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Michael Di Prisco
Michael Di Prisco

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Creating tabs with CSS only

[TL;DR] Here's the demo: Codepen

If you haven't already...

Take a look at my first post to proper understand the premise of the series: Creating a lateral menu with CSS only

Let's go...

As I did in my last article, I limited the amount of work on UI and UX for the sake of simplicity, to provide a simple and usable solution that could be easily explained and understood.

The HTML...

There you have it, simple and clean:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <!-- Our First Tab Trigger -->
    <label for="firstTab">Toggle First Tab</label>
    <!-- Our Second Tab Trigger -->
    <label for="secondTab">Toggle Second Tab</label>

    <!-- Our First Checkbox -->
    <input type="radio" class="radio-tab-toggle" name="tabTest" id="firstTab" value="1" />
    <!-- Our First Tabbed Content -->
    <div>First Tab</div>

    <!-- Our Second Checkbox -->
    <input type="radio" class="radio-tab-toggle" name="tabTest" id="secondTab" value="2" />  </body>
    <!-- Our First Tabbed Content -->
    <div>Second Tab</div>
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The CSS...

CSS is probably the shortest and simplest I ever written, 3 rules and we have our tabs:

  margin: -1px;
  padding: 0;
  width: 1px;
  height: 1px;
  overflow: hidden;
  clip: rect(0 0 0 0);
  clip: rect(0, 0, 0, 0);
  position: absolute;

.radio-tab-toggle + div {
  height: 0;
  overflow: hidden;

.radio-tab-toggle:checked + div {
  height: auto;

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So there we have it.. By clicking on the trigger labels, we check our invisible checkboxes and, consequently, make our content visible.

Level it up a bit..

The only issue I can see here is the lack of "close current tab" functionality. In fact, as far as I know, you can't "uncheck" a radio box group once you checked one of its components. So I guess we could level it up a bit via a simple JS snippet.

The JS...

Third post, third time you ask for it. How do I have to tell you?

JS = false;
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Nice experiment, but limited to the lack of possibility to uncheck a checked radio-box without JS.

Give me a heart, a unicorn, or whatever you want! See you soon!

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