What Are the Different Types of HTML Menus?
There are several types of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) menus, although implementing most of them requires the use of cascading style sheets (CSS), a scripting language or some external modules. The most basic type is a list of static links. A horizontal or vertical strip of options can be made to look much like a menu bar from a desktop application. Multilevel menus allow each menu option to contain another menu and can be used for complex navigation through a large website. Special effects such as floating HTML menus or menus that animate when opened also are possible on a website.
The most basic type of HTML menus is a list of static links. This also is one of the only ways to implement a menu in pure, basic HTML. The menu in this case basically is just a list of links, with each being a hypertext link to a destination. Although very simple, this type of menu will render on all devices and does not rely on any special browser features to operate.
Drop-down HTML menus resemble a menu bar in a standard desktop application. When a word or icon in this type of menu is clicked, a box containing selectable options opens under the word or icon that was clicked. A drop-down menu is familiar to most computer users but can complicate navigation on a website if too many options or headers are used.
Multilevel HTML menus are a way to implement a nested menu tree. This can appear as a drop-down menu or more like a properties tree, with each option having a way to expand any sub-options in the tree. With the use of dynamic HTML (DHTML) or a scripting language, a multilevel menu can be dynamically generated from a series of web pages and updated during navigation. A possible complication is that, if the depth of the option tree is very deep, the formatting on a web page might be affected.
Floating HTML menus use less standardized techniques than other types of HTML menus but can create a convenient navigational element for a page. By using CSS and scripting, a single frame can be positioned at a static location on the page so that, despite scrolling, the menu always appears in the same place. Some browsers do not necessarily support the positioning code required for a floating menu, however. Without careful page design, the menu actually might cover important information on the page.
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