Jul 07 2008

CSS-Styled Lists: 20+ Demos, Tutorials and Best Practices


When we think about CSS-Styled lists, different ideas come to mind but that rusty old image of bulleted items is not one of them anymore. There are lots of different methods to format nice HTML lists that is used in most web designs not only for navigation menu (vertical or horizontal) but for formatting many design blocks in a stylish and elegant manner. In this article, we’ll have a look at how such lists can create a whole new look, feel, and effect of a site.

You might be interested to check other CSS related posts :

Different Uses of Styled Lists

1-Custom Select Box

Ordered Lists

<dl class="dropdown">
<dt id="two-ddheader" onmouseover="ddMenu('two',1)" onmouseout="ddMenu('two',-1)" class="module">Recent Archives</dt>

<dd id="two-ddcontent" onmouseover="cancelHide('two')" onmouseout="ddMenu('two',-1)">
	<li><a href='http://www.darrenhoyt.com/2008/06/' title='June 2008'>June 2008</a></li>
	<li><a href='http://www.darrenhoyt.com/2008/05/' title='May 2008'>May 2008</a></li>
	<li><a href='http://www.darrenhoyt.com/2008/04/' title='April 2008'>April 2008</a></li>

2-Code Blocks

Ordered Lists

<div id="portfolio">
<ul id="gallery">
<li><img src="/{client}/before.jpg" /></li>
<li><img src="/{client}/sketch.jpg" /></li>
<li><img src="/{client}/wireframe.jpg" /></li>
<li><img src="/{client}/after.jpg" /></li>
<img id="frame" width="580" height="415" src="frame.png" />
<ul id="sequence">
<li id="before"><a href="/{client}/before.jpg"><a></li>
<li id="sketch"><a href="/{client}/sketch.jpg"><a></li>
<li id="wireframe"><a href="/{client}/wireframe.jpg"><a></li>
<li id="after"><a href="/{client}/after.jpg"><a></li>
<a id="launch" rel="external" href="{url}">
<img src="launch.png" alt="Launch this site" />


unOrdered Lists

<ul id="home_button">
  <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_welcome_content','home_button_welcome')" id="home_button_welcome" class="on">Welcome</a></li>
  <!-- <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_mymonterey_content','home_button_mymonterey')" id="home_button_mymonterey">My Monterey</a></li> -->
  <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_visitors_content','home_button_visitors')" id="home_button_visitors">Visitor's Guide</a></li>
  <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_multimedia_content','home_button_multimedia')" id="home_button_multimedia">Multimedia Gallery</a></li>
  <!-- <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_travelblog_content','home_button_travel')" id="home_button_travel">Travel Blog</a></li> -->
  <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_weather_content','home_button_weather')" id="home_button_weather">Weather</a></li>
  <li><a href="javascript:void(0)" onMouseOver="showContent('home_surf_content','home_button_surf')" id="home_button_surf">Surf Report</a></li>

4-Post’s Information

unOrdered Lists

  <li class="dateposted">Posted on: 19th November 2006</li>
  <li>Posted by: <a href="http://ifelse.co.uk">Phu</a></li>
  <li>Number of comments: <a href="http://ifelse.co.uk/archives/2006/11/19/cssedit-2-review/#comments">29</a></li>
  <li><a href="http://ifelse.co.uk/archives/2006/11/19/cssedit-2-review/#commentform">Add a comment</a></li>

5-Popular Posts Block

unOrdered Lists

6-Blog’s Comment

unOrdered Lists

7-CSS Galleries

unOrdered Lists

8-Text Blocks

unOrdered Lists

Tutorials and Examples

1-Nested lists used to create a simple folder metaphore- A rough and ready example showing how to make a folder analalogy using a nested list.

unOrdered Lists

2-Mini Slide Navigation

unOrdered Lists

3-html vs css pt2/navigation lists- This article will take a closer look at navigation lists and how an extra span + optional extra class can make our css work easier.

 /* html code */  <li><a class="item"> nav item </a></li>  <li class="active"><span class="item"> nav item </span></li>  /* css code */  li .item {display:block; padding:0.5em;}  /* css code alternative */  li a, li span {display:block; padding:0.5em;}

4-Floating next and back buttons using lists- For this exercise, you want to float a “back” button to the left and a “next” button to the right. You could use two divs, but to make it simpler you will use two list items.

unOrdered Lists

 /* html code */  <li><a class="item"> nav item </a></li>  <li class="active"><span class="item"> nav item </span></li>  /* css code */  li .item {display:block; padding:0.5em;}  /* css code alternative */  li a, li span {display:block; padding:0.5em;}

5-Safe Lists Next to Left-Floated Elements- There are lots of different methods to format nice html lists. But are those methods reliable in all contexts and in all browsers? In this article, we’ll have a look at a simple context: a list with some left-floated element next to it.

unOrdered Lists

6-Style Your Ordered List- Here is a quick CSS tutorial on how you can use the ordered list (ol) and paragraph (p) element to design a stylish numbered list.

unOrdered Lists

7-Centering List Items Horizontally- Slightly Trickier Than You Might Think

unOrdered Lists

8-Advanced CSS Menu Trick- Instead of simply altering the state of the navigation item the user is currently rolling over, we want to alter the non navigation items as well. This will help focus the users attention on the item they have selected on, and create a new look and feel for the site overall.

unOrdered Lists

9-A Stripe of List Style Inspiration- Instead of simply altering the state of the navigation item the user is currently rolling over, we want to alter the non navigation items as well. This will help focus the users attention on the item they have selected on, and create a new look and feel for the site overall.

unOrdered Lists

Further Reading on CSS-Styled Lists

About the Author

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.


Comments and Discussions
  • liam, 07 July 2008

    Wow, really loving your collections more and more. These are brilliant.

  • YaMTaR, 07 July 2008

    i like “8-Advanced CSS Menu Trick”

  • Mike Robinson, 07 July 2008

    I’m keen to hear what people have to say about a post I wrote a little while ago, asking are lists appropriate in form mark-up. While it’s not a tutorial, I feel it turns the cogs a little ;)

  • verycheeky, 07 July 2008

    thank you for this, good stuff. Question though, your using wordpress for this site, are you able to use any of these?

  • Shaho, 07 July 2008


  • Pinkpetrol.com, 07 July 2008

    Great post might use some on mine! – http://www.pinkpetrol.com/blog – might be useful for people :) thanks

  • Paul, 07 July 2008

    Very nice list of lists. :)
    Can sometimes be one of the harder elements to work with at times.
    Great list.

  • vasu, 07 July 2008


  • Zany, 07 July 2008

    Very useful ….. thank you for this :D

  • John Jones, 07 July 2008

    Nice! Very good tutorials given here. Thank you

  • Santiago, 07 July 2008

    Very nice tricks, I will be playing around with these for future projects.

  • Madhav Tripathi, 07 July 2008

    Thanks, I can understand You would have hard work after this great work.

  • BlackHat, 08 July 2008

    I’m disappointed noupe, a selection of poorly designed lists to be honest, first time i’ve been put off by your posts….gah maybe it’s just the advanced css menu trick that I liked but I mean who hasn’t heard or seen or even done that you know?

    Anyway, happy belated 4th of july to noupe :)

  • de, 08 July 2008

    This is great. Noupe rocks

  • JSHAW, 08 July 2008

    CSS makes me excited especially in list form!

  • Wes, 08 July 2008

    Once again you guys rock! Great resources and plan on implementing some of them on my site.

  • Patrick Sweeney, 08 July 2008

    Fantastic! Your site is quickly becoming one of those sites to watch constantly. Thanks!

  • Guillaume, 08 July 2008

    Lists are always a simple way to create menus. Plus, it’s 100% W3C ready and it increases SEO.

    It’s easy to tune them with CSS, I don’t consider making menus without lists.

    Great links, thank you !

  • Giovanna, 08 July 2008

    Great list. My blog has a terrible design and will definitely apply the tips on this list. I need to get a design first. Hmm.

  • Christian, 08 July 2008

    Great list, go css!

  • Andy, 09 July 2008

    wrong, wrong, wrong. Learn about graceful degradation and semantics before you show off your “best practices”.
    This is clearly not it.

  • Kim, 10 July 2008

    Great collection! Thanks :)

  • Tl7, 10 July 2008

    Great collection thanks :)

  • Jon S, 11 July 2008

    Great Post, I’ve been looking for some good tutorials on list styling.

  • Nocom, 27 November 2008

    Great resources thanks a lot

  • James Waugh, 27 November 2009

    Cheers Noupe! … great tips as always boys !

  • dandy, 15 February 2010

    Nice lists and tutorials. Heres another one i’ve recently made

  • Tahsin Hasan, 30 September 2010


    here is boxy tabs on tahsin’s garage

  • ilham ali, 02 October 2010

    some of them are really nice, I am looking for a listing style of product list with pictures, any one can give me a direction?

  • S.W. Atcher, 27 January 2011

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • Akif, 17 August 2012

    Thank you! Really Helpful.

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