Archive for the ‘JQuery Tutorials’ Category

JQuery Plugin: Simple Textbox Watermark

In a previous post, I’ve written about creating a simple JQuery watermark. The code I wrote in that post is simple, and breaks down how a watermark really works. I expanded on that simplicity with this plugin, but not too far. Most watermark plugins I’ve seen are overly complex, attempting to account for all usage scenarios, when a majority of people only need to handle a small subset of those scenarios. So, I built a light plugin (under 1.3KB) that handles those basic scenarios well and implements easily. Here’s how it works:

Here’s how to implement it:

  1. Add in the most recent version of JQuery and the plugin code.
  2. In a document ready function, bind the plugin to any inputs and textareas you want with a single line of JQuery.
  3. Add the watermark text you want into the title property of the appropriate inputs and textareas.
  4. Apply any CSS you want to style your watermark text (suggested), and that’s it!
  5. Dependent on your usage scenario, call the function to clear out the watermarks before submitting the form.

The javascript:


The plugin applies a class of ‘marked’ to inputs and textareas when the watermark is active:

input.watermark, textarea.watermark { color: #000; }
input.marked, textarea.marked { color: #999; }

You’ve got to include your title property and the watermark class for the plugin to bind to the form item:

<input type="text" title="WATERMARK_TEXT class="watermark" />
<input type="text" title="WATERMARK TEXT" class="watermark" val="PREPOPULATED_VALUE" />
<input type="password" title="WATERMARK_TEXT" class="watermark" />
<input type="email" title="WATERMARK_TEXT" class="watermark" />
<textarea title="WATERMARK_TEXT" class="watermark"></textarea>

Here’s the javascript function to call if you want to clear out the watermarks before a form submission (just make sure to use the same JQuery targeting you used to bind the plugin to your form elements so you don’t miss anything):


It is as simple as that. Did I sell you on it? If so, download the plugin and enjoy! Here are links to both the unminimified and minified versions.

Download Full (1.66KB)Download Minified (1.26KB)

This plugin has been tested in the following browsers:

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer Safari Opera

If you have any questions or comments on the plugin, please share. I may release more versions if there are specific feature requests that can be implemented without using a heavy amount of code. I want to keep this light, so if you want really advanced features, then this isn’t the plugin for you. But who knows, maybe I’ll write a more advanced one later…

JQuery Plugin: Hide And Show “N” List Items

My previous post was on using JQuery to hide and show part of a list. The javascript was simple and clean, but it was also a little hacky, because it required a hard-coded height to collapse your lists to. I felt it would be a little more appropriate to go further in depth and actually take a parameter for the number of list items you want to show by default. Notice in my sidebar, I automatically hide list items in my categories and popular post lists. I used the first version with a hard-coded height, to handle those. Here’s a really simple plugin that takes an optional number of list items to show, on page load, collapses lists to that number, and appends a link to toggle the list display.

Here’s an example of how it looks after you’ve applied it to multiple lists. You can apply it to both ordered and unordered lists. You can apply a different collapse number to individual lists, or the same number to them all. You can also change the text of the toggle link. As you can see below, there are two completely different implementations, using default settings on the left, and custom settings on the right.

  • item number 1
  • item number 2
  • item number 3
  • item number 4
  • item number 5
  • item number 6
  • item number 7
  • item number 1
  • item number 2
  • item number 3
  • item number 4
  • item number 5
  • item number 6
  • item number 7

To implement the JQuery plugin, just bind the collapseList function to any ordered or unordered list. To stick with the default settings, use the first line of code in a document ready function. To customize the collapse number, and the toggle link text, use the second example.

	'collapseNum' : 4,
	'moreLinkText' : 'custom show text',
	'lessLinkText' : 'custom hide text'

Now to the goodies. Download the plugin! Here are links to both the unminimified and minified versions.

Download Full (1.39KB)Download Minified (790B)

This plugin has been tested in the following browsers:

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer Safari Opera

I’m thinking a more robust version 2 could be in the works, but I don’t know what kind of customization would be needed. There are a lot of possibilities, and I’m just trying to decide what would help more. Feel free to put in requests so I can start working on putting something out.

JQuery: Hiding And Showing Part Of A List

I’ve encountered many situations where I don’t have quite enough space to show all the items in a list, but I still want them to be available. The best example I can give of that is actually in my sidebar to the right! You’ll notice my popular posts and blog categories show less than half of the full list. I definitely wanted it to be easy to access all the categories and my most popular posts, so I didn’t want to have to limit the list. I also didn’t want to make my sidebar overwhelmingly long, causing my skyscraper ad to get pushed to the bottom of the page and below the main content entirely. The best solution was to use JQuery to automatically hide some of the list items, and then toggle them on hover.

This tutorial is a little bit different, but not by much. Instead of using the hover, we’ll actually use a link that needs to be clicked. The hover introduces an extra layer because you have to handle the hover on the list and the hover on the "view more" text added underneath. With a link, you can avoid that extra layer. Here’s an example of what we are making:

  • item number 1
  • item number 2
  • item number 3
  • item number 4
  • item number 5
  • item number 6
  • item number 7
  • item number 1
  • item number 2
  • item number 3
  • item number 4
  • item number 5
  • item number 6
  • item number 7

And more importantly, here’s how it works. First you’ve got to start with some HTML, a list in particular, either ordered or unordered. It is important to have the full list show by default without javascript. We’ll make sure that only if a user has javascript enabled on their browser will we hide any list items (because they wouldn’t be able to show them without javascript).


<ul class="collapse">
     <li>item number 1</li>
     <li>item number 2</li>
     <li>item number 3</li>
     <li>item number 4</li>
     <li>item number 5</li>
     <li>item number 6</li>
     <li>item number 7</li>
     <li>item number 8</li>
     <li>item number 9</li>
     <li>item number 10</li>

Next, we move on to the javascript. Just to clarify for anyone that missed the post title, this requires the JQuery library, so make sure to include that! After that, this code is really quite simple actually. The first thing we’ll do is add a wrapper div which we’ll be using to manipulate the visible height of the list. Then, when the document has finished loading, we’ll immediately collapse the list to the desired height (in this case 45px), and add a link to show the hidden items. By using this method, we’ve made sure that the list is still accessible to those without javascript.

After that, we’ll write a function to get run on the click event of that link we inserted. It’ll check, if the link has the class “expanded”, then collapse the list to the given height, change the link text, and remove the “expanded” class. Otherwise, the list will get expanded to its full height, the link text will be changed, and the “expanded” class will be added.

The Javascript:

$(document).ready(function () {
	$('ul.collapse').wrap('<div class="collapseWrapper" />');
	$('div.collapseWrapper').css({ 'height' : '45px' }).after('<a href="#" class="collapseMore">view details . . .</a>');
	$('a.collapseMore').click(function () {
		if ($(this).hasClass('expanded')) {
			$(this).prev().animate({ height: '45px' }, 500);
			$(this).text('view details . . .').removeClass('expanded');
		else {
			$(this).prev().animate({ height: $(this).prev().find( 'ul.collapse' ).outerHeight(true) }, 500);
			$(this).text('hide details . . .').addClass('expanded');
		return false;

And finally, you’ll need some CSS to define the wrapper div, and basic styling of the list and link.

The CSS:

ul.collapse{  }
ul.collapse li {  }
div.collapseWrapper { overflow: hidden; }
a.collapseMore {  }
a.collapseMore:hover {  }

It really isn’t that bad is it? Now if you want to expand on this, you can. I actually wrote a JQuery plugin to collapse lists to a given number of list items because I felt the hard-coded height was a little bit hacky. It is free, and very easy to implement with just a single line of code! Questions and comments are welcome.

Simple JQuery Tooltip

There are some great JQuery tooltip plugins out there, such as qTip2. In fact, I use qTip2 on this site because of how robust I think it is. However, sometimes, on smaller sites, you don’t want to load all that excessive code built to work in hundreds of different configurations just for a handful of tooltips. Well have no fear. Here’s how you can build a simple tooltip. Using a little JQuery, and some CSS3 (for the speech bubble discussed in my previous article and the question mark icon) you can make your own tooltips!

Here’s what we’ll be making:

This sentence needs more of an explanation for the user. ?

Now let’s get into the code needed to produce the example. The HTML is actually very simple. We are going to inject the content for the tooltip using JQuery so we won’t even need anything to target except the link that you hover on that triggers it.
Here’s the HTML:

<p>This sentence needs more of an explanation for the user. <span class="question">?</span></p>

The CSS looks pretty long. But in reality, it is built to my own personal liking. The "question" class applied to a span produces the question mark circle icon. You can easily do this with an image if you prefer, or apply it to a simple link with text or a question mark without any styling. Then there are two items for the "tooltip" class. The first item defines what the tooltip will look like (rounded borders, background color, text styling, etc.). The pseudo class of :before (or :after if you like) inserts an item before (or after) the element it is applied to. In this particular instance, the :before statement adds the tip to the tool, which you don’t need to use if you don’t want, or again, you can use an background image if you prefer.
Here’s the CSS:

span.question {
  cursor: pointer;
  display: inline-block;
  width: 16px;
  height: 16px;
  background-color: #89A4CC;
  line-height: 16px;
  color: White;
  font-size: 13px;
  font-weight: bold;
  border-radius: 8px;
  text-align: center;
  position: relative;
span.question:hover { background-color: #3D6199; }
div.tooltip {
  background-color: #3D6199;
  color: White;
  position: absolute;
  left: 25px;
  top: -25px;
  z-index: 1000000;
  width: 250px;
  border-radius: 5px;
div.tooltip:before {
  border-color: transparent #3D6199 transparent transparent;
  border-right: 6px solid #3D6199;
  border-style: solid;
  border-width: 6px 6px 6px 0px;
  content: "";
  display: block;
  height: 0;
  width: 0;
  line-height: 0;
  position: absolute;
  top: 40%;
  left: -6px;
div.tooltip p {
  margin: 10px;
  color: White;

And lastly the Javascript is actually quite simple. You use the hover toggle event (hover, then unhover) to create it. On hover, we simply append the actual tooltip div and it’s content to the question mark icon. Then on unhover, we remove the tooltip element.
And finally, here’s the Javascript:

$(document).ready(function () {
  $("span.question").hover(function () {
    $(this).append('<div class="tooltip"><p>This is a tooltip. It is typically used to explain something to a user without taking up space on the page.</p></div>');
  }, function () {

It really isn’t that bad, and it can easily be adjusted to work for several tooltips instead of just one. Got any questions? Comments? Just ask!

JQuery: Creating a Text Watermark

Update: Read about my JQuery plugin which handles inputs, textareas, and even passwords! It is super easy to implement and very lightweight.

My post on creating a text watermark with javascript has been pretty popular. One comment had to do with being able to implement that watermark without being able to edit the HTML (only having access to CSS and Javascript). The easy solution to that is using JQuery. So as a follow up to that post, I wrote a quick tutorial on a text watermark using JQuery instead of plain old Javascript. Here is an example in action:

To do this, you’ll need the following code:


<input id="inputTextboxId" type="text" />

The Javascript:

$(document).ready(function() {
 var watermark = 'textbox watermark text';
  if ($(this).val().length == 0)
  if ($(this).val() == watermark)

This javascript binds an event to both the blur and focus events of the input field. When the field gains focus (someone clicks in), the JS checks to see if the value of the input field is equivalent to the watermark, in which case it will clear it. When the field loses focus (someone clicks out), the JS checks to see if the field is empty, and if it is, places the watermark back in. The javascript also sets the default value of the textbox to the watermark so that you don’t have to edit the HTML at all. All of the “addClass” and “removeClass” events are only necessary if you wish to style the watermark differently than regular text input. To use this, you’ll need some CSS too.

Lastly, the CSS if you are feeling fancy:

input.watermark { color: #999; }

That’s it! A simple text watermark using JQuery that doesn’t require touching HTML at all.