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jQuery sliding menu revisited

A few months ago I posted a sliding menu using jQuery and some users asked for a few changes in it: the ability to preload images and making the entire block clickable. So here it is, check the example, a new improved sliding menu based on our favourite JavaScript library, jQuery.

The markup

It will not be different from the previous one, and all the changes will be made in the script and the css style.


<ul id="iconbar">
<li><a href="#">
<img src="key.gif" alt="" />
<span>Change your password</span>
<li><a href="; target="_blank">
<img src="rss.gif" alt="" />
<span>Suscribe to our RSS!</span>
<li><a href="#">
<img src="sel.gif" alt="" />
<span>Choose your options!</span>


As you can see, it’s a simple list with an img and a span tag nested inside an anchor. In the first moment, the span is hidden due to the anchor width.  When mouse rolls over the anchor, we will expand its width to reveal the span.


In order for the span to appear next to the icon, we will position it absolutely. To do so, we will add relative positioning to the li item. We will give the anchor a width of 24px, which is the width of our icon and then a bit of padding to give it some fresh air.

#iconbar li {
overflow: hidden;
border: 1px dashed #ffc0ff;
#iconbar a {
text-decoration: none;
outline: none;
display: block;
width: 24px;
padding: 10px;
#iconbar span {
width: 100px;
height: 35px;
position: absolute;
display: none;
padding-left: 10px;


The Javascript code for this slide menu adds the image preloading even before the document is ready.

jQuery.preloadImages = function()
for(var i = 0; i<arguments.length; i++)
jQuery("<img>").attr("src", arguments[i]);
jQuery.preloadImages("key.gif", "keyo.gif", "rss.gif", "rsso.gif", "sel.gif", "selo.gif");

When the document is ready, we attach the hover function to the anchors on the list. When mouse is over an anchor, it will expand its width up to 140px, wide enough to reveal the span and the icon is replaced by the one having its name ending in “o.gif”. In the previous example the original image name was splitted at “.” but this could arise to some issues if the image was being taken from a parent directory like “../image.gif”. In that case the split was performed at the two points.



$("#iconbar li a").hover(
var iconName = $(this).children("img").attr("src");
var origen = iconName.split(".gif")[0];
$(this).children("img").attr({src: "" + origen + "o.gif"});
$(this).animate({ width: "140px" }, {queue:false, duration:"normal"} );
$(this).children("span").animate({opacity: "show"}, "fast");
var iconName = $(this).children("img").attr("src");
var origen = iconName.split("o.")[0];
$(this).children("img").attr({src: "" + origen + ".gif"});
$(this).animate({ width: "24px" }, {queue:false, duration:"normal"} );
$(this).children("span").animate({opacity: "hide"}, "fast");


You might have noticed that I added a cursor: pointer style to the anchor. Why is that? because in IE6 and 7 when the anchor is expanded, if the mouse is in the new area that wasn’t previously considered within the boundaries of the anchor, the cursor reverts to text cursor.

That’s all we need to finish our sliding menu. Here’s the source file

so you can check it out for yourself.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){$(“#iconbar li a”).hover(
var iconName = $(this).children(“img”).attr(“src”);
var origen = iconName.split(“.gif”)[0];
$(this).children(“img”).attr({src: “” + origen + “o.gif”});
$(this).css(“cursor”, “pointer”);
$(this).animate({ width: “140px” }, {queue:false, duration:”normal”} );
$(this).children(“span”).animate({opacity: “show”}, “fast”);
var iconName = $(this).children(“img”).attr(“src”);
var origen = iconName.split(“o.”)[0];
$(this).children(“img”).attr({src: “” + origen + “.gif”});
$(this).animate({ width: “24px” }, {queue:false, duration:”normal”} );
$(this).children(“span”).animate({opacity: “hide”}, “fast”);
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