Conflicting Absolute Positions

by Rob Swan

77 Reader Comments

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  1. I use this technique or variants very heavily, thanks to the frames without frames article published (and cited) a while back.

    Be forewarned: VERY rarely, and usually inconsistently, Expressions can cause the IE browser to hang in an infinite loop. What appears to happen is the dimension gets calculated which causes the expression to trigger again, ad infinitum. There are some discussions of this, but I don’t have the links.

    For me, it was the width being adjusted. In the end I had to pull it from the CSS,and put it in a javascript embedded in the footer of the page. I didn’t like doing so, because CSS is where it should be, but I had to. So people should be aware of this. While I was at it, I fixed the opera issues in JS too (window.opera is a good way to object sniff for opera)

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  2. Hi, i was looking for the same layout for some time ago, found the same solution with the absolute positioning of each corner, and ran in to the same problems in IE6 og earlier versions.. After a bid of work i actualy manged to find af solution that works alle the way down to IE5 in pure CSS without the need for Javascript. – Will put it online and post a link if anyone should be interessetet :-)

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  3. Hi.. Haven’t had time to write an explanation, but the code should be pretty strait forward :) (There is a small problem with the positioning og the right side scrollbar in IE6 that i haven’t been able to solve yet, but other than that i works as a charm as far as i can se :)

    http://www.einventions.dk/kongknabe/frameset_layout.html

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  4. Rasmus – see my post 54 :)

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  5. Sorrey.. Missed your post :-)

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  6. Does anyone know of a way that I could achieve a similar effect using the “em” size unit?
    I would like my header to be able to fully encapsulate its text, regardless of the text size the user has chosen.

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  7. I noticed that plenty have reported the problem with absolutely positions containers that incorrectly size containing DIVs with 100% widths.

    I found that it no scrollbar appears in IE7/Win, FF2/Win, O9/Win, NN9/Win, S3/Win.

    The problem I’m experiencing is that I cannot set the height of DIVs to 100% in IE7/Win. It works in all the above mentioned browsers.

    Have anyone got a solutions for this problem?

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  8. Thanks for taking the time to write this great, clear article.

    I’ve done this layout using pure CSS, but using individual BORDERS (as an earlier commenter noted) as if they were margins or padding. The neat trick he didn’t mention: you can set BORDER-COLOR to TRANSPARENT so no need to match background colors or designs. 100% fills the remaining calculated width. You might have to keep an eye on your z-index layering when constructing to prevent mouse events from being captured in the wrong DIV.

     

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  9. Whilst your CSS is clean and effective I thought I should point out a few difficulties that it exposes.
    Firefox has a well known and long established print bug exposed by the use of absolute positioning – content is curtailed, usually to a single page.
    Firefox mousewheel navigation (the autoscroll feature) is also broken.
    Neither of these may be considered show stoppers for some but developers might like to be aware of these issues.

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  10. It looks like #main style is supposed to be the style for <div id=“right”>??

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  11. Whilst the solution is neat and taught me things I didn’t know, I do have a worry about those users who can’t use a mouse for some reason.

    As exampled it seems impossible to get the DIVs to scroll down using keystrokes. It seems to me that a sighted user who cannot use a mouse would be unable to access the text at the bottom of both the DIVs.

    In a similar layout with frames tabbing would give focus to each frame in turn, and then the up and down arrow keys would scroll the individual frames.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

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  12. I really enjoyed the article.

    One issue I’m having in IE7 is getting a nested DIV to respect the calculated height of the parent div. In Firefox, setting the height property to 100% yields the desired result; that is, a div that consumes the entire height of the underlying element. In IE7, the height is ignored, presumably because the element’s height is calculated rather than specified in CSS.

    If someone has a workaround, I’d be grateful for tips.

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  13. Great article rob. Very clear and concise, eays to follow. Good job.

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  14. Thank you very much for this article. It solved me a month of headache.

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  15. Love this technique. Had no idea this was possible. TY!!!

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  16. The layout I’m stuck with has three fixed width columns. For over two years I have tried different ways to get IE6 (may it someday RIP) to extend the background of the right and left columns all the way to the bottom of the center column (where the varying height main content is). I don’t even have (or need or want) scroll bars.

    Maybe there’s an expression-free method to accomplish this somewhere out there, but I haven’t been able to find it. I’m just glad this approach works perfectly for my purpose.

    Thanks for taking the time to track down and explain a classic head-scratcher to this non-expert.

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  17. Thanks, even if we’re seeing IE6 fade away, it is still very much a reality with Asian users.
    I have been looking for a cross-browser option of pinning a div to the viewport’s height, preferably without the use of jquery or equivalent.
    This is brilliant.

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