I bet you veterans are tired of this question, but us newbies, like myself, have to deal with the contradictions of site design between tables versus CSS.

I have read quite a few posts here on liquid layouts but still falling short of comprehending the concept in CSS.

Is the following statement true? If I want a liquid design in CSS I use % just like I would in tables?

If you don't mind, follwing are more of my thoughts. Hopefully someone can trigger the right mind set for me to understand css liquid layout.

My thoughts:

As much as I want to learn CSS for layout, I really struggle with the concept of liquid design usign CSS. With tables it isn't that hard to figure out. You make a table 100% and it expands and shrinks according to the user's resolution. From what I have read on CSS layout, most talk about liquid design by making the middle column margins of a 3 column layout Left 240, Right 240 or some other number like Right 140, Left 140. I read one book, spent hours on the interent and I'm still scratching my head. Many tell you to do this or that, but never exlplain why their recommendation makes the design liquid. I need to understand the concept to grasp why something makes it a liquid design. Just telling me to make the middle column margins Right 240 and Left 240...that doesn't explain why this makes it liquid.

I notice from looking at other sites on zen garden, a lot of designers don't seem to be concerned about liquid design. They design for 800 x 600, but with tables you can have your layout expand or shrink depending on the monitor resolution. This concept is easy to grasp with tables...I just don't get it with CSS.

The other concept I read about is using em for fonts. Yet, I can't find much on solving the problems you have with em fonts. Here is what I mean. If I design a 3 column css layout and in the 3rd column put a few boxes with their own text, when you change the text size in explorer, one box of text will overlap another box. The only way I can control this is make the font fixed using px. This way the font size can not be changed by the viewer. Am I missing something in understanding em fonts? How do I prevent the overlap problem when text size is changed.

I appreciate any feedback....I'm not going to give up cause I know CSS is the future.