Jimmy Jimmy - 1 year ago 73
CSS Question

Yet Another Divs vs Tables issue: Forms

[Meta-note:] I was browsing the question page, getting really tired of "DIVS vs Tables" "When to use tables vs DIVS" "Are Divs better than Tables" "Tables versus CSS" and all the questions that ask THE SAME THING OMG PEOPLE but I would like to see all the ways people tackle the translation of the canonical example of "why you should give up and use tables":

<td> Name </td>
<td> <input> </td>
<td> Social Security Number </td>
<td> <input> </td>

Question: How to best (semantically, simply, robustly, fluidly, portably) implement the above without tables. For starters, I guess a naive implementation uses a fixed column width for the first column, but that can have iffy results for dynamically generated content. Including strengths/weaknesses of your approach in the answer would be nice.

P.S. Another one I wonder about a lot is vertical centering but the hack for that is covered pretty well at jakpsatweb.cz

EDIT: scunlife brings up a good example of why I didn't think out the problem that carefully. Tables can align multiple columns simultaneously. The Question still stands (I'd like to see different CSS techniques used for alignment/layout) - although solutions that can handle his? more involved example definitely are preferred.

mat mat
Answer Source

What I usually do is :

 <label for="param_1">Param 1</label>
 <input id="param_1" name="param_1"><br />
 <label for="param_2">Param 2</label>
 <input id="param_2" name="param_2"><br />

and in a CSS :

label,input { display: block; float: left; margin-bottom: 1ex; }
input { width: 20em; }
label { text-align: right; width: 15em; padding-right: 2em; }
br { clear: left; }

Of course, you'll have to define the width according to your actual data :-)

  • First, give label and input display: block, so that it can be assigned a size and be lined up.
  • They both get float: left because Explorer does things a bit differently
  • Format the label nicely
  • hack the br so that there's a clear: left somewhere, and I remember that putting it on the label didn't work on some browser.

Plus, with the br you get a nice formatting even if the browser does not support CSS :-)