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Page Width and Dreaded Horizontal Scroll Bar

 5:38 pm on Oct 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Does anybody know where I can find a list of browsers, and the page width that they start rendering the dreaded horizontal scroll bar?




 6:44 pm on Oct 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the board.

That will be system specific to the user based on screen size and the current size that they have the browser window at. There is no way to tell when a browser is going to cause a horizontal scroll bar (or position indicator as some people are now calling them that alludes the fact that most people have wheel mice now and never use a 'scroll bar' anymore).


 6:17 am on Oct 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

Brett... sounds like you're talking about the vertical scroll bar... he was asking about the horizontal one.

You're pretty safe assuming that everyone is at, at least, 800x600 resolution. This basically means that you want to stay under 780 pix width... for both IE and Netscape.

That's about the best you can do since you don't have any control over people making their broswer window smaller (unless you want to really piss them off using the DOM)


 12:01 pm on Oct 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just set your tables as percentages and design for the browser width of your choice, your target audience will still get what you designed and the others will get either a scrunched or stretched version but not the scroll bar.

Horizontal scroll bars usually cause a rapid use of the back button.


 11:46 pm on Oct 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Using relative width tables doesn't solve the problem of how much space your base content takes up, that's why you have to design for a minimum width.

Also, using relative width tables can make your page start looking ugly at higher resolutions depending on your layout.


 8:35 am on Oct 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

That's what I meant Ian. You really can't know when a user is going to need a horz scroll bar. Even if you design for something like a min of 400 wide, you can't be sure that isn't going to cause the user a horz scroll bar. There are no garantees that the user is going to have their browser window that wide.

The last stats I saw showed 16-20% of the net still at 640x400.


 12:04 pm on Oct 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Its usability versus asthetics.

I personally consider horizontal scroll bars a forbidden feature on anything I design.

If I have to scroll to view your content, I am not getting the design intent anyway, just parts of it.

It's like wooooo,let me scroll to see the rest of the picture without really seeing the picture as a whole. It makes no sense.


 4:56 pm on Oct 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Most browsers are 800x or 1024x ..Good rule of thumb is 700px wide. Fits snug on 800x browsers and looks nice centered on a 1024x..


 5:07 pm on Oct 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Wanna irritate someone?

Add this to the body tag:



 1:15 am on Oct 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Heehee... I know that's not quite what you meant Brett because you were talking about people using the mousewheel... The mousewheel does vertical scrolling by default and you'd have to get funky software to make it scroll horizontally. ;-)

But I agree with you about it being impossible to avoid scrolling completely. There will always be someone out there viewing your page at 640x480 in a really small window :-)

15-20% using 640x480? Where did you read that? I've been hearing under 10% for a few months now and my logs are showing more like 5%.

There hasn't been a new computer shipped any time this year with the resolution set below 800x600.


 1:53 am on Oct 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

just a note about wheel mice and horizontal scrolling...

if there's no vertical scrollbar present, the wheel mouse will actually activate the horizontal bar :)


 2:10 am on Oct 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

My mistake :-) I never noticed I guess because I've never been on a page that had a vertical scroll bar without a horizontal one.


 7:53 am on Oct 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

>> Wanna irritate someone?

Toolman, what were you up to when you thought up that one? Did you have a "real" reason for doing it, or were you just "up to no good"?

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