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Tip of the Day
Language: User Interface Design
Expertise: Beginner
Jan 10, 2000

Automatically Close Popup Window

Question:
What can I add to an HTML file presented in a popup window called by a script to automatically close that popup window after so many seconds? I have tried , which should work but I get error messages in Internet Explorer.

Answer:

You are very close to solving your own problem. The window.close command will close the current window, while the setTimeout command executes an arbitrary piece of JavaScript code after a specified delay. This can be any bit of valid JavaScript, including function calls, multiple commands (separated by semicolons), and also the window.close command. However, what's tripped you up is that the JavaScript you'd like to execute must be passed to the setTimeout function as a string. This means it has to be in quotes. Your code doesn't include the quotes and so it results in a syntax error.

There are two additional items to watch out for. First, you have to use the right set of quotes. JavaScript supports both single and double quotes. Since you're using double quotes to wrap the onLoad event handler you'll need to use single quotes to enclose the JavaScript you want to pass to the setTimeout function. Second, just because you call the window.close function, doesn't mean the window will actually close. In many cases, the browser will display a confirmation dialog for the user and allow him to cancel your window.close call.

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