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UI/API/1.7.2/Tabs

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jQuery UI Tabs

Overview

Tabs are generally used to break content into multiple sections that can be swapped to save space, much like an accordion.

By default a tab widget will swap between tabbed sections onClick, but the events can be changed to onHover through an option. Tab content can be loaded via Ajax by setting an href on a tab.

Contents

Events

A series of events fire when interacting with a tabs interface:

  • tabsselect, tabsload, tabsshow (in that order)
  • tabsadd, tabsremove
  • tabsenable, tabsdisable

Event binding example:

$('#example').bind('tabsselect', function(event, ui) {

    // Objects available in the function context:
    ui.tab     // anchor element of the selected (clicked) tab
    ui.panel   // element, that contains the selected/clicked tab contents
    ui.index   // zero-based index of the selected (clicked) tab

});

Note that if a handler for the tabsselect event returns false, the clicked tab will not become selected (useful for example if switching to the next tab requires a form validation).

Ajax mode

Tabs supports loading tab content via Ajax in an unobtrusive manner.

The HTML you need is slightly different from the one that is used for static tabs: A list of links pointing to existing resources (from where the content gets loaded) and no additional containers at all (unobtrusive!). The containers' markup is going to be created on the fly:

<div id="example">
     <ul>
         <li><a href="ahah_1.html"><span>Content 1</span></a></li>
         <li><a href="ahah_2.html"><span>Content 2</span></a></li>
         <li><a href="ahah_3.html"><span>Content 3</span></a></li>
     </ul>
</div>

Obviously this degrades gracefully - the links, e.g. the content, will still be accessible with JavaScript disabled.

Note that if you wish to reuse an existing container, you could do so by matching a title attribute and the container's id:

<li><a href="hello/world.html" title="Todo Overview"> ... </a></li>

and a container like:

<div id="Todo_Overview"> ... </div>

(Note how white space is replaced with an underscore)

This is useful if you want a human readable hash in the URL instead of a cryptic generated one.

Back button and bookmarking

Tabs 2 already supported this functionality, although the history plugin needs a rewrite first (it doesn't support Safari 3 and is in general a little inflexible) before it can be build back into the tabs. It is planned and Klaus is working on it whenever he finds the time. Actual bugs in the UI Tabs plugin itself always have higher priority though.

How to...

...retrieve the index of the currently selected tab

var $tabs = $('#example').tabs();
var selected = $tabs.tabs('option', 'selected'); // => 0

...open links in the current tab instead of leaving the page

"Hijax" links after tab content has been loaded:

$('#example').tabs({
    load: function(event, ui) {
        $('a', ui.panel).click(function() {
            $(ui.panel).load(this.href);
            return false;
        });
    }
});

...select a tab from a text link instead of clicking a tab itself

var $tabs = $('#example').tabs(); // first tab selected

$('#my-text-link').click(function() { // bind click event to link
    $tabs.tabs('select', 2); // switch to third tab
    return false;
});

...prevent switching to the tab on click depending on form validation

Returning false in the tabs select handler prevents the clicked tab from becoming selected.

$('#example').tabs({
    select: function(event, ui) {
        var isValid = ... // form validation returning true or false
        return isValid;
    }
});

...immediately select a just added tab

var $tabs = $('#example').tabs({
    add: function(event, ui) {
        $tabs.tabs('select', '#' + ui.panel.id);
    }
});

...follow a tab's URL instead of loading its content via ajax

Note that opening a tab in a new window is unexpected, e.g. inconsistent behaviour exposing a usablity problem (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/tabs.html).

$('#example').tabs({
    select: function(event, ui) {
        var url = $.data(ui.tab, 'load.tabs');
        if( url ) {
            location.href = url;
            return false;
        }
        return true;
    }
});


...prevent a FOUC (Flash of Unstyled Content) before tabs are initialized

Add the necessary classes to hide an inactive tab panel to the HTML right away - note that this will not degrade gracefully with JavaScript being disabled:

<div id="example" class="ui-tabs">
  ...
  <div id="a-tab-panel" class="ui-tabs-hide"> </div>
  ...
</div>

Why does...

...my slider, Google Map, sIFR etc. not work when placed in a hidden (inactive) tab?

Any component that requires some dimensional computation for its initialization won't work in a hidden tab, because the tab panel itself is hidden via display: none so that any elements inside won't report their actual width and height (0 in most browsers).

There's an easy workaround. Use the off-left technique for hiding inactive tab panels. E.g. in your style sheet replace the rule for the class selector ".ui-tabs .ui-tabs-hide" with

.ui-tabs .ui-tabs-hide {
    position: absolute;
    left: -10000px;
}

For Google maps you can also resize the map once the tab is displayed like this:

$('#example').bind('tabsshow', function(event, ui) {
    if (ui.panel.id == "map-tab") {
        resizeMap();
    }
});
resizeMap() will call Google Maps' checkResize() on the particular map.

Dependencies

  • UI Core
  • To use the cookie option: jquery.cookie.js
  • Required CSS:
    .ui-tabs .ui-tabs-hide {
         display: none;
    }

Example

A simple jQuery UI Tabs.

$("#tabs").tabs();

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <link href="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8/themes/base/jquery-ui.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"/>
  <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4/jquery.min.js"></script>
  <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.7.2/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>

  <script>
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $("#tabs").tabs();
  });
  </script>
</head>
<body style="font-size:62.5%;">
  
<div id="tabs">
    <ul>
        <li><a href="#fragment-1"><span>One</span></a></li>
        <li><a href="#fragment-2"><span>Two</span></a></li>
        <li><a href="#fragment-3"><span>Three</span></a></li>
    </ul>
    <div id="fragment-1">
        <p>First tab is active by default:</p>
        <pre><code>$('#example').tabs();</code></pre>
    </div>
    <div id="fragment-2">
        Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
        Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
    </div>
    <div id="fragment-3">
        Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
        Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
        Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
    </div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

Options

  • disabled

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    Disables (true) or enables (false) the tabs. Can be set when initialising (first creating) the tabs.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the disabled option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ disabled: true });
    Get or set the disabled option, after init.
    //getter
    var disabled = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "disabled" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "disabled", true );
  • ajaxOptions

    Type:
    Options
    Default:
    null

    Additional Ajax options to consider when loading tab content (see $.ajax).

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the ajaxOptions option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ ajaxOptions: { async: false } });
    Get or set the ajaxOptions option, after init.
    //getter
    var ajaxOptions = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "ajaxOptions" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "ajaxOptions", { async: false } );
  • cache

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    Whether or not to cache remote tabs content, e.g. load only once or with every click. Cached content is being lazy loaded, e.g once and only once for the first click. Note that to prevent the actual Ajax requests from being cached by the browser you need to provide an extra cache: false flag to ajaxOptions.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the cache option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ cache: true });
    Get or set the cache option, after init.
    //getter
    var cache = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "cache" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "cache", true );
  • collapsible

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    Set to true to allow an already selected tab to become unselected again upon reselection.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the collapsible option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ collapsible: true });
    Get or set the collapsible option, after init.
    //getter
    var collapsible = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "collapsible" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "collapsible", true );
  • deselectable

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    deprecated in jQuery UI 1.7, use collapsible.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the deselectable option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ deselectable: true });
    Get or set the deselectable option, after init.
    //getter
    var deselectable = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "deselectable" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "deselectable", true );
  • disabled

    Type:
    Array<Number>
    Default:
    []

    An array containing the position of the tabs (zero-based index) that should be disabled on initialization.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the disabled option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ disabled: [1, 2] });
    Get or set the disabled option, after init.
    //getter
    var disabled = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "disabled" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "disabled", [1, 2] );
  • event

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    'click'

    The type of event to be used for selecting a tab.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the event option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ event: 'mouseover' });
    Get or set the event option, after init.
    //getter
    var event = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "event" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "event", 'mouseover' );
  • fx

    Type:
    Options, Array<Options>
    Default:
    null

    Enable animations for hiding and showing tab panels. The duration option can be a string representing one of the three predefined speeds ("slow", "normal", "fast") or the duration in milliseconds to run an animation (default is "normal").

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the fx option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ fx: { opacity: 'toggle' } });
    Get or set the fx option, after init.
    //getter
    var fx = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "fx" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "fx", { opacity: 'toggle' } );
  • idPrefix

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    'ui-tabs-'

    If the remote tab, its anchor element that is, has no title attribute to generate an id from, an id/fragment identifier is created from this prefix and a unique id returned by $.data(el), for example "ui-tabs-54".

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the idPrefix option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ idPrefix: 'ui-tabs-primary' });
    Get or set the idPrefix option, after init.
    //getter
    var idPrefix = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "idPrefix" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "idPrefix", 'ui-tabs-primary' );
  • panelTemplate

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    '<div></div>'

    HTML template from which a new tab panel is created in case of adding a tab with the add method or when creating a panel for a remote tab on the fly.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the panelTemplate option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ panelTemplate: '<li></li>' });
    Get or set the panelTemplate option, after init.
    //getter
    var panelTemplate = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "panelTemplate" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "panelTemplate", '<li></li>' );
  • selected

    Type:
    Number
    Default:
    0

    Zero-based index of the tab to be selected on initialization. To set all tabs to unselected pass -1 as value.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the selected option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ selected: 3 });
    Get or set the selected option, after init.
    //getter
    var selected = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "selected" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "selected", 3 );
  • spinner

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    '<em>Loading&#8230;</em>'

    The HTML content of this string is shown in a tab title while remote content is loading. Pass in empty string to deactivate that behavior.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the spinner option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ spinner: 'Retrieving data...' });
    Get or set the spinner option, after init.
    //getter
    var spinner = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "spinner" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "spinner", 'Retrieving data...' );
  • tabTemplate

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    '<li><a href="#{href}"><span>#{label}</span></a></li>'

    HTML template from which a new tab is created and added. The placeholders #{href} and #{label} are replaced with the url and tab label that are passed as arguments to the add method.

    Code examples

    Initialize a tabs with the tabTemplate option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({ tabTemplate: '<div><a href="#{href}"><span>#{label}</span></a></div>' });
    Get or set the tabTemplate option, after init.
    //getter
    var tabTemplate = $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "tabTemplate" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).tabs( "option", "tabTemplate", '<div><a href="#{href}"><span>#{label}</span></a></div>' );

Events

  • select

    Type:
    tabsselect

    This event is triggered when clicking a tab.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the select event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       select: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the select event by type: tabsselect.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsselect", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • load

    Type:
    tabsload

    This event is triggered after the content of a remote tab has been loaded.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the load event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       load: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the load event by type: tabsload.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsload", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • show

    Type:
    tabsshow

    This event is triggered when a tab is shown.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the show event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       show: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the show event by type: tabsshow.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsshow", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • add

    Type:
    tabsadd

    This event is triggered when a tab is added.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the add event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       add: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the add event by type: tabsadd.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsadd", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • remove

    Type:
    tabsremove

    This event is triggered when a tab is removed.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the remove event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       remove: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the remove event by type: tabsremove.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsremove", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • enable

    Type:
    tabsenable

    This event is triggered when a tab is enabled.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the enable event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       enable: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the enable event by type: tabsenable.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsenable", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • disable

    Type:
    tabsdisable

    This event is triggered when a tab is disabled.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the disable event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).tabs({
       disable: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the disable event by type: tabsdisable.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "tabsdisable", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });

Methods

  • destroy

    Signature:
    .tabs( "destroy" )

    Remove the tabs functionality completely. This will return the element back to its pre-init state.

  • disable

    Signature:
    .tabs( "disable" )

    Disable the tabs.

  • enable

    Signature:
    .tabs( "enable" )

    Enable the tabs.

  • option

    Signature:
    .tabs( "option" , optionName , [value] )

    Get or set any tabs option. If no value is specified, will act as a getter.

  • option

    Signature:
    .tabs( "option" , options )

    Set multiple tabs options at once by providing an options object.

  • widget

    Signature:
    .tabs( "widget" )

    Returns the .ui-tabs element.

  • add

    Signature:
    .tabs( "add" , url , label , [index] )

    Add a new tab. The second argument is either a URL consisting of a fragment identifier only to create an in-page tab or a full url (relative or absolute, no cross-domain support) to turn the new tab into an Ajax (remote) tab. The third is the zero-based position where to insert the new tab. Optional, by default a new tab is appended at the end.

  • remove

    Signature:
    .tabs( "remove" , index )

    Remove a tab. The second argument is the zero-based index of the tab to be removed.

  • enable

    Signature:
    .tabs( "enable" , index )

    Enable a disabled tab. To enable more than one tab at once reset the disabled property like: $('#example').data('disabled.tabs', []);. The second argument is the zero-based index of the tab to be enabled.

  • disable

    Signature:
    .tabs( "disable" , index )

    Disable a tab. The selected tab cannot be disabled. To disable more than one tab at once use: $('#example').data('disabled.tabs', [1, 2, 3]); The second argument is the zero-based index of the tab to be disabled.

  • select

    Signature:
    .tabs( "select" , index )

    Select a tab, as if it were clicked. The second argument is the zero-based index of the tab to be selected or the id selector of the panel the tab is associated with (the tab's href fragment identifier, e.g. hash, points to the panel's id).

  • load

    Signature:
    .tabs( "load" , index )

    Reload the content of an Ajax tab programmatically. This method always loads the tab content from the remote location, even if cache is set to true. The second argument is the zero-based index of the tab to be reloaded.

  • url

    Signature:
    .tabs( "url" , index , url )

    Change the url from which an Ajax (remote) tab will be loaded. The specified URL will be used for subsequent loads. Note that you can not only change the URL for an existing remote tab with this method, but also turn an in-page tab into a remote tab. The second argument is the zero-based index of the tab of which its URL is to be updated. The third is a URL the content of the tab is loaded from.

  • length

    Signature:
    .tabs( "length" )

    Retrieve the number of tabs of the first matched tab pane.

  • abort

    Signature:
    .tabs( "abort" )

    Terminate all running tab ajax requests and animations.

  • rotate

    Signature:
    .tabs( "rotate" , ms , [continuing] )

    Set up an automatic rotation through tabs of a tab pane. The second argument is an amount of time in milliseconds until the next tab in the cycle gets activated. Use 0 or null to stop the rotation. The third controls whether or not to continue the rotation after a tab has been selected by a user. Default: false.

Theming

The jQuery UI Tabs plugin uses the jQuery UI CSS Framework to style its look and feel, including colors and background textures. We recommend using the ThemeRoller tool to create and download custom themes that are easy to build and maintain.

If a deeper level of customization is needed, there are widget-specific classes referenced within the jquery.ui.tabs.css stylesheet that can be modified. These classes are highlighed in bold below.

Sample markup with jQuery UI CSS Framework classes

<div class="ui-tabs ui-widget ui-widget-content ui-corner-all" id="tabs">
   <ul class="ui-tabs-nav ui-helper-reset ui-helper-clearfix ui-widget-header ui-corner-all">
     <li class="ui-state-default ui-corner-top ui-tabs-selected ui-state-active"><a href="#tabs-1">Nunc tincidunt</a></li>
      <li class="ui-state-default ui-corner-top"><a href="#tabs-2">Proin dolor</a></li>
   <div class="ui-tabs-panel ui-widget-content ui-corner-bottom" id="tabs-1">
      <p>Tab one content goes here.</p>
   </div>
    ...
</div>

Note: This is a sample of markup generated by the tabs plugin, not markup you should use to create a tabs. The only markup needed for that is
<div id="tabs">
   <ul>
      <li><a href="#tabs-1">Nunc tincidunt</a></li>
      <li><a href="#tabs-2">Proin dolor</a></li>
      <li><a href="#tabs-3">Aenean lacinia</a></li>
   </ul>
   <div id="tabs-1">
      <p>Tab 1 content</p>
   </div>
   <div id="tabs-2">
      <p>Tab 2 content</p>
   </div>
   <div id="tabs-3">
      <p>Tab 3 content</p>
   </div>
</div>.