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Indicating current pages

From: CSS: Styling Navigation

Video: Indicating current pages

It's not uncommon to want a menu to indicate the current page which tells the user which page or section of the site that they're currently viewing. Well, there are a number of techniques that allow us to do this. We're going to focus on the most common, which is to style a class attribute. So working in the same file, we've been working in the horizontal, this time from the 04_07 directory. The first thing I want to do, I'm going to scroll down to the menu, and in the menu I'm going to indicate the current page by using a class.

Indicating current pages

It's not uncommon to want a menu to indicate the current page which tells the user which page or section of the site that they're currently viewing. Well, there are a number of techniques that allow us to do this. We're going to focus on the most common, which is to style a class attribute. So working in the same file, we've been working in the horizontal, this time from the 04_07 directory. The first thing I want to do, I'm going to scroll down to the menu, and in the menu I'm going to indicate the current page by using a class.

So in this case, I'm just going to do the homepage, and I'm going to apply a class attribute, and I want to create a class called current. There are a lot of different ways that you can do this. If you're hand-creating a site, you can certainly go in and just on every page go ahead and apply that particular class to the current menu item. You can certainly automate that process. There's lot of blogging software out there that will apply that class dynamically for you. So there are a lot of different ways to do that, but for the most part ,people are going to be applying a class that indicates exactly what the current page or section is.

Now that we have that to identify through a class, we can go ahead and create a class selector. So I'm just going to do a class selector for current that allows us to target that link only. First thing I'm going to do is just give it a different background color and a different foreground color to really set it apart from the other links. So I'm going to do a background: #AD9B7F. It's sort of a desaturated brown color, and then I'm going to do a foreground color of #eee which is very light gray, almost white, but not quite.

So essentially what I'm doing is I'm taking both of those colors that darker brown color and the whiter the text, and I'm desaturating both of them, coming in the same direction so they're actually going to have less contrast. So I'm going to save this, go into my browser, and refresh it, and you can see the homepage is now being indicated by that lighter tan color, and even the text is sort of dulled a little bit so that it's separated from the rest of the menu. I would like that current indicator to look a lot more like our rollovers, in the fact that I'd like it to have that sort of tab look to it.

What's nice is we kind of already have that styling. We don't need to do it again if we don't want to. I can just go right up here to the hover and grab all of that tab styling. I don't need the height, although I certainly grab it if I wanted to. I could just go ahead and copy that. I'm going to paste it into the current selector, save that and then refresh it, and indeed now we have that tab look on our current page. Now there's one little thing here that's kind of bugging me about this. That brown bar that's underneath it really doesn't fit now.

When we do one of our rollovers, it really sort of fits because it looks like it's just sort of popping up a tab, but for our current indicator it doesn't really look all that great. So let's address that by using one of the methods that we've kind of talked about earlier. We'll put a border on the bottom of that. So I'm just going to do a border-bottom. We'll do 0.3 ems, which we know as the amount of space that we have there for that nav bar. We'll make it solid, and again, I'm going to use the same sort of desaturated trick. I'm going to do 917F63.

It's a little bit darker than the rest of the indicator so it will still give that appearance of a bar underneath it, but it'll be desaturate as well. So I'm going to save that, go back, refresh, and you can see we still have that two-tone thing going on there, but it definitely stands out. If you start rolling over these different elements, when you roll over the homepage indicator, the rollover still kind of works. That can be very distracting to somebody if it's the current page, and you roll over it and it's active, you're like, well, wait a second, maybe that is a separate link. And they click on it and they arrive right back where they were.

So let's go and take care of that rollover by going right up to the same selector typing in comma a:hover.current. So what that's going to do for you is it's going to extend the current styling to not only any element that has the current class applied to it, but when that element happens to be a link, and when that link is being hovered over apply the styling as well. So now if I save this, refresh, when I rollover it, nothing really changes.

Now there is one more minor detail here that I want to take care of. As you can see, as we roll over this, the rollovers don't work anymore, but the cursor still changes to that pointer since it is an active link. Well, thankfully CSS allows me to control that, and we're going to do that in our next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for CSS: Styling Navigation
CSS: Styling Navigation

53 video lessons · 16763 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 8s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 12s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 14s
  2. 35m 25s
    1. Organizing menus with lists
      4m 26s
    2. Ensuring accessibility
      9m 3s
    3. Using the nav element
      7m 30s
    4. Creating block-level links
      3m 8s
    5. Lab: Structuring navigation
      4m 11s
    6. Solution: Structuring navigation
      7m 7s
  3. 48m 42s
    1. Exploring link style considerations
      9m 2s
    2. Using global link styles
      9m 56s
    3. Styling link states
      10m 57s
    4. Indicating external links
      10m 4s
    5. Styling image links
      8m 43s
  4. 52m 5s
    1. Stripping default list styling
      4m 34s
    2. Defining link dimensions
      6m 0s
    3. Setting link styling
      3m 36s
    4. Aligning links vertically
      4m 11s
    5. Controlling link spacing
      2m 30s
    6. Styling menus with borders
      2m 32s
    7. Creating rollovers
      4m 45s
    8. Restricting link styling
      3m 31s
    9. Lab: Creating a vertical menu
      11m 44s
    10. Solution: Creating a vertical menu
      8m 42s
  5. 54m 58s
    1. Stripping list styling
      3m 35s
    2. Displaying links horizontally
      6m 14s
    3. Clearing floats
      6m 12s
    4. Controlling link sizing and spacing
      3m 11s
    5. Styling links
      7m 16s
    6. Creating rollovers
      5m 52s
    7. Indicating current pages
      4m 43s
    8. Controlling cursor states
      2m 46s
    9. Lab: Creating horizontal menus
      6m 45s
    10. Solution: Creating horizontal menus
      8m 24s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. Overview of dropdown menus
      1m 17s
    2. Structuring submenus
      5m 56s
    3. Styling submenus
      6m 4s
    4. Creating submenu rollovers
      3m 28s
    5. Positioning submenus
      5m 43s
    6. Controlling submenu display
      5m 5s
    7. Creating persistent hover states
      5m 53s
    8. Animating menus with CSS transitions
      6m 29s
    9. Lab: Dropdown menus
      6m 51s
    10. Solution: Dropdown menus
      8m 49s
  7. 58m 7s
    1. Creating CSS-only buttons
      8m 39s
    2. Creating special effects for buttons
      4m 2s
    3. Enhancing buttons with gradients
      7m 40s
    4. Overview of CSS sprites
      3m 30s
    5. Using CSS sprites for icons
      14m 30s
    6. Styling block-level links
      8m 38s
    7. Lab: Enhancing navigation with CSS
      5m 26s
    8. Solution: Enhancing navigation with CSS
      5m 42s
  8. 6m 29s
    1. Additional resources
      6m 29s

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