CSS Horizontal Navigation Bar

Horizontal Navigation Bar

CSS Horizontal Navigation Bar: There are two different ways to horizontal navigation bar. Using inline or floating list items.

Inline List Items

One approach to build a horizontal navigation bar is to specify the <li> elements as inline, notwithstanding the “standard” code from the previous page:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}

li {
  display: inline;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Example explained:

• display: inline; – By default, <li> elements are block elements. Here, we eliminate the line breaks before and after each list item, to show them on one line

Floating List Items

Another way of creating a horizontal bar is to float the <li> elements, and specify a layout for the navigation links:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  padding: 8px;
  background-color: #dddddd;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

<p><b>Note:</b> If a !DOCTYPE is not specified, floating items can produce unexpected results.</p>
<p>A background color is added to the links to show the link area. The whole link area is clickable, not just the text.</p>
<p><b>Note:</b> overflow:hidden is added to the ul element to prevent li elements from going outside of the list.</p>

</body>
</html>

Example explained:

• float: left; – Use float to get block elements to float next to each other

• display: block; – Allows us to specify padding (and height, width, margins, and so on if you want)

• padding: 8px; – Specify some padding between each <a> element, to make them look good

background-color: #dddddd; – Add a gray background color to each <a> element

Tip: Add the background-color to <ul> instead of each <a> element if you want a full-width background color:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #dddddd;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  padding: 8px;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

<p>A background color is added to the list instead of each link to create a full-width background color.</p>
<p><b>Note:</b> overflow:hidden is added to the ul element to prevent li elements from going outside of the list.</p>

</body>
</html>

Horizontal Navigation Bar Examples

Create a fundamental horizontal navigation bar with a dark background color and change the background color of the links when the user moves the mouse over them:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover {
  background-color: #111;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Active/CRight-Align Linksurrent Navigation Link

Add an “active” class to the current link to let the user know which page he/she is on:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #111;
}

.active {
  background-color: #04AA6D;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Right-Align Links

Right-align links by floating the list items to the right (float:right;):

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #111;
}

.active {
  background-color: #04AA6D;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li style="float:right"><a class="active" href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Border Dividers

Add the border-right property to <li> to create link dividers:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
}

li {
  float: left;
  border-right:1px solid #bbb;
}

li:last-child {
  border-right: none;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #111;
}

.active {
  background-color: #04AA6D;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li style="float:right"><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Fixed Navigation Bar

Make the navigation bar stay at the top or the bottom of the page, in any event, when the user scrolls the page:

Fixed Top

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
body {margin:0;}

ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
  position: fixed;
  top: 0;
  width: 100%;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #111;
}

.active {
  background-color: #04AA6D;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

<div style="padding:20px;margin-top:30px;background-color:#1abc9c;height:1500px;">
  <h1>Fixed Top Navigation Bar</h1>
  <h2>Scroll this page to see the effect</h2>
  <h2>The navigation bar will stay at the top of the page while scrolling</h2>

  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
</div>

</body>
</html>

Fixed Bottom

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
body {margin:0;}

ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
  position: fixed;
  bottom: 0;
  width: 100%;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #111;
}

.active {
  background-color: #04AA6D;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

<div style="padding:20px;background-color:#1abc9c;height:1500px;">
  <h1>Fixed Bottom Navigation Bar</h1>
  <h2>Scroll this page to see the effect</h2>
  <h2>The navigation bar will stay at the bottom of the page while scrolling</h2>

  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
  <p>Some text some text some text some text..</p>
</div>

</body>
</html>

Note: Fixed position probably won’t work as expected on mobile phones.


Gray Horizontal Navbar

An illustration of a gray horizontal navigation bar with a thin gray border:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  border: 1px solid #e7e7e7;
  background-color: #f3f3f3;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: #666;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #ddd;
}

li a.active {
  color: white;
  background-color: #04AA6D;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Sticky Navbar

Add position: sticky; to <ul> to create a sticky navbar.

A sticky element goggles among relative and fixed, depending on the scroll position. It is positioned relative until a given offset position is met in the viewport – then, at that point, it “sticks” in place (like position:fixed).

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
body {
  font-size: 28px;
}

ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
  position: -webkit-sticky; /* Safari */
  position: sticky;
  top: 0;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover {
  background-color: #111;
}

.active {
  background-color: #4CAF50;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<div class="header">
  <h2>Scroll Down</h2>
  <p>Scroll down to see the sticky effect.</p>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
</ul>

<h3>Sticky Navigation Bar Example</h3>
<p>The navbar will <strong>stick</strong> to the top when you reach its scroll position.</p>
<p><strong>Note:</strong> Internet Explorer do not support sticky positioning and Safari requires a -webkit- prefix.</p>

</body>
</html>

Note: Internet Explorer don’t support sticky positioning. Safari requires a – webkit-prefix (see example above). You should likewise specify something like one of top, right, bottom or left for sticky positioning to work.


More Examples

Responsive Topnav

How to use CSS media queries to create a responsive top navigation.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<style>
body {margin: 0;}

ul.topnav {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
}

ul.topnav li {float: left;}

ul.topnav li a {
  display: block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

ul.topnav li a:hover:not(.active) {background-color: #111;}

ul.topnav li a.active {background-color: #04AA6D;}

ul.topnav li.right {float: right;}

@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
  ul.topnav li.right, 
  ul.topnav li {float: none;}
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul class="topnav">
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li class="right"><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

<div style="padding:0 16px;">
  <h2>Responsive Topnav Example</h2>
  <p>This example use media queries to stack the topnav vertically when the screen size is 600px or less.</p>
  <p>You will learn more about media queries and responsive web design later in our CSS Tutorial.</p>
  <h4>Resize the browser window to see the effect.</h4>
</div>

</body>
</html>

Responsive Sidenav

How to use CSS media queries to create a responsive side navigation.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<style>
body {margin: 0;}

ul.sidenav {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  width: 25%;
  background-color: #f1f1f1;
  position: fixed;
  height: 100%;
  overflow: auto;
}

ul.sidenav li a {
  display: block;
  color: #000;
  padding: 8px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}
 
ul.sidenav li a.active {
  background-color: #4CAF50;
  color: white;
}

ul.sidenav li a:hover:not(.active) {
  background-color: #555;
  color: white;
}

div.content {
  margin-left: 25%;
  padding: 1px 16px;
  height: 1000px;
}

@media screen and (max-width: 900px) {
  ul.sidenav {
    width: 100%;
    height: auto;
    position: relative;
  }
  
  ul.sidenav li a {
    float: left;
    padding: 15px;
  }
  
  div.content {margin-left: 0;}
}

@media screen and (max-width: 400px) {
  ul.sidenav li a {
    text-align: center;
    float: none;
  }
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul class="sidenav">
  <li><a class="active" href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
</ul>

<div class="content">
  <h2>Responsive Sidenav Example</h2>
  <p>This example use media queries to transform the sidenav to a top navigation bar when the screen size is 900px or less.</p>
  <p>We have also added a media query for screens that are 400px or less, which will vertically stack and center the navigation links.</p>
  <p>You will learn more about media queries and responsive web design later in our CSS Tutorial.</p>
  <h3>Resize the browser window to see the effect.</h3>
</div>

</body>
</html>

Dropdown Navbar

How to add a dropdown menu inside a navigation bar.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<style>
ul {
  list-style-type: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  background-color: #333;
}

li {
  float: left;
}

li a, .dropbtn {
  display: inline-block;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 14px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
}

li a:hover, .dropdown:hover .dropbtn {
  background-color: red;
}

li.dropdown {
  display: inline-block;
}

.dropdown-content {
  display: none;
  position: absolute;
  background-color: #f9f9f9;
  min-width: 160px;
  box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);
  z-index: 1;
}

.dropdown-content a {
  color: black;
  padding: 12px 16px;
  text-decoration: none;
  display: block;
  text-align: left;
}

.dropdown-content a:hover {background-color: #f1f1f1;}

.dropdown:hover .dropdown-content {
  display: block;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<ul>
  <li><a href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#css-tutorial">CSS Tutorial</a></li>
  <li class="dropdown">
    <a href="javascript:void(0)" class="dropbtn">Dropdown</a>
    <div class="dropdown-content">
      <a href="#">Link 1</a>
      <a href="#">Link 2</a>
      <a href="#">Link 3</a>
    </div>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3>Dropdown Menu inside a Navigation Bar</h3>
<p>Hover over the "Dropdown" link to see the dropdown menu.</p>

</body>
</html>

Thanks for reading! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And show us what you’ve learned by sharing your projects with us.


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder