Inserting Scroll Bars in a website

  Stiperstones 16:55 07 Mar 2005

My website is a simple 4-cell design - top, left, right and centre cells.

I would like to have a scroll bar just for the centre cell similar to that at:

click here

It is a theme used throughout the FSCS website.

As I don't like frames (only because every book I've ever read on web design says steer clear of them) I asked my designers whether they could put scoll bars into a web design for me. Our website will be directed to the general public as well as 'corporates' so it must be viewable through multiple browsers, mac's, pc's etc.

The advice I have received so far (which is conflicting)includes:

1. (Company A) “We have had a look at the FSCS website and to achieve their scroll bar, they are using layers - that is a surprise because layers are always a last resort for web designers. Their positioning is unreliable and some browsers just don't like them at all!”
2. (Company B) “It is a div> content and the text is written in html and is amendable (i.e. not a graphic). So it could fit into a centre cell nicely. Neither is it a frame and hence you could have more than one side by side.”
3. (Company C) "The site appears to be using CSS for absolute positioning. This has caused us some problems with Macs in the past. Don't worry about scrolling pages. The BBC site scrolls for ages, and that's a great, useable site. Best advice is keep it as simple as possible and concentrate on good content that's easy to read. I'd ditch the scroll bar and avoid absolute positioning for compatabilities sake."

Do any of you website gurus have any guidance or comment on this or the above 'advice'?

  LeadingMNMs 17:55 07 Mar 2005

From my quick look at your site and the CSS, I think that your using absolute positioning as Company C said, although I can't comment on its compatibility.

  smudge101 18:02 07 Mar 2005

You could use jave to accomplish this. A couple of examples are click here
And click here

The second one i think is particularly neat.

I hope this is of help.

  smudge101 18:05 07 Mar 2005

In addition to the above click here

  Stiperstones 19:00 07 Mar 2005

Thanks Leading MNMs and smudge 101. I'll pass you comments onto the web designers although I'm still concerned about their conflicting replies. Who do you trust as it's all about racking up big bills at my expense?

Anyone else got any comments?

  LeadingMNMs 21:04 07 Mar 2005

Where exactly do you want the scroll bars ? The page that you have linked to will display a scroll bar when the height of the browser is reduce so that some of the content is hidden. Since your using CSS all you need to do is add an 'overflow' attribute to the division that you want to have scroll bars, into the stylesheet. The site that you have linked to uses 'overflow:auto;' to make scrollbars appear when necessary.

As I said before, I have no idea what the compatibility of CSS is with all browsers, but your site is using it at the moment.

  PurplePenny 21:22 07 Mar 2005

I think that all three are telling part of the picture - the site's CSS does use positioning, it does use layers and the content of the central scrolling section is inside a div, written in html and can be altered.

If you turn off Javascript the scroll bar disappears.

I, personally, don't like central scrolling sections, they annoy me both in use and appearance; I'd rather scroll the whole page. But some people hate scrolling the whole page :-(

  Forum Editor 22:13 07 Mar 2005

from Company C very much - particularly the advice to "....keep it as simple as possible and concentrate on good content that's easy to read". In fact I could have written their response myself.

I completely agree with PurplePenny as well - I hate centre scrolling sections, very old hat.

  smudge101 22:58 07 Mar 2005

Do you have a link for your current website? You have got me interested in how this can be accomplished even if the FE thinks it is a bit old hat

  Stiperstones 10:26 08 Mar 2005

Thanks everyone. I take on board what each of you has said. My website is currently in development stage and hence I cannot provide you with a link (sorry smudge101). Just think of it as a standard 4 cell site with nav buttons in the left-hand cell, company name etc in the top cell, what's new and news items in the right hand cell leaving the centre cell for the main 'sales' area of the site. The reason why I wanted the centre cell to scroll (by positioning the scroll bar on the right hand edge of the centre cell) is that the menus and info in the left and right cells won't disappear when surfers sroll down (which would happen if they simply used the default scroll bar on the extreme right hand of the page). I believe (rightly or wrongly) that this aids continuuity and ease for visitors. It also mmeans that any (small) ads I have in either side margins (if I get any site sponsors) would disappear too. If I want to encourage site sponsors/advertisers to part with money, I don't think they would be too pleased if their logos disappeared on scrolling. Any other alternatives??? I'm simply trying to innovate - even though it may appear old hat - believe, me until last week I had not seen a centre scroll bar!

  smudge101 21:12 08 Mar 2005

Hi stiperstones

I will have alook at how a basic implementation of this works and get in touch when I have come up with something.
I will add to this post then but it may take a while as I have quite a bit on at the moment.


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