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Floating column heads and overflow problem in FF

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
My goal is to have my column headers float and remain static while users scroll through a list of values. I dug up some CSS code that does this well, at least in IE. All page code is in PHP, the columns, etc., are written in HTML tables, but he floating is done with CSS.

The problems come with FF (v3x) - when one thing works, another does not. I would prefer to have the vertical span of my tables be 100%. In FF, when set at 100%, I do not get scrollbars using the overflow:auto CSS function. When I use a static vertical length (i.e. 600px) , I get the scrollbars, but all of my cells automatically extend in height to fill the static length when there are not enough rows to organically fill that length. In IE (testing in 6) it all works without issue. I've included my code below. Thanks in advance.
CSS:
.table-header{position:relative;top:-1px;font:weight:bold;}
.table-header th{
font-weight:bold;
font-size:13px;
}
.table-body{OVERFLOW:auto;HEIGHT:100%;WIDTH:100%;}
.table-body td{
font-weight:normal;
padding:0px;
margin:0px;
height:20px;
min-height:20px;
}
.grid-div{OVERFLOW:auto;HEIGHT:590px;WIDTH:100%}
 
HEAD SCRIPT
<script language="javascript" >
       window.onload = function(){
              if (document.all){
//REMOVE TBODY STYLE FOR IE
                     var gridBody = document.getElementById("GridBody");
                     gridBody.className = '';
              } else {
//REMOVE DIV STYLE FOR NON-IE
                     var gridDiv = document.getElementById("GridContainer");
                     gridDiv.className = '';                 
              }
       }
</script>
 
BODY CODE
<div id="GridContainer" class="grid-div">
<table id="Grid" width="100%" border="0">
<tr class="table-header" bgcolor='#fffedd'>
<!--create column headers -->
                <th align='left' style='padding-left:15px;'>VALUE</th>
				<th align='left'>VALUE</th>
				<th align='left'>VALUE</th>
                <th align='left'>VALUE</th>
                <th align='left'>VALUE</th>
				<th align='left'>VALUE</th>
                <th style='padding-right:20px;'>&nbsp;</th>
</tr>
<tbody id="GridBody" class="table-body">
<?php
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($getresult)) {
	  $company_id = trim($row['company_id']);
	  
  echo "
  <form method='post' action='PAGE.PHP' name='contform' target='_parent'>
  <tr valign='top'>
    <td valign='top' style='padding-left:15px;'>VALUE</td>
	<td valign='top'>VALUE</td>
	<td valign='top'>VALUE</td>
    <td valign='top'>VALUE</td>
    <td valign='top'>VALUE</td>
    <td valign='top'>VALUE</td>
  </tr>
  ";  
  }
?>
 
<!--COPY ROWS UNTIL YOU SEE A SCOLLBAR IN YOUR BROWSER-->
</tbody>
</table>
</div>

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Question by:dulatoag2
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2 Comments
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
Bobaran98 earned 250 total points
ID: 24361210
The kind of project you're playing with can be a bit tricky, and I've definitely agonized my share over this sort of thing.
 
 I've thrown something together for you as an alternative to all that heavy CSS styling/positioning and cross-browser frustration.  Take the code below and save it as a fresh PHP file, then upload it, and point your browser to it.  By default it will show 15 rows.  If you want to change that number, just add the "num" variable in the query string, for example:
 
http://www.mysite.com/this_file.php?num=37

  I've listed what I see to be the pros and cons of my approach

PROS
  • Completely cross-browser compatible (you'll see some differences on the table/cell borders, but I'll let you worry about that).  I've tested on the following browsers:
    • Win - IE7
    • Win - Firefox
    • Win - Opera
    • Win - Chrome
    • Mac - Firefox
    • Mac - Opera
    • Mac - Safari
  • Column headers always line up properly with table columns.
  • The height of the table (and therefore of each row) is not stretched to meet a minimum height if you have a small number of rows.
  • Scrollbars activate when needed.
  • Very simple code, easy to understand and tweak.
CONS
  • The footprint of the entire table must be a static width and height; it does not shrink automatically if you have a small number of rows (I tried using the CSS min-height and max-height properties for this, but they didn't behave correctly in IE7... and perhaps not other browsers either.
  • The horizontal scrollbar at the bottom is always visible, though disabled.
If you think of any other cons, let me know. ;-)  What do you think?

<?php
	if(isset($_REQUEST['num'])) { $numRows = $_REQUEST['num']; }
	else { $numRows = 25; }
?>
 
<HTML>
 <HEAD>
  <TITLE> Floating Table Headers </TITLE>
 
<style type="text/css">
	<!--
	td { border: solid 1px #555555;
	-->
</style>
 
 </HEAD>
 
 <BODY bgcolor="#AA3333">
 
<center>
 
<p>
<div style="position:relative;width:622px;height:541px;background:#000000;">
	<div style="position:absolute;left:3px;top:3px;width:616px;height:535px;background:#AAAAAA;">
		<table style="position:absolute;left:0px;top:0px;width:600px;height:35px;border:solid 1px #000000;background:#AAAAAA;">
			<tr>
				<td width='100'><u><b>Column 1</b></u></td>
				<td width='200'><u><b>Column 2</b></u></td>
				<td width='100'><u><b>Column 3</b></u></td>
				<td width='50'><u><b>Col 4</b></u></td>
				<td width='150'><u><b>Column 5</b></u></td>
			</tr>
		</table>
		<div style="position:absolute;left:0px;top:35px;width:616px;height:500px;overflow:scroll;background:#DDDDDD;">
		<table style="position:absolute;left:0px;top:0px;width:600px;border:solid 1px #000000;background:#FFFFFF;">
			<?php
				for($i=1;$i<=$numRows;$i++) {
					echo "<tr>";
					echo "<td width='100'>Column 1-$i</td>";
					echo "<td width='200'>Column 2-$i</td>";
					echo "<td width='100'>Column 3-$i</td>";
					echo "<td width='50'>4-$i</td>";
					echo "<td width='150'>Column 5-$i</td>";
					echo "</tr>";
				}
			?>
			</table>
		</div>
	</div>
</div>
</center>
 
 
 </BODY>
</HTML>

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Author Comment

by:dulatoag2
ID: 24416460
Sorry for the response delay! This works great and I'll deal with the limitations of having to have static dimensions. It's all about compromise. The best thing is it's simple. I appreciate your help!
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