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How to get text input box to fill remaining space?

P: n/a
Hi, I have some simple HTML like this:

<div id="container" style="width:100%;">
<input type="text" <input type="button" style="float:right;"
value="Click here...">
</div>

I want the button to remain the normal size and be right-aligned, and
the edit box to automatically take up the remaining width of the
container.

I suspect I'm missing something obvious, but how can I do this with
CSS?

Thanks in advance.
Jun 29 '08 #1
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11 Replies


P: n/a
Scripsit Mike Harrison:
Hi, I have some simple HTML like this:
Please post a URL, not a snippet of code.
<div id="container" style="width:100%;">
<input type="text" <input type="button" style="float:right;"
value="Click here...">
</div>
"Click here..." is clueless. Just an example, maybe, but it's a _bad_
example, and people actually use such button texts, which are
(literally) clueless, i.e. give no clue of the meaning and effect of the
button.

A text input field without a label is clueless, too.

It is not obvious at all how the text field and the button relate to
each other. If they do, why not use <fieldsetwith a descriptive
<legend>? Then you have a _different_ styling problem, and perhaps one
that is worth addressing.

Besides, such a button is normally quite pointless, since <input
type="button"only works (if it works at all) via scripting, and there
isn't any scripting in your snippet.

So how about starting a from a good and real example, presented by
providing the URL?
I want the button to remain the normal size and be right-aligned, and
the edit box to automatically take up the remaining width of the
container.
Really? Even if the canvas is ten meters wide?

What happens when CSS is off? The width will be then set by browser
defaults, which are rather small (typically, about 20 characters). So
maybe you should first choose a suitable size="..." value; it's
inconvenient guesswork, but it's better to make an intelligent guess
that to let browsers default.
I suspect I'm missing something obvious,
We obviously miss the URL.
but how can I do this with CSS?
We miss the definition of what "this" consists of.

To begin with, when the button element appears after the text input
element, it will appear below it, though right-aligned. If you want them
to appear on the same line visually, you need to put the button element
before the text input element.

You haven't actually made _any_ attempt to set the text input field
width, in HTML or in CSS, in your snipped. The 100% width is set for the
container element, for which it has no effect, since the default
rendering is to make a <divelement as wide as possible.

There does not seem to be any direct CSS way of achieving what you want
(except using table-related properties that are not supported by IE),
but it's trivial in HTML, with one simple piece of CSS:

<table width="100%">
<tr><td width="100%"><input type="text" style="width:100%"></td>
<td><input type="button" value="Click here..."></td></tr>
</table>

However, what would be the point? If the field needs as much space as
possible, why waste space by putting a button on its right? And why not
make it a textarea if it may need a lot of space?

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Jun 29 '08 #2

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Mike Harrison:
>Hi, I have some simple HTML like this:

Please post a URL, not a snippet of code.
One doesn't need a URL of a fully formed page to ask how to do
something. His illustrative snippet is short and clear. I'm awarding you
one cluelessness point of your own.
><div id="container" style="width:100%;">
<input type="text" <input type="button" style="float:right;"
value="Click here...">
</div>

"Click here..." is clueless. Just an example, maybe, but it's a _bad_
example, and people actually use such button texts, which are
(literally) clueless, i.e. give no clue of the meaning and effect of the
button.
Another cluelessness point for Jukka, who doesn't understand it's
perfectly OK for an example to be generic and stripped-down, and that
all that's required of it is that it be sufficiently illustrative for
the question being asked.
A text input field without a label is clueless, too.
A third cluelessness point for Jukka, to whom it doesn't occur that the
OP almost certainly intends to have a label in the real page but just
didn't bother included it in the example, where it wasn't necessary for
the purposes of his question.
It is not obvious at all how the text field and the button relate to
each other. If they do, why not use <fieldsetwith a descriptive
<legend>? Then you have a _different_ styling problem, and perhaps one
that is worth addressing.
It's an example. The clarity of their working relationship in the final
product is extraneous here and in fact might even detract from the
example's ability to illustrate the OP's question. A fourth cluelessness
point for Jukka.
Besides, such a button is normally quite pointless, since <input
type="button"only works (if it works at all) via scripting, and there
isn't any scripting in your snippet.
Cluelessness point number five. Jukka still hasn't figured out that the
example isn't intended to be the whole page.
So how about starting a from a good and real example, presented by
providing the URL?
Probably because there isn't anything else on the page that would have
anything to do with getting an answer to the OP's technical question.
>I want the button to remain the normal size and be right-aligned, and
the edit box to automatically take up the remaining width of the
container.

Really? Even if the canvas is ten meters wide?
If 1em = 20cm on that particular canvas, why not? Cluelessness point
number six.
What happens when CSS is off? The width will be then set by browser
defaults, which are rather small (typically, about 20 characters). So
maybe you should first choose a suitable size="..." value; it's
inconvenient guesswork, but it's better to make an intelligent guess
that to let browsers default.
Wow, one helpfulness point.
>
>I suspect I'm missing something obvious,

We obviously miss the URL.
>but how can I do this with CSS?

We miss the definition of what "this" consists of.
Attention deficit disorder acting up? Even if you lose track of
pronominal antecedents that easily, you can always go back and reread.
To begin with, when the button element appears after the text input
element, it will appear below it, though right-aligned. If you want them
to appear on the same line visually, you need to put the button element
before the text input element.

You haven't actually made _any_ attempt to set the text input field
width, in HTML or in CSS, in your snipped. The 100% width is set for the
container element, for which it has no effect, since the default
rendering is to make a <divelement as wide as possible.

There does not seem to be any direct CSS way of achieving what you want
(except using table-related properties that are not supported by IE),
but it's trivial in HTML, with one simple piece of CSS:
Two more helpfulness points, bringing the total to three.
<table width="100%">
<tr><td width="100%"><input type="text" style="width:100%"></td>
<td><input type="button" value="Click here..."></td></tr>
</table>
How dare you provide an example without building it into a fully
functional, cluelessness-free page with a URL! What a hypocrite. For
this I'm awarding two more cluelessness points.
>
However, what would be the point? If the field needs as much space as
possible, why waste space by putting a button on its right? And why not
make it a textarea if it may need a lot of space?
One more helpfulness point. Final tally: 8 cluelessness points, 4
helpfulness points. Final cluelessness/helpfulness (CH) quotient for the
posting: 200%.
Jun 29 '08 #3

P: n/a
On 2008-06-29, Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrote:
Scripsit Mike Harrison:
[...]
><div id="container" style="width:100%;">
<input type="text" <input type="button" style="float:right;"
value="Click here...">
</div>

"Click here..." is clueless. Just an example, maybe, but it's a _bad_
example, and people actually use such button texts, which are
(literally) clueless, i.e. give no clue of the meaning and effect of the
button.
I read somewhere about a survey of which button/link texts people were
most likely to click on. "Click here!" resulted in the most clicks
because users have an attention span of four seconds, wish to remain
clueless, and tend to just obey direct commands.

Things like "more information", "read more", etc. were clicked on the
least because they made the whole thing seem too much like hard work.

[...]
To begin with, when the button element appears after the text input
element, it will appear below it, though right-aligned. If you want them
to appear on the same line visually, you need to put the button element
before the text input element.
Yes, although this is actually a bug shared by Firefox 2 and IE. It
shouldn't be necessary to put the float first.
You haven't actually made _any_ attempt to set the text input field
width, in HTML or in CSS, in your snipped. The 100% width is set for the
container element, for which it has no effect, since the default
rendering is to make a <divelement as wide as possible.

There does not seem to be any direct CSS way of achieving what you want
(except using table-related properties that are not supported by IE),
but it's trivial in HTML, with one simple piece of CSS:
There is a way, by putting the text input in a different block
formatting context.

..foo
{
display: block;
overflow: hidden; /* to make it a BFC */
}
input[type="text"] { width: 100%; }
input[type="button"] { float: right; }

....

<input type="button" value="Click here">
<span class="foo">
<input type="text">
</span>

Caveat: the spec says browsers can just put .foo below the button,
rather than beside it, if they want.
Jun 29 '08 #4

P: n/a
Scripsit Harlan Messinger:
Final cluelessness/helpfulness (CH) quotient for
the posting: 200%.
No, your posting was completely unhelpful and stupid. You don't have
anything useful to say, do you, but you apparently need to keep your
fingers warm. How about using just Notepad for the exercise next time?

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Jun 29 '08 #5

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Harlan Messinger:
>Final cluelessness/helpfulness (CH) quotient for
the posting: 200%.

No, your posting was completely unhelpful and stupid. You don't have
anything useful to say, do you, but you apparently need to keep your
fingers warm. How about using just Notepad for the exercise next time?
I helped the OP plenty, by reassuring him that your pissy carping wasn't
the gospel around here and that he needn't pay any attention to your
asinine commentary. Meanwhile, you are a master at being unhelpful and
stupid, so why don't you follow your own advice, you unhappy wretch?
Jun 29 '08 #6

P: n/a
Scripsit Ben C:
I read somewhere about a survey of which button/link texts people were
most likely to click on.
I read somewhere about a survey where it was found out that 95.9% of all
surveys produce incorrect results due to unsound methods, but it doesn't
matter really since the results will be either misquoted or
misunderstood, usually both.
"Click here!" resulted in the most clicks
because users have an attention span of four seconds, wish to remain
clueless, and tend to just obey direct commands.
And click on a wrong button.

Wait, there _is_ a CSS-related issue here: CSS, in addition to certain
features of HTML markup, is a way to make the association of texts,
input fields, and buttons so obvious that people see, without thinking,
what a button relates to. This is far more important than e.g.
utilizing all the available space for an input box.
.foo
{
display: block;
overflow: hidden; /* to make it a BFC */
}
input[type="text"] { width: 100%; }
input[type="button"] { float: right; }

...

<input type="button" value="Click here">
<span class="foo">
<input type="text">
</span>
I'm not sure whether I'm convinced that this _should_ work, but
a) it's more tricky than a simple table (with a simple CSS rule)
b) on IE 7, it causes the right border of the input box hit the button;
this looks odd and puzzling
c) of course, it doesn't work IE 6 unless you change the selectors to
class (or id) selectors

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Jun 29 '08 #7

P: n/a
On 2008-06-29, Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrote:
[...]
>.foo
{
display: block;
overflow: hidden; /* to make it a BFC */
}
input[type="text"] { width: 100%; }
input[type="button"] { float: right; }

...

<input type="button" value="Click here">
<span class="foo">
<input type="text">
</span>

I'm not sure whether I'm convinced that this _should_ work, but
These are the relevant bits of the spec if you are interested. As I
mentioned, the browser only "may" do this:

CSS 2.1 9.4.1:

In a block formatting context, each box's left outer edge touches the
left edge of the containing block (for right-to-left formatting, right
edges touch). This is true even in the presence of floats (although a
box's line boxes may shrink due to the floats), unless the box
establishes a new block formatting context (in which case the box
itself _may_ become narrower due to the floats).

CSS 2.1 9.5:

The margin box of a table, a block-level replaced element, or an
element in the normal flow that establishes a new block formatting
context [p. 126] (such as an element with 'overflow' other than
'visible') must not overlap any floats in the same block formatting
context as the element itself. If necessary, implementations should
clear the said element by placing it below any preceding floats, but
may place it adjacent to such floats if there is sufficient space.
a) it's more tricky than a simple table (with a simple CSS rule)
b) on IE 7, it causes the right border of the input box hit the button;
this looks odd and puzzling
I suppose a small margin on the input box might solve that problem.
Jun 29 '08 #8

P: n/a
In article <6c*************@mid.individual.net>,
Harlan Messinger <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Mike Harrison:
Hi, I have some simple HTML like this:
Please post a URL, not a snippet of code.

One doesn't need a URL of a fully formed page to ask how to do
something. His illustrative snippet is short and clear. I'm awarding you
one cluelessness point of your own.
[...]
Final tally: 8 cluelessness points, 4
helpfulness points. Final cluelessness/helpfulness (CH) quotient for the
posting: 200%.
I was slightly puzzled why you did not award a cluelessness point for
the fault you theorised was due to attention deficit disorder. You are
too soft hearted Harlan. <g>

--
dorayme
Jun 29 '08 #9

P: n/a
dorayme wrote:
In article <6c*************@mid.individual.net>,
Harlan Messinger <hm*******************@comcast.netwrote:
>Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>>Scripsit Mike Harrison:

Hi, I have some simple HTML like this:
Please post a URL, not a snippet of code.
One doesn't need a URL of a fully formed page to ask how to do
something. His illustrative snippet is short and clear. I'm awarding you
one cluelessness point of your own.

[...]
>Final tally: 8 cluelessness points, 4
helpfulness points. Final cluelessness/helpfulness (CH) quotient for the
posting: 200%.

I was slightly puzzled why you did not award a cluelessness point for
the fault you theorised was due to attention deficit disorder. You are
too soft hearted Harlan. <g>
Yes, sometimes pity gets the best of me.
Jun 30 '08 #10

P: n/a
Scripsit Ben C:
On 2008-06-29, Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrote:
[...]
>>.foo
{
display: block;
overflow: hidden; /* to make it a BFC */
}
input[type="text"] { width: 100%; }
input[type="button"] { float: right; }
[...]
>b) on IE 7, it causes the right border of the input box hit the
button; this looks odd and puzzling

I suppose a small margin on the input box might solve that problem.
Well, how much margin can you have if you have 100% width? On IE 7,
setting a margin does not seem to have any effect.

(If you set left margin for the button, the right border of the text
input box magically disappears.)

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Jun 30 '08 #11

P: n/a
On 2008-06-30, Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrote:
Scripsit Ben C:
>On 2008-06-29, Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrote:
[...]
>>>.foo
{
display: block;
overflow: hidden; /* to make it a BFC */
}
input[type="text"] { width: 100%; }
input[type="button"] { float: right; }
[...]
>>b) on IE 7, it causes the right border of the input box hit the
button; this looks odd and puzzling

I suppose a small margin on the input box might solve that problem.

Well, how much margin can you have if you have 100% width?
Difficult unless you make the margin a percentage and use 5% + 95% or
something. In that case you might as well just set width to 95% and not
bother with margin.
On IE 7, setting a margin does not seem to have any effect.
Well I can't cure a rainy day.

Actually a more sensible solution in the example I gave would be some
right padding on .foo instead. Then you can set the padding in pixels.
(If you set left margin for the button, the right border of the text
input box magically disappears.)
Presumably it hasn't disappeared but is just covered up by the left edge
of the button.
Jul 1 '08 #12

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