Simple Tabs with CSS & jQuery

Step1. Wireframe – HTML & CSS

Use an unordered list for your tabs, and follow up with the “tab_container” container right below it. Make note that each list item (tabs) has an attribute of “href” that matches the ID of the “.tab_content” div. This will be very important once we have jQuery pull off the actions. Also keep in mind that I used generic names like “tab1″ so its easier to understand. In reality, you should be using keywords so it can semantic and also benefit you in SEO.

HTML

<ul>
    <li><a href="#tab1">Gallery</a></li>
    <li><a href="#tab2">Submit</a></li>
</ul>

<div>
    <div id="tab1">
        <!--Content-->
    </div>
    <div id="tab2">
       <!--Content-->
    </div>
</div>

If you have tried to create tabs before with CSS, you probably have experienced some frustration with getting the borders on the tabs correctly aligned. Below is a common problem that most people will run into.

Easy Tabs Tutorial with CSS & jQuery

Here is a solution I came up with that took care of this annoying issue. Check out the image below and also take a look at the CSS and its supporting comments for a better understanding.

Easy Tabs Tutorial with CSS & jQuery

Tabs CSS

ul.tabs {
	margin: 0;
	padding: 0;
	float: left;
	list-style: none;
	height: 32px; /*--Set height of tabs--*/
	border-bottom: 1px solid #999;
	border-left: 1px solid #999;
	width: 100%;
}
ul.tabs li {
	float: left;
	margin: 0;
	padding: 0;
	height: 31px; /*--Subtract 1px from the height of the unordered list--*/
	line-height: 31px; /*--Vertically aligns the text within the tab--*/
	border: 1px solid #999;
	border-left: none;
	margin-bottom: -1px; /*--Pull the list item down 1px--*/
	overflow: hidden;
	position: relative;
	background: #e0e0e0;
}
ul.tabs li a {
	text-decoration: none;
	color: #000;
	display: block;
	font-size: 1.2em;
	padding: 0 20px;
	border: 1px solid #fff; /*--Gives the bevel look with a 1px white border inside the list item--*/
	outline: none;
}
ul.tabs li a:hover {
	background: #ccc;
}
html ul.tabs li.active, html ul.tabs li.active a:hover  { /*--Makes sure that the active tab does not listen to the hover properties--*/
	background: #fff;
	border-bottom: 1px solid #fff; /*--Makes the active tab look like it's connected with its content--*/
}

Tab Content CSS

.tab_container {
	border: 1px solid #999;
	border-top: none;
	overflow: hidden;
	clear: both;
	float: left; width: 100%;
	background: #fff;
}
.tab_content {
	padding: 20px;
	font-size: 1.2em;
}

Step 2. Activate the Tabs – jQuery

For those who are not familiar with jQuery, check out their site for a general overview.
The following script contains comments explaining which jQuery actions are being performed.

$(document).ready(function() {

	//When page loads...
	$(".tab_content").hide(); //Hide all content
	$("ul.tabs li:first").addClass("active").show(); //Activate first tab
	$(".tab_content:first").show(); //Show first tab content

	//On Click Event
	$("ul.tabs li").click(function() {

		$("ul.tabs li").removeClass("active"); //Remove any "active" class
		$(this).addClass("active"); //Add "active" class to selected tab
		$(".tab_content").hide(); //Hide all tab content

		var activeTab = $(this).find("a").attr("href"); //Find the href attribute value to identify the active tab + content
		$(activeTab).fadeIn(); //Fade in the active ID content
		return false;
	});

});

Easy Tabs Tutorial with CSS & jQuery

 

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