[thelist] Re: auto-sized boxes, and a CSS rant

Jonathan_A_McPherson at rl.gov Jonathan_A_McPherson at rl.gov
Tue Jun 25 15:10:01 CDT 2002


That is indeed a possible solution.

The problem is that I want the width of the box to be determined by the text
in the box, not by a hard-coded number.

I can indeed get a "scaleable" width with ems, but using ems means I must
manually determine the length of the text in ems, and then use that amount
as the width.

width = x ems, looks good
|      +-------------+      |
|      |do this      |      |
|      |do that      |      |
|      |do otherstuff|      |
|      +-------------+      |

width = x ems, text has changed
|      +-------------+      |
|      |do this      |      |
|      |do that      |      |
|      |do whatever  |      |
|      +-------------+      |

The text no longer appears to be properly centered, and the box is no longer
fitted properly to the text.

Every time I change the text, I must recalculate and insert the width in

This is annoying to do manually, and downright frustrating when the text is
coming out of a database (could be arbitrarily long).

Jonathan McPherson, LMIT/SD&I
Software Engineer & Web Systems Analyst
email / jonathan_a_mcpherson at rl dot gov

-----Original Message-----
From: John Snavely [mailto:snavely at amnh.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 11:21 AM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] Re: auto-sized boxes, and a CSS rant

Basically, you don't want to set a width on a box that will have
varying input text lengths. But if you don't specify a width the box
takes up as much width as it can in a browser window. So your text is
left aligned to a centered box that is 100% wide.

The solution:
Specify a width for your box, but in em units. That way when a user
increases their font size, the size of the box will also increase
along with the font.
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