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How to create simple chromeless popup windows.

Hate 'em or love 'em; popup and popunder windows are a constant companion during our Internet forays. But they can be quite useful, especially the chromeless variety.

A chromeless popup window is one that doesn't show the browser menu or tool bar, but does retain the title bar (for easy closing). Some visitors have so many options on their tool bars that they take up over a quarter of the screen height!

Chromeless popup windows are a great way to deliver list information and extra help for filling in forms without bogging down your pages.

There are many scripts available for creating popups, but sometimes you'll just want something simple that won't require you to incorporate 100 lines of JavaScript!

These manually triggered chromeless popup window scripts will work in Netscape, Firefox and IE Versions 4+. It will create a link activated window of a fixed size, but will allow for scrollbars if necessary.

Chromeless popup window instructions

First, create and save a standard page with the information you wish to be displayed in the popup window. The elements should be placed within a table structure. Suggested width of table: around 350 pixels. 

And if you want to create a "Close this Window" link in the page:

<a href="javascript:self.close()">Close this window</a></td>

If you choose not to include this snippet, visitors will still be able to close the window via the popup window title bar controls.

Second, the script to launch the chromeless popup window. Below are two options. 

Popup script option 1

This option doesn't require a separate link, because the link is embedded in the script. Just copy and paste into your HTML code where you want the link to the popup to appear - you'll only need to change the "path/to" statement to suit. Nice and easy :).

Popup script option 2

Copy and paste the below into the HTML source code  of the page you wish to launch the popup from (change the path value to suit):

Calling the popup window

Next, the hyperlink to use to engage script option 2 and launch the popup window.

 (Change the properties in capital letters to suit):

<a href="javascript:openpopup()">CLICK HERE</a>

With both popup options, you can change width and height to suit, but don't make it too narrow, otherwise site visitors will need to scroll horizontally to view the content. Too wide a setting will cover the majority of the screen area for those users still running lower monitor resolutions.

When copying scripts like the one above, ensure you paste it into Notepad first; then copy it again and transfer it to your HTML. Copying and pasting code straight from a web page can produce some pretty weird results, especially if you are using Microsoft FrontPage.

If you are looking for a script to create an automated site entry or site exit popup or popunder window, check out our related free javascript code generators section.

Use automated popups with caution - I don't know many visitors who upon entering a site and seeing a popup window yell, "whoopeee!!!". 

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
Tutorials, web content, tools and software.
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