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custom float form with jQuery

Created 7 years ago   Views 12901   downloads 2063    Author usejquery
custom float form with jQuery
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With this Plugin you can style your markup right in your browser with a build-in element selector and CSS editor. Generate the CSS code of altered elements with one click and use it in your own stylesheet.

I was inspired by the article Make Your Mockup in Markup by Meagan Fisher. I am one of those persons who can't stand Photoshop and design every bit of a website in it. Also it is not very DRY to design paragraphs, or whatever, in Photoshop and again with CSS.

But designing the mockup with markup is also somewhat annoying. You change the CSS code and need to check the result in your Browser. I used a Firefox add-on called ReloadEvery so I don't need to reload the page manually. Still not the optimal way.

That's why I coded this Plugin. You can stop switching between your Editor and the Browser and changes will occur immediately without reloading the page. Once you are done designing your mockup you can generate the CSS code, copy and paste it to your stylesheet and tweak it to your likings. Much faster and better!

Installation and Usage

Please see the Demos and the example source code. This section will be extended as the Plugin and the options grow.

Current Source Code

jQuery Brosho Plugin
Design in the Browser
Version 0.1 - 20. Jan 2010
Copyright (c) 2010 by Sebastian Senf:
Dual licensed under the MIT and GPL licenses:

(function($) {
  $.fn.brosho = function(options) {
    var opts = $.extend({}, $.fn.brosho.defaults, options);
    if($('#brosho-wrapper').length) { //brosho got called the second time by user, remove the current and add back with the options
      $('#brosho-wrapper, #brosho-overlay-wrapper').remove(); //remove old stuff
      $('body *').unbind(); //unbind the previous hover event handler on every element within the body
    } else {
      jQuery('<link/>', { //build the css link to the brosho stylesheet
        rel: 'stylesheet',
        type: 'text/css',
        media: 'screen',
        href: opts.stylesheet
      }).appendTo('head'); //and append it to the head
    //build the html for brosho via a string, you could use jQuery() builder in jQuery() itself but it looks ugly/unreadable
    var brosho_html = '<div id="brosho-editor">' +
                        '<div id="brosho-selector">' +
                          '<label for="brosho-selector-field">Selector</label>' +
                          '<input type="text" id="brosho-selector-field" />' +
                        '</div>' +
                        '<div id="brosho-css">' +
                          '<label for="brosho-css-field">CSS Styles</label>' +
                          '<textarea id="brosho-css-field"></textarea>' +
                        '</div>' +
                      '</div>' +
                      '<ul id="brosho-controls">' +
                        '<li id="brosho-position">Position: <a href="#top">Top</a> <a href="#bottom">Bottom</a> <a href="#left">Left</a> <a href="#right">Right</a></li>' +
                        '<li id="brosho-highlight">Highlight Elements: <a href="#highlight">Enabled</a></li>' +
                        '<li id="brosho-generate">CSS Code: <a href="#generate">Generate</a></li>' +
                      '</ul>' +
                      '<div style="clear:both"></div>';
    var brosho_over = '<div id="brosho-overlay"></div>' +
                      '<div id="brosho-css-output">' +
                        '<a href="#close">Close</a>' +
                        '<textarea id="brosho-css-output-field"></textarea>' +
    var wrapper = jQuery('<div/>', { //build the brosho wrapper
      id: 'brosho-wrapper',
      'class':'brosho-' + opts.position, //default bottom or as user requested [beware! safari don't like it when you use 'class' (without ') as key]
      html: brosho_html //use the html build in a string
    }).appendTo('body'); //append the wrapper to the body
    var overlay = jQuery('<div/>', { //build the overlay for the css output
      id: 'brosho-overlay-wrapper',
      html: brosho_over,
    $('#brosho-position a', wrapper).click(function() { //position the editor as user requests it
      wrapper.removeClass().addClass('brosho-' + $(this).text().toLowerCase()); //remove all classes on wrapper and add the one requested
      return false; //dont follow the anchor
    var highlight = true; //variable to determine if we need to hightlight elements on hover
    $('#brosho-highlight a', wrapper).toggle(function() { //disable/enable the hover highlight on elements
      $(this).text('Disabled'); //change text
      highlight = false; //no highlight
    }, function() {
      $(this).text('Enabled'); //change text back
      highlight = true; //allow highlight again

    $('#brosho-generate a', wrapper).click(function() { //return the css code for the changed elements
      var full_css = ""; //store the generated css code here
      $('body *').each(function() { //check every element for changed css
        var el = $(this); //used several times
        var brosho_css = el.attr('brosho-css'); //store the attribute value
        if(brosho_css) { //does this element have changed css
          var temp_css = $.fn.brosho.extractCssSelectorPath(el) + ' {\n' //generate css selector path
          var properties = brosho_css.split(";"); //split the properties
          for(var i = 0; i < properties.length; i++) { //loop through every property
            if(properties[i].length) temp_css += '\t' + trim(properties[i]) + ';\n'; //trim and add the property
          temp_css += '}\n\n'; //close the selector
          if(full_css.indexOf(temp_css) == -1) full_css += temp_css; //make sure we dont have the snippet yet and append it to the full css string
      overlay.fadeIn('fast'); //fade in the overlay wrapper
      $('#brosho-css-output textarea', overlay).val(trim(full_css)).select(); //set the text for the css output textbox and autoselect it
      return false; //dont follow the anchor
    $('#brosho-css-output a').click(function() { //watch the close button on the css output overlay
      return false; //dont follow the anchor
    var selector_field = $('#brosho-selector-field', wrapper); //selector textbox, used multiple times
    var css_field = $('#brosho-css-field', wrapper); //the css textarea, used multiple times
    //on mouseenter on every element in the body except the brosho wrapper and overlay
    $('body *:not(#brosho-wrapper, #brosho-wrapper *, #brosho-overlay-wrapper, #brosho-overlay-wrapper *)').hover(function() {
      if(highlight) $(this).addClass(opts.elementHoverClass); //add the hover class to the current element
    }, function() { //on mouseleave
      $(this).removeClass(opts.elementHoverClass); //remove the hover class
    }).click(function() { //on element click
      var el = $(this); //store the current element, used multiple times
      $('body *').removeClass(opts.elementHoverClass); //remove the brosho hover class on every element so we dont generate a false path
      selector_field.val($.fn.brosho.extractCssSelectorPath(el)); //set the css selector path of the current element

      if(el.attr('brosho-css')) { //does the user already have the css of the element
        css_field.val(el.attr('brosho-css')); //set the changed css to the editor
      } else { //this element doesn't have and changed css yet
        css_field.val(''); //clear the css editor
      css_field.focus(); //set the focus to the css editor
      return false; //dont follow the link if it is one
    css_field.keyup(function(event) { //watch key up's on the css editor
      if(css_field.val().substr(css_field.val().length - 1, 1) == ';' || //is the last typed character a ;
         css_field.val().length == 0) { //or the css editor is empty

        $(selector_field.val()).attr({ //set the new attributes on each matching element
          style: css_field.val(), //set new style
          'brosho-css': css_field.val() //save exact content of the css editor in a extra attribute *
    selector_field.blur(function() { //watch the blur event for the selector textbox
      var brosho_css = $(selector_field.val()).attr('brosho-css'); //used multiple times
      if(brosho_css) { //check if we already have altered the matching element
        css_field.val(brosho_css); //set the css editor with the value of the attribute brosho-css
      } else { //no changed css yet
        css_field.val(''); //clear the editor
    wrapper.css('opacity', opts.editorOpacity).hover(function() { //make brosho semi transparent so you can see whats going on underneath
      $(this).fadeTo('fast', 1); //fade to full
    }, function() {
      $(this).fadeTo('fast', opts.editorOpacity); //fade back
  }; //brosho function end
  //private function to trim strings
  function trim (str) {
    return str.replace(/^\s+/, '').replace(/\s+$/, '');
  //public function to extract a css selector path from an element
  $.fn.brosho.extractCssSelectorPath = function(el) {
    if(el.attr('id')) return '#' + el.attr('id'); //it is (should) be an unique element, return the id selector
    var path = $.fn.brosho.extractCssSelectorPath(el.parent()); //to prepend the path of the parent element
    if(el.attr('class') && el.attr('class') != ' ') return path + ' .' + el.attr('class'); //if the lement has a class use this as selector
    return path + ' ' + el.get(0).tagName.toLowerCase(); //return the current path with the tag name of the element if t has no id or class
  //default options for brosho
  $.fn.brosho.defaults = {
    stylesheet: 'js/brosho/jquery.brosho.css',
    position: 'bottom',
    elementHoverClass: 'brosho-element-hover',
    editorOpacity: 0.8

$(function () { $.fn.brosho(); }); //auto execute the brosho plugin

// *) Somehow havent worked to store the css string. It got erased everytime a element got clicked and returns 'undefined'
// even when I successful set the data within the keyup event on the css editor. Using a non valid attribute... I go to hell. But hey
// this is just a tool for the development environment ;)

The article source:

Tag: float form