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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Deigning a Simple HTML Menu-Bar Using CSS

Deigning a Simple HTML Menu-Bar Using CSS

In this post I’m going to show how you can create a menu-bar (list of hyperlinks) using CSS styling. This requires that you at least have some basic knowledge of HTML and preferably CSS too. If you can’t figure out what a menu-bar looks like, scroll to the bottom.

Seen! Though pretty much the same can be implemented using tables but that is not web developers prefer.

In HTML there is not standard tag for creating a menu like item therefore we would be customized or style a standard tag. We’ll be using the ‘unordered list’ <ul></li> tag to do so, in this case every item i.e. <li></li> will be items in the menu.

Let us first start by creating an unordered list as follows:

<ul>
    <li>Item 1</li>
    <li>Item 2</li>
</ul>

It shows up something like below:

  • Item 1
  • Item 2

Obviously this is not what we want; items here are displaying Bullets and are one below the other while we want them to be in one line, one after the other. To achieve this we’ll style his ‘unordered list’ by defining a CSS class, then applying it to this tag.

<head>
<style>
.menu ul
{
    list-style: none;
}
</style>
</head>

<body>
<div class="menu">
    <ul>
        <li>Item 1</li>
        <li>Item 2</li>
    </ul>
</div>
</body>

Here we have defined a CSS class in between the <style></style> tags. It contains the property list-style: none for the <ul> tag, this would make the unordered list classified by menu class to NOT to display the bullets beside each item.

  • Item 1
  • Item 2

Great! And by the way if you don’t know what a CSS class is, for now you can think of it as a way of defining properties in CSS which could be used in HTML to classify different parts or tags to have properties as defined. You can see in the above code we have used <div class="menu"></div> to classify that portion and all the tags between it to have the special property defined in CSS.

Coming to the menu bar, it still has a big problem that it doesn’t look like a Menu. Well the same list would look like a menu if we style it, for this we would have to define display: inline for the <li> tag of the unordered list. This would make the items in the list to be in ONE line hence look like a Menu.

<head>
<style>
.menu ul
{
    list-style: none;
}

/*We want the <li> (items) to be inline*/
.menu ul li
{
    display: inline;
}
</style>
</head>

<body>
<div class="menu">
   <ul>   
    <li>Item 1</li>
    <li>Item 2</li>
    <li>Item 3</li>
    <li>Item 4</li>
   </ul>
</div>
</body>

Menu bar would look like:

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3
  • Item 4

Ok now our menu bar is almost done, now we just have to make it more attractive and to react to mouse activity. For this we’ll add some more code to the CSS (style sheet):

Added stuff is self explanatory, padding is used to increase the clickable are of the menu items. Now the Menu Bar would look like:

NOTE: Hover effect is not working here, because Icannot add stylesheet for seperate pages in Blogger and I don't want to mess up the CSS Validity of this page.

Below is the complete code listing:


  <html>
  <head>

  <title>Menu Bar Using CSS</title>

  <style>
  .menu ul
  {
    list-style: none;
  }

  .menu ul li
  {
    display: inline;
  }

  .menu ul li a
  {
    /*Increase Clickable Area*/
    padding: 8px;
    padding-left: 15px;
    padding-right: 15px;

    /*Remove the Underline for the Link*/
    text-decoration: none;

    color: #000;
    background: #ccc;
  }

  /*On Mouse Over the Link*/
  .menu ul li a:hover
  {
    color: #fff;
    background: #000;
  }
  </style>

  </head>

  <body>
  <div class="menu">

    <ul>

      <li><a href="#">Item 1</a></li>
      <li><a href="#">Item 2</a></li>
      <li><a href="#">Item 3</a></li>
      <li><a href="#">Item 4</a></li>

    </ul>
  </div>
  </body>
  </html>

Previous Posts:

15 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Thanks so much for this! I was wondering though, how can I remove the white space in between the cells?

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ Anonymous,

    You can give "background-color: #ccc;" to ".menu ul". That way the menu-bar will become 100% wide which, if not required, can be set using "width" property.

    For example the following code did the trick for the illustrated menu:


    background-color: #ccc;

    padding: 8px;

    width: 300px;


    you'll have to change the width accoring to the items in your menu.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:45 PM

    thx there

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous7:33 AM

    thanks friend!! that was neat explanation

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much for this! I was wondering though, how can I remove the white space in between the cells?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seen! Though pretty much the same can be implemented using tables but that is not web developers prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  7. radhika12:40 PM

    its really a very nice post, self explanatory, easy to learn..i would rate 4 out of 5

    ReplyDelete
  8. umesh stha10:02 AM

    thank you fot tis.. its great .

    ReplyDelete
  9. Uttam Kumar shaw7:09 PM

    thanks, it reallly helped, but how can i add submenu.
    it is only for the menu bar.

    ReplyDelete
  10. thnq u so much...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous7:22 PM

    really nice post.thanx :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous9:29 AM

    thank u so much it really helped

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous7:09 PM

    I do have same question as Uttam's...

    ReplyDelete
  14. How can i get similar width of background when i have different length of words,..
    Eg: Home, Contact Us, Announcements Etc.

    ReplyDelete

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