Layout grids

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Using multiple column layouts isn't generally recommended on a mobile device because of the narrow screen width, but there are times where you may need to place small elements side-by-side (like buttons or navigation tabs, for example).

The jQuery Mobile framework provides a simple way to build CSS-based columns through a block style class convention called ui-grid.

There are two preset configurations layouts — two-column (using the class of ui-grid-a), and three-column (using the class of ui-grid-b) — that can be used in any situation that requires columns. Grids are 100% width, completely invisible (no borders or backgrounds) and don't have padding or margins, so they shouldn't interfere with the styles of elements placed inside them.

Two column grids

To build a two-column (50/50%) layout, start with a container with a class of ui-grid-a, and add two child containers inside it classed with ui-block-a for the first column and ui-block-b for the second:


<div class="ui-grid-a">
	<div class="ui-block-a"><strong>I'm Block A</strong> and text inside will wrap</div>
	<div class="ui-block-b"><strong>I'm Block B</strong> and text inside will wrap</div>
</div><!-- /grid-a -->

The above markup produces the following content layout:

I'm Block A and text inside will wrap.
I'm Block B and text inside will wrap.

As you see above, by default grid blocks have no visual styling; they simply present content side-by-side.

Grid classes can be applied to any container. In this next example, we add ui-grid-a to a fieldset, and apply the ui-block classes to the two buttons inside to stretch them each to 50% of the screen width:


<fieldset class="ui-grid-a">
	<div class="ui-block-a"><button type="submit" data-theme="c">Cancel</button></div>
	<div class="ui-block-b"><button type="submit" data-theme="b">Submit</button></div>	   
</fieldset>

Theme classes (not data-theme attributes) from the theming system can be added to an element, including grids. On the blocks below, we're adding two classes: ui-bar to add the default bar padding and ui-bar-e to apply the background gradient and font styling for the "e" toolbar theme swatch. For illustration purposes, an inline style="height:120px" attribute is also added to each grid to set each to a standard height.

Block A
Block B

Three-column grids

The other grid layout configuration uses class=ui-grid-b on the parent, and 3 child container elements, each with its respective ui-block-a/b/c class, to create a three-column layout (33/33/33%). Note: These blocks are also styled with theme classes so the grid layout is clearly visible.


<div class="ui-grid-b">
	<div class="ui-block-a">Block A</div>
	<div class="ui-block-b">Block B</div>
	<div class="ui-block-c">Block C</div>
</div><!-- /grid-b -->

This will produce a 33/33/33% grid for our content.

Block A
Block B
Block C

And an example of a 3 column grid with buttons inside:

Four-column grids

A four-column, 25/25/25/25% grid is created by specifying class=ui-grid-c on the parent and adding a fourth block. Note: These blocks are also styled with theme classes so the grid layout is clearly visible.

A
B
C
D

Five-column grids

A five-column, 20/20/20/20/20% grid is created by specifying class=ui-grid-d on the parent and adding a fourth block. Note: These blocks are also styled with theme classes so the grid layout is clearly visible.

A
B
C
D
E

Multiple row grids

Grids are designed to wrap to multiple rows of items. For example, if you specify a 3-column grid (ui-grid-b) on a container that has nine child blocks, it will wrap to 3 rows of 3 items each. There is a CSS rule to clear the floats and start a new line when the class=ui-block-a is seen so make sure to assign block classes in a repeating sequence (a, b, c, a, b, c, etc.) that maps to the grid type:

A
B
C
A
B
C
A
B
C