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Discussion on: Why you should stop z-index:9999

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Vesa Piittinen

I've worked on two complex sites and you should survive with less than 10. The need for some occur with modals and navigation layers, and with content you need a couple for elements that popup on top of other content (but should obviously not go on top of navigation and modal layers).

Also, as CSS has advanced the need for z-index tricks has become a rarer thing.

So even for a complex layout something like this should be near the maximum required:

:root {
    --zContentLayout: 1;
    --zPopupOverlay: 2;
    --zPopupLayout: 3;
    --zNavOverlay: 4;
    --zNavLayer: 5;
    --zModalOverlay: 6;
    --zModalLayer: 7;
}
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And even these can be compacted if DOM structure is well maintained, but that is not a guarantee when working on a site with a lot of contributions.

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