Sliding elements


In the previous chapter, we saw how we could fade elements in and out of visibility using the fading methods of jQuery. However, sometimes a sliding effect is a better choice, and for that, jQuery has a set of matching methods for doing just that. Let’s kick off with a simple example of it, where we use the slideDown() method:

<div id="divTestArea1" style="padding: 50px;
background-color: #89BC38; text-align: center; display: none;">
        <b>Hello, world!</b>
</div>
<a href="javascript:void(0);" onclick="ShowBox();">Show box</a>
<script type="text/javascript">
function ShowBox()
{
        $("#divTestArea1").slideDown();
}
</script>

For hiding the box again, we can use the slideUp() method. They both take the same set of parameters, which are all optional. The first parameter allows you to specify a duration for the effect in milliseconds, or “fast” or “slow”, which is the same as specifying either 200 or 600 milliseconds.Let’s try an example where we do just that:

<div id="divTestArea21" style="width: 50px; height: 50px;
display: none; background-color: #89BC38;"></div>
<div id="divTestArea22" style="width: 50px; height: 50px;
display: none; background-color: #C3D1DF;"></div>
<div id="divTestArea23" style="width: 50px; height: 50px;
display: none; background-color: #9966FF;"></div>
<a href="javascript:void(0);" onclick="ShowBoxes();">Show boxes</a>
<script type="text/javascript">
function ShowBoxes()
{
        $("#divTestArea21").slideDown("fast");
        $("#divTestArea22").slideDown("slow");
        $("#divTestArea23").slideDown(2000);
}
</script>

There’s a bit more HTML than usual, but that’s only there for you to be able to see the different paces in which the boxes are shown. Notice how the first box is there almost instantly, the second box is pretty close and the third box is slower, because it uses a full two seconds to slide down.

Now, the second parameter can either be the name of an easing function (which we won’t use in this tutorial) or a callback function that you may supply, to be called once the effect is done. Here’s an example of that, combined with the use of the slideUp() method:

<div id="divTestArea3" style="width: 50px; height: 50px;
display: none; background-color: #89BC38;"></div>
<script type="text/javascript">
$(function()
{
        $("#divTestArea3").slideDown(2000, function()
        {
                $("#divTestArea3").slideUp(3000);
        });
});
</script>

The ability to do this can be very useful for combining several effects, as you can see. In this example, the callback function we supply will be called as soon as the slideDown() method is completely finished and then the slideUp() method is called.

In case you want to simply slide an element up or down depending on its current state, the jQuery developers have provided us with a nice slideToggle() method for doing just that. Check out the next example, where we use it:

<div id="divTestArea4" style="width: 50px; height: 50px;
display: none; background-color: #89BC38;"></div><br />
<a href="javascript:void(0);" onclick="ToggleBox();">Toggle box</a>
<script type="text/javascript">
function ToggleBox()
{
        $("#divTestArea4").slideToggle("slow");
}
</script>

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