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Implementing dropdowns within a navigation bar

From: Up and Running with Bootstrap 3

Video: Implementing dropdowns within a navigation bar

Now that we've got that nav bar in place and it's looking great, one of the next things people ask about at this point is how to add a drop-down to the navigation bar. And Bootstrap has a number of way of adding drop-downs to in fact a number of elements within a Bootstrap-powered web page. I am looking at getbootstrap.com. If you go to the component section of the documentation, and click on Dropdowns, you can read all about the dropdowns here and how they work. This is just dropdowns in general. Note also that over here in the left navigation, there's the option of button-based dropdowns.

Implementing dropdowns within a navigation bar

Now that we've got that nav bar in place and it's looking great, one of the next things people ask about at this point is how to add a drop-down to the navigation bar. And Bootstrap has a number of way of adding drop-downs to in fact a number of elements within a Bootstrap-powered web page. I am looking at getbootstrap.com. If you go to the component section of the documentation, and click on Dropdowns, you can read all about the dropdowns here and how they work. This is just dropdowns in general. Note also that over here in the left navigation, there's the option of button-based dropdowns.

I'm not going to cover these in this tutorial, but it is possible to add these dropdowns to individual buttons as well. So you can tie these dropdowns then to that navigation bar, you can tie them to pills or tabs or you can tie it to the responsive navigation bar and that's what I'm going to show you how to do in this video. So if you go to your Exercise Files folder and go to folder number 05_01, you'll find this HTML file. Copy this file from your Exercise Files folder over into your Bootstrap folder.

And open it up here in sublime text. If you right click anywhere on the page and say, Open in Browser, you'll see how this page currently looks. And, so there is that top navigation bar that we added before. And, you'll see that something else has been added here. And that is these names of the doctors here. They're actually under the about menu item. And, in fact this is still a responsive navigation bar. We still have our menu showing up here and it kind of, sort of looks okay at the smaller resolutions. But it doesn't really look particularly good like this just yet.

So if you take a look at the HTML that I've given you and we're down around lines 28 or so. This is just an ordered list for the main navigation bar and then you'll see that we have embedded in that another unordered list. One of the important points to remember with unordered lists is that if you're going to nest them in the way I've nested them here, is that this unordered list should go inside of the list item, the parent list item. Very, very important. I find that a lot of beginners to HTML forget this. They close their li and then they just insert the ul.

Really inside of the other ul and that's actually not correct. So, what we're going to do to make this work, then, as a dropdown, is we're just going to add some additional classes here, and then, this is just going to work as a dropdown. So, here on the li, here on line 28. This is the containing li for the document. Were going to add a class of dropdown, and then were going to add here on the ul, the embedded ul, we're going to add a class of dropdown hyphen menu.

And this is going to drive a lot of the styling that's involved here. Another little piece that's involved with the styling is something we'll add right here after the word about, but before the slash a. I'm going to add the span tag with a class of caret. CARET. And what that will do is it will put the little triangle next to the word About, indicating that there's a dropdown menu there. You don't have to put it in this span with a class of carat. Or you could swap it out for some other sort of icon, if you wish.

It's a helpful user interface addition to have the little carat in place, because it will indicate that this particular menu item has a dropdown associated with it. And then the very last thing that you have to do in order to make this whole thing work is inside of the ref. Associated with the li that's the parent of this dropdown menu and we're going to add data hyphen toggle equals dropdown. So data hyphen anything in HTML5 is an attribute that indicates this has something to do with JavaScript.

So, this is what we're using to bind the JavaScript that's going to drive this dropdown to this particular li. So that we click on the li, the dropdown is going to appear and that is what this data toggle attribute is doing. You can customize these data hyphen attributes with anything. It happens to be that Bootstrap is called this data hyphen toggle but if you're writing JavaScript, you can write your own attributes that will go in a data hyphen type of attribute and interestingly data hyphen anything will validate with HTML 5, it's very important to know.

OK, so let's go ahead and save this page, File Save, and if you right-click anywhere or Cmd+click anywhere on the page and say Open in Browser, you will have the revised page displaying here inside of your browser Window, and you will see that the word about over here now has a little triangle next to it. That's driven by that span with the class of carat. If you click on the word About, you'll have your dropdown menu here. Now, it's worth noting of course, that Bootstrap's dropdowns are driven by clicks and not by hovers. And why is that? Well remember that this has to work on mobile devices as well as on desktops.

So, you can't really hover on anything on a mobile device. Your users are going to have to click on the particular item in order to find the dropdown to work with Bootstrap's dropdowns right out of the box.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Bootstrap 3
Up and Running with Bootstrap 3

37 video lessons · 22873 viewers

Jen Kramer
Author

 
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  1. 5m 25s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Installing Sublime Text 2
      3m 8s
  2. 29m 0s
    1. What is Bootstrap?
      8m 1s
    2. Downloading and unzipping Bootstrap 3
      4m 31s
    3. Examining Bootstrap file structure
      4m 34s
    4. Adding CSS to a Bootstrap HTML file
      4m 35s
    5. Adding JavaScript to a Bootstrap HTML file
      7m 19s
  3. 44m 38s
    1. Exploring Bootstrap's grid system
      9m 10s
    2. Creating new rows and cells
      14m 5s
    3. Adjusting column widths using offset
      5m 2s
    4. Changing column order using push and pull
      5m 34s
    5. Nesting columns
      3m 43s
    6. Creating a JumboTron-style layout
      3m 41s
    7. Challenge: Working with grids
      1m 31s
    8. Solution: Working with grids
      1m 52s
  4. 53m 34s
    1. Exploring basic typography: The small and blockquote tags
      4m 29s
    2. Exploring Bootstrap's responsive classes including .hidden and .visible
      4m 44s
    3. Styling buttons using btn classes
      4m 43s
    4. Styling images with responsiveness and decorative touches
      5m 22s
    5. Incorporating Bootstrap 3 glyph icons
      3m 28s
    6. Creating a thumbnail gallery
      6m 2s
    7. Styling tabular data
      5m 3s
    8. Overriding core CSS with custom styles
      12m 53s
    9. Challenge: Styling panels and callouts
      2m 17s
    10. Solution: Styling panels and callouts
      4m 33s
  5. 27m 41s
    1. Implementing location breadcrumbs
      6m 38s
    2. Using tabs and pills for navigation
      6m 58s
    3. Developing a responsive navigation bar
      9m 9s
    4. Challenge: Modify the "pancake" button
      1m 3s
    5. Solution: Modify the "pancake" button
      3m 53s
  6. 37m 45s
    1. Implementing dropdowns within a navigation bar
      5m 5s
    2. Tabbing within the same page
      15m 45s
    3. Accordion panels with collapse functionality
      11m 37s
    4. Challenge: Tooltips
      1m 59s
    5. Solution: Tooltips
      3m 19s
  7. 3m 0s
    1. Next steps towards advanced Bootstrap
      3m 0s

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