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Chapter 12. Forms > Unconventional Use of Form Elements

12.7. Unconventional Use of Form Elements

In the spirit of using HTML tags in a way they were never intended (a la tables for page layout), feel free to experiment with using form elements creatively. Remember that forms do not require CGI scripts to in order to display on a web page—scripts are required only to retrieve and process information. This means you can create nonfunctioning form elements to take advantage of the ways they display information.

The most flexible of these are selection menus. A pop-up menu can contain sidebar information embedded in the flow of text. Before there were inline frames (<iframe>) there were scrolling selection menus, which can be used to present a little scrolling thought or story (just put a few words of text in each <option>). Both of these display alternatives force the user to interact with your content in a more active way than just reading text on the page.


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