Help using .after()

I have the following function that, when a option item is changed, it replaces it with a 'please wait' prompt:

function showLoadingSideText(ctrl) {
	$(ctrl).hide().after('<span style="font-weight:bold; white-space:nowrap; color:#999999"><img src="/images/waiticon.gif" alt="" /> Loading, please wait...</span>');
}

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It is invoked like this:

<select id="ddl_site" onchange="showLoadingSideText(this);" />

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What I need to do if possible is to expand this code to set the width of the replacing span to be the same as the element that is being hidden.  This would prevent any movement of content around the control being hidden (e.g. table cells suddenly resizing because the content was much smaller).  I've managed to read the size of the element to hide...

function showLoadingSideText(ctrl) {
 var controlWidth = $(ctrl).width();
 window.alert(controlWidth);
	$(ctrl).hide().after('<span style="font-weight:bold; white-space:nowrap; color:#999999"><img src="/images/waiticon.gif" alt="" /> Loading, please wait...</span>');
}

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...but I have some questions on the next step:

1. How do I apply the value of controlWidth into the span I am adding using after() ?
2. Why does the window.alert() message fail to show when using IE7 or IE8 (works fine in IE6,9,10 and FF)?  This might be an IETester bug though - but would like some feedback please!

Thanks.
LVL 25
RouchieAsked:
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leakim971Connect With a Mentor PluritechnicianCommented:
function showLoadingSideText(ctrl) {
 var controlWidth = $(ctrl).width();
 window.alert(controlWidth);
      $(ctrl).hide().after('<span style="font-weight:bold; white-space:nowrap; color:#999999;width:' + controlWidth +'px;"><img src="/images/waiticon.gif" alt="" /> Loading, please wait...</span>');
}
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richard_hughesCommented:
Hello Rouchie

1)

The easist way to control with width of elements is by using CSS. Try adding a common class to both the <select> and the <span> as in the attached code sample.

2)

IETester is not very good with JavaScript. It is mainly used for display testing. A good way to test JavaScript in other browsers is to try them directly. Have a look here for some virtual machines which come pre-installed with the respective browser versions (IE 6, 7, 8, 9): http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=11575

Thanks,

Richard Hughes
.commonWidth
{
    width: 150px;
}

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