Html – Select dropdown with fixed width cutting off content in IE

csshtmlhtml-selectinternet-explorer

The issue:

Some of the items in the select require more than the specified width of 145px in order to display fully.

Firefox behavior: clicking on the select reveals the dropdown elements list adjusted to the width of the longest element.

IE6 & IE7 behavior: clicking on the select reveals the dropdown elements list restricted to 145px width making it impossible to read the longer elements.

The current UI requires us to fit this dropdown in 145px and have it host items with longer descriptions.

Any advise on resolving the issue with IE?

The top element should remain 145px wide even when the list is expanded.

Thank you!

The css:

select.center_pull {
    background:#eeeeee none repeat scroll 0 0;
    border:1px solid #7E7E7E;
    color:#333333;
    font-size:12px;
    margin-bottom:4px;
    margin-right:4px;
    margin-top:4px;
    width:145px;
}

Here's the select input code (there's no definition for the backend_dropbox style at this time)

<select id="select_1" class="center_pull backend_dropbox" name="select_1">
<option value="-1" selected="selected">Browse options</option>
<option value="-1">------------------------------------</option>
<option value="224">Option 1</option>
<option value="234">Longer title for option 2</option>
<option value="242">Very long and extensively descriptive title for option 3</option>
</select>

Full html page in case you want to quickly test in a browser:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>dropdown test</title>

<style type="text/css">
<!--
select.center_pull {
    background:#eeeeee none repeat scroll 0 0;
    border:1px solid #7E7E7E;
    color:#333333;
    font-size:12px;
    margin-bottom:4px;
    margin-right:4px;
    margin-top:4px;
    width:145px;
}
-->
</style>
</head>

<body>
<p>Select width test</p>
<form id="form1" name="form1" method="post" action="">
<select id="select_1" class="center_pull backend_dropbox" name="select_1">
<option value="-1" selected="selected">Browse options</option>
<option value="-1">------------------------------------</option>
<option value="224">Option 1</option>
<option value="234">Longer title for option 2</option>
<option value="242">Very long and extensively descriptive title for option 3</option>
</select>
</form>
</body>
</html>

Best Solution

For IE 8 there is a simple pure css-based solution:

select:focus {
    width: auto;
    position: relative;
}

(You need to set the position property, if the selectbox is child of a container with fixed width.)

Unfortunately IE 7 and less do not support the :focus selector.