How to Create a Horizontal Navigation Menu with CSS

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In this how to, you'll learn how to create a horizontal navigation menu.

  1. Start with the following HTML document containing an unordered list:
    
    <!DOCTYPE HTML>
    <html>
    <head>
    	<meta charset="UTF-8">
    	<title>Horizontal Navigation Menu</title>
    </head>
    <body>
    <main>
    	<header>
    		<h1>Horizontal Navigation Menu</h1>
    	</header>
    	<nav>
    		<ul id="mainMenu">
    			<li><a href="home.html">Home</a></li>
    			<li><a href="services.html">Services</a></li>
    			<li><a href="products.html">Products</a></li>
    			<li><a href="support.html">Support</a></li>
    			<li><a href="blog.html">Blog</a></li>
    			<li><a href="about.html">About</a></li>
    			<li><a href="contact.html">Contact</a></li>
    		</ul>
    	</nav>
    </main>
    </body>
    </html>
    	
    With no CSS, it will display as follows: An unordered list
  2. Create a file for an external styesheet and link to it from the HTML using the following tag:
    
    <link href="horizontal-menu.css" rel="stylesheet">
    	
  3. Inside the stylesheet, start by removing the default list style:
    ol,ul {
    	list-style: none;
    }
  4. Set the width and margins of the menu:
    #mainMenu {
    	margin: 10px;
    	width: 900px;
    	font-family: sans-serif;
    }
    Setting the width prevents the menu from wrapping when the user shrinks the browser window.
  5. Set the list items to display as blocks, give them a width, and float them to the left so that they'll each display to the right of the preceding item.
    
    #mainMenu li {
    	display:block;
    	width:120px;
    	float:left;
    	margin-left:2px;
    	border:1px solid #000;
    }
    
  6. Change the a elements to block elements. We'll also add some formatting styles and remove the underline with text-decoration: none.
    
    #mainMenu a {
    	display:block;
    	padding:3px;
    	text-decoration:none;
    	background-color:#fff;
    	color:#009;
    }
    			
  7. Finally, change the hover state of the links so that they highlight when a user points to them.
    
    #mainMenu a:hover {
    	background-color:#009;
    	color:#fff;
    }
    
  8. The finished CSS should look like the following:
    
    #mainMenu {
    	margin:10px;
    	width:900px;
    	font-family: sans-serif;
    }
    #mainMenu li {
    	display:block;
    	width:120px;
    	float:left;
    	margin-left:2px;
    	border:1px solid #000;
    }
    
    #mainMenu a {
    	display:block;
    	padding:3px;
    	text-decoration:none;
    	background-color:#fff;
    	color:#009;
    }
    
    #mainMenu a:hover {
    	background-color:#009;
    	color:#fff;
    }
    		
    Open the HTML page in a browser. This code renders the following: A Horizontal Menu

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