[thelist] Pull down menus & option truncation

Chris Heilmann lists at onlinetools.org
Wed Mar 9 11:20:46 CST 2005

> I am working on a site that has pull down menus that need to contain
> names of agencies that can get very long.  I think I can set a width
> for dropdown choices but IE ( AFAIK ) will then truncate the choice's
> length if it has to. If I don't set a width, a wide choice may break
> the layout due to space constraints. I don't know if it's possible to
> force-wrap pull down menu choice lengths, apparently it doesn't work in
> IE5.5 or lower?

This might help:
In essence, it is a script that replaces dropdowns with styleable DHTML
ones on the fly. It is unobtrusive, and only applies itself when it is

> Any suggestions on how to best handle long names in a pull down menu?
> I'd like this to work in as many browsers as possible, and it needs to
> be as accessible/508 compliant as possible.  I cannot provide a link
> yet, everything is still in Photoshop Mockup stage, and I don't want to
> mockup something that is not possible in HTML.

Aye there is the problem. The amount of text will not change, and it can
be rather annoying to hear all that or read through it.
If your design is constrained as you mentioned above you might be in
trouble already. Does it allow for font resizing without breaking? If not,
it is not a clever design for a site that needs to be accessible.

It is probably a good idea to look at the data, too. Is there a way to
shorten the name of the agencies, possibly by grouping them into different
sub groups?

Chris Heilmann
Blog: http://www.wait-till-i.com
Writing: http://icant.co.uk/
Binaries: http://www.onlinetools.org/

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