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How TO - Responsive Top Navigation


Learn how to create a responsive top navigation menu with CSS and JavaScript.


Top Navigation

Resize the browser window to see how the responsive navigation menu works:


Create A Responsive Topnav

Step 1) Add HTML:

Example

<ul class="topnav" id="myTopnav">
  <li><a href="#home">Home</a></li>
  <li><a href="#news">News</a></li>
  <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a></li>
  <li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
  <li class="icon">
    <a href="javascript:void(0);" onclick="myFunction()">&#9776;</a>
  </li>
</ul>

The list item with class="icon" has a link that is used to open and close the topnav on small screens.


Step 2) Add CSS:

Style the list to look like a navigation bar:

Example

/* Remove margins and padding from the list, and add a black background color */
ul.topnav {
    list-style-type: none;
    margin: 0;
    padding: 0;
    overflow: hidden;
    background-color: #333;
}

/* Float the list items side by side */
ul.topnav li {float: left;}

/* Style the links inside the list items */
ul.topnav li a {
    display: inline-block;
    color: #f2f2f2;
    text-align: center;
    padding: 14px 16px;
    text-decoration: none;
    transition: 0.3s;
    font-size: 17px;
}

/* Change background color of links on hover */
ul.topnav li a:hover {background-color: #555;}

/* Hide the list item that contains the link that should open and close the topnav on small screens */
ul.topnav li.icon {display: none;}

Add media queries:

Example

/* When the screen is less than 680 pixels wide, hide all list items, except for the first one ("Home"). Show the list item that contains the link to open and close the topnav (li.icon) */
@media screen and (max-width:680px) {
  ul.topnav li:not(:first-child) {display: none;}
  ul.topnav li.icon {
    float: right;
    display: inline-block;
  }
}

/* The "responsive" class is added to the topnav with JavaScript when the user clicks on the icon. This class makes the topnav look good on small screens */
@media screen and (max-width:680px) {
  ul.topnav.responsive {position: relative;}
  ul.topnav.responsive li.icon {
    position: absolute;
    right: 0;
    top: 0;
  }
  ul.topnav.responsive li {
    float: none;
    display: inline;
  }
  ul.topnav.responsive li a {
    display: block;
    text-align: left;
  }
}

Step 3) Add JavaScript:

Example

/* Toggle between adding and removing the "responsive" class to topnav when the user clicks on the icon */
function myFunction() {
    var x = document.getElementById("myTopnav");
    if (x.className === "topnav") {
        x.className += " responsive";
    } else {
        x.className = "topnav";
    }
}
Try it Yourself »

Tip: Go to our CSS Navbar Tutorial to learn more about navigation bars.