 15 years involvement graphic and web design.

    It simply is not a good idea to put an image in a blog or website that causes the visitor to scroll horizontally. It is far better to put a smaller image on the site/page/post and have it linked to the larger image. Then if the people want to open that image and play with the scroll bars, they can.

    Panoramic images are designed to be seen in their entirety, not through a keyhole created by monitor width. It completely defeats the purpose of panoramic images.

    Any time I go to a website that requires me to scroll horizontally to see what they are doing, I simply click away.

  15. I agree with the overall logic of what WordPress has done. It should take an extra step to put in wider images.

    I only used the panorama image because it was very wide, and I wanted to see if it was possible to use such a wide image in a left-sidebar-only WordPress theme. It is possible, and I am happy. I don't intend to actually use panorama images that way.

    So far none of the charts I used require horizontal scrolling of a page. At least for pages at 1024 by 768 or higher resolution. Most readers have that screen resolution or higher.

    If occasionally a page needs a wider chart that requires horizontal scrolling, then I know how to do it. I don't think this will bother most web page readers as long as it doesn't happen to often.

    I have had a website since around 1998, and chart pages are oftentimes the most popular pages on that site. I had to remove all the long right sidebars on the site to avoid problems. That was the initial motivation for posting my first message in this thread.

    Do you know if it is possible to use an inline style on other left-sidebar-only wordpress themes? To override the overflow: hidden; CSS for a particular image?

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