Tag Archives: equal height columns

new jQuery Plugin – Equal Height Columns

Have you ever been in the situation where you need to use floated columns on your web page and want them all to be the same height as the tallest column? If you have, then you will probably know that you can achieve it with CSS. However, I don’t like this approach, and quite frankly have never understood it fully anyway. As I used jQuery in practically every project I write I thought it would be neater to just write a jQuery plugin which would do all of the hard work for me.

Here is the plugin code:

/* 
 /* * @Copyright (c) 2013 James Stoddern - info@jamesstoddern.net  
 * web:jamesstoddern.net  
 *  
 * Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person  
 * obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation  
 * files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without  
 * restriction, including without limitation the rights to use,  
 * copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell  
 * copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the  
 * Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following  
 * conditions:  
 * The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be  
 * included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.  
 *  
 * THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,  
 * EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES  
 * OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND  
 * NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT  
 * HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,  
 * WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING  
 * FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR  
 * OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.  
 *  
 * How to use it:  
 *  
 * If you have a series of floated columns, which you wish to make the same height, give them all the same  
 * class, and then run the plugin. It will determine the tallest div, and equalise the height of the rest  
 *  
 * $('.selector').equalHeights();  
 *  
 *  
 */

(function( $ ) {
    $.fn.equalHeights = function() {
        var tallestElement = 0;
        var startRow = 0;
        var elements = new Array();
        var $currentElement;
        var topPosition = 0;

        this.each(function() {

            $currentElement = $(this);
            topPostion = $currentElement.position().top;

            if (startRow != topPostion) {
                for (currentDiv = 0 ; currentDiv < elements.length ; currentDiv++) {
                    elements[currentDiv].height(tallestElement);
                }

                elements.length = 0;
                startRow = topPostion;
                tallestElement = $currentElement.height();
                elements.push($currentElement);

            } else {
                elements.push($currentElement);
                tallestElement = (tallestElement < $currentElement.height()) ? ($currentElement.height()) : (tallestElement);

            }

            for (currentDiv = 0 ; currentDiv < elements.length ; currentDiv++) {
                elements[currentDiv].height(tallestElement);
            }

        });

    };
}) ( jQuery );

So how do you use it?

Well, firstly copy the plugin from this page, and save it to a folder where you normally keep your jquery scripts. I usually call it jquery_equalheight.js. After you have included jQuery in your page, simply inlcude the plugin as well.

Next, all you need to do is run the plugin against a selector. In the case of your columns, make sure they all have the same class and then add this neat bit of code to run the plugin.

jQuery('.column').equalHeights();

Enjoy!