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Tip of the Day
Language: Web Development
Expertise: Beginner
Mar 11, 1997

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Is it possible to have submit buttons with arbitrary text of varying lengths?

Question:
I am automatically generating a complex page with many different forms on it. I want the submit button to have arbitrary text on it of varying lengths. I further would like to make all buttons the same width (the width of the longest piece of text or some arbitrary width). Due to the different fonts used by various browsers, determining character widths and padding the strings with spaces is not an option.

Any ideas on whether this is possible without making each button a GIF, which I really don't want to do?

Answer:
The width of the buttons is highly implementation dependent, even within browsers of the same vendor. Netscape on Unix shows buttons differently than Netscape on Windows. The upshot is that you cannot rely on the buttons to be of any predictable size. The only way I know to guarantee this is to use images.

However, even with images, you are not out of the woods. In a similar situation, I used an tag with an image source. This worked correctly on the Windows and Macintosh versions of Netscape, but on the Unix version of the Netscape, certain images would not display at all. This behavior was not consistent. If you had five buttons on a page, say, three might show up and the others would not. On doing a page Reload, the mix would then change (other buttons would display and others would not). This is clearly a bug in Netscape Navigator (even found in the 2.0 release).

What I ended up doing was going to text-only buttons and not relying on a fixed or predictable size.

Hope this helps.

DevX Pro
 
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