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Form Select/Option Layout Question

We are preparing a page with twelve (12) drop down
option/select menus, arranged vertically. It works,
and it is what the user needs.

The widths of the menu boxes are random now, but is
there is a way to control the WIDTH of the menu boxes,
so they would all be alike?

Thank you for any help Rich
Jul 20 '05 #1
3 5811
Rich <ri***********@ntplx.net> wrote:
We are preparing a page with twelve (12) drop down
option/select menus, arranged vertically. It works,
and it is what the user needs.
Are you sure it it is what the user needs? Have you tested whether it
would actually be more convenient to scroll just the page as a whole?
The widths of the menu boxes are random now, but is
there is a way to control the WIDTH of the menu boxes,
so they would all be alike?


This is primary a CSS question, since you are specifically asking about
visual appearance only. However, some browsers may recognize the width
attribute in a <select> element (where it is surely nonstandard). Don't
use it, though - it might still "work", and it would mean setting the
width in pixels or percentage, neither of which is a good idea. So just
use CSS, e.g.
select { width: 20em; }
where the value is to be chosen according to the longest option string.
(The em unit _very roughly_ corresponds to about two characters width.)
More info:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms...l#select-width

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #2
"Jukka K. Korpela" wrote:

Rich <ri***********@ntplx.net> wrote:
We are preparing a page with twelve (12) drop down
option/select menus, arranged vertically. It works,
and it is what the user needs.


Are you sure it it is what the user needs? Have you tested whether it
would actually be more convenient to scroll just the page as a whole?
The widths of the menu boxes are random now, but is
there is a way to control the WIDTH of the menu boxes,
so they would all be alike?


This is primary a CSS question, since you are specifically asking about
visual appearance only. However, some browsers may recognize the width
attribute in a <select> element (where it is surely nonstandard). Don't
use it, though - it might still "work", and it would mean setting the
width in pixels or percentage, neither of which is a good idea. So just
use CSS, e.g.
select { width: 20em; }
where the value is to be chosen according to the longest option string.
(The em unit _very roughly_ corresponds to about two characters width.)
More info:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms...l#select-width

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


Yes, thank you for the technical information. We are consolidating
these option/select menus from 12 separate web pages for each region
that are apparently "hard to find" for neophyte users. Now they can
all start at the same place, and also visit each others' pages, and
be inspired to keep their individual page up-to-date too :-)

Writing a URL for each individual choice is a pain, because the URL
is about twice as long as the URL window, combining data from several
categories in the database. The drop menus will match the rest of the
look/feel of this commercially developed site, and menus were already
written, we just pasted them together. This website uses a minimum of
CSS, for maximum compatibility. The extreme difference in the width
was found to be an error in the data, some things were repeated twice.
Thanks rich
Jul 20 '05 #3
Rich <ri***********@ntplx.net> wrote:
Yes, thank you for the technical information.
Actually the valuable part of my contribution was the less technical
part, but anyone can pick up anything he wants from Usenet.
We are consolidating
these option/select menus from 12 separate web pages for each
region that are apparently "hard to find" for neophyte users. Now
they can all start at the same place, and also visit each others'
pages, and be inspired to keep their individual page up-to-date too
:-)
So, in effect, you are not really setting up a form for submitting data
but constructing a hierarchic menu. Then the proper method is to use
nested lists of links. This is rather obvious, but since people keep
missing the obvious, I have composed a page that explains the reasons
in detail: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/navmenu.html

(It is just imaginable that you actually have a multidimensional choice
of the kind that I describe at the end of my document. But I refrain
from such speculations. Probably if it was _that_ complex, you would
have posted a URL to illustrate the setting.)
Writing a URL for each individual choice is a pain, because the URL
is about twice as long as the URL window, combining data from
several categories in the database.
I have no idea of what you are talking about here. Are you saying that
URLs are displayed on your page, or what?
The drop menus will match the
rest of the look/feel of this commercially developed site, and
menus were already written, we just pasted them together.
So it's probably just an expensive plastic imitation of a collection of
lists of links.
This website uses a minimum of CSS, for maximum compatibility.


For some odd value of "compatibility", perhaps.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #4

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