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Internet Brothers: Helpware for the Cybercommunity - DHTML Tips and Tools

Dynamic HTML - New IE 5.5 Features

Internet Explorer 5.5+ only

In December 1999, Microsoft debuted the first beta version of the Internet Explorer 5.5 browser. Strongly positioning themselves to continue domination of the browser wars, IE 5.5 offers enhanced performance, a continuation of Microsoft's commitment to industry standards, and a number of new DHTML features. We'll highlight several of those in this article.

Colored Scrollbars

A first in any browser, IE 5.5 allows you to customize the color of any scrollbar on your web pages! The default browser bar, form bars, and bars generated using the overflow:scroll attribute of CSS, are all changeable making for easy integration into your design scheme. For example, the following CSS declaration inside the BODY tag colors the browser's scrollbar navy as seen on the right:

<body style="scrollbar-face-color: navy">

Zooming Elements

Who's zoomin' who? Most elements under IE 5.5 support "zooming in", allowing you to enlarge or contract an element programmatically — either by % or scale, with the rest of the page automatically reflowing to accommodate. Think of it as the magnify feature commonly found in graphic programs, only this magnification can be applied not just to images, but paragraphs, tables, and any other "display" element. To see it in action, move your mouse over the zoom graphic above. Take a look at the following code to see how it's done:

<IMG src="zoom.gif" onmouseover="'200%'" onmouseout="'normal'">

First letter, First line CSS Support

Answering the dream of many designers, Internet Explorer 5.5 now supports two text pseudo-attributes of CSS2: first-letter and first line. These two attributes allow you to easily apply a "drop caps effect" to the first letter, and first sentence, respectively, of a paragraph. Here's a Stylesheet that will enhance the first letter of ALL paragraphs on a page:

font-size: 300%;
float: left;

We've hardly scratched the surface of the new IE5.5 feature set. As you can see, IE 5.5 beta brings more to the table than mere bug fixes and "invisible" upgrades. For full technical information on IE 5.5, including a download link, visit the Microsoft Developer's Network. Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know by sending your comments. If the sample code above still left you confused, remember the View Source option in your browser.

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Helpful TipTo print a copy of an Internet Brothers tip or article, simply take a photograph of your computer screen, develop the film and have the photo enlarged to the font size of your choice.

The Internet Brothers have implemented hierarchical menus for navigation. Easier done than said. In our effort to be friendly to all browsers, the menu tree is functional with version 4 or greater of both the AOL/Netscape and Internet Explorer products.

As stated above, hovering over the button will open the menu for these browsers. But if you have an older product, don't fret, we'll send you to the scum page. Just click the button.

Why haven't you downloaded the newer versions? They're free you know.
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The hierarchical menus were created using Peter Belesis' Dynomat DHTML scripting tool from Webreference. Give them a visit, you'll like what you learn.



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