Displaying Items Above ActiveX Controls

Question:
I am using

tags as dropdown menus at the top of my pages. But if I have an ActiveX control below my menu then the dropdown menus’ fall drops in behind the control. I have tried to set the z-index but this only works with HTML objects, not with the ActiveX control. Inserting the control in a

doesn’t work either.

Answer:

The problem you’re running into here doesn’t have any clean solution, unfortunately. Most ActiveX controls exist within their own windows, and as such, effectively trump anything displayed above them, even with z-index set. (The same thing holds true for IFrames, by the way, which are separate instances of the browser control?an ActiveX container).

Here are some things that you may want to try, although none of these are perfect. First, try placing the component within a div, then setting the div’s display property to “none” (or the visibility property to “hidden”). In a few cases, this does seem to work, but it’s not a general panacea. Second, try changing the position of the component, if it exposes this information. Finally, see if there’s some way that you can build an HTML representation of the ActiveX component’s output. The component itself would then be hidden, and only its DHTML aspect revealed. This is fairly easy to do with IE5 through the use of HTCs, less so with IE4 and scriptlets.

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