Ok, this is an odd one..

Start simple.

I need two columns.. the left column, I KNOW i need it to be 85px wide.
The right column, i just need it to fill whatever space is leftover

Lemme give you a link to look at.

Here's sample A, 2 columns, thats all.
http://www.ttechnologyinc.com/_nortel-phone-systems.asp

Ok, simple enough..
I started out defining a left and right float, the left being 85PX and the right being 400px (or something like that), it worked fine.

I started to go to the next page I wanted to apply this to, and realized that I had a problem. I already had 2 columns.. a table to the left and a div to the right..

Here's the untouched version of THAT page
http://www.ttechnologyinc.com/norstar.asp

Reall fast I found out that my defining of the widths in example a was not going to work.. as if the right column of my category list was set to 400px, it won't gel with the setup on example b, there is not 400px worth of room in the center.

So I tried setting my floats to %'s and either the stack on top of each other or they are too far apart.

Code:
.catcontain {width:95%;}
.catleft {float:left; width:19%; }
.catright {float:right; width:78%; padding: 5px 5px 10px 5px;}
.catalt {background-color:#f2f4f6;}
.catdivider{clear:both; background-image:url(/images-ret14/300c_line.gif); background-repeat:repeat-x;}
19% and 78% will place the two columns next to each other.. but.. sometimes they stack.. obviusly in example B, 19% is going to be less the it would be in example a

I know the floats have to have a width.

When I float two columns, do i NEED both to be in a div tag..

as in

<div class="floatleft"></div>
<div class="floatright"></div>

or should it be
<div class="floatright"></div> left content ?

or

left content <div class="floatright"></div>

or what.. im confused...

How do i make that right side of the two columns fluid, while the left stays at 85px or whatever.. grrrr