Tomomi Imura

Tomomi Imura

An Open Web advocate and front-end engineer, who loves everything mobile, and writes about HTML5, CSS, JS, UX, tech events, gadgets, etc. She unintentionally got 15min of fame by creating The HTTP Status Cats. Also, the opinions expressed here are solely her own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

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CSS3 Gradients: No Image Aqua Button

Note (Jan 28, 2010): I added a Firefox support to this tutorial. Please visit the “revisited” article too!

Boooo, Yahoo! just had the 3rd round of layoff within a little over a year period, and this time I was axed with several more fellow excellent engineers of Mobile team. So now I have free time to spend on more coding!
My job function needed full focus on products and it prevented me to have experiments and testing as I wanted to, so I always spent my own time to do. Now I can do whatever I want to while I am still on payroll. Yes! I am still paid my regular salary for a while, thanks for the new regulation :-)

css3 button screenshot
OK, enough blah about the stupid corporate stuff.
Anyway, I played around with WebKit CSS3 gradient and created a useless but fun stuff – an Aqua button with no images!
Back in the time when Mac OS X was first announced, there’re a plenty of web tutorials that describe how to create the sexy aqua button with Photoshop, and now I can show how to create one with CSS!

Here’s a screen capture of the rendered button. You can see the actual HTML page too.

OK, let’s take a look at the code:

<div class="button aqua">	
  <div class="glare"></div>
  Button Label

Create a Button Base and Styling Label

  width: 120px;
  height: 24px;
  padding: 5px 16px 3px;
  -webkit-border-radius: 16px;
  -moz-border-radius: 16px;
  border: 2px solid #ccc;
  position: relative;
  /* Label */
  font-family: Lucida Sans, Helvetica, sans-serif;
  font-weight: 800;
  color: #fff;
  text-shadow: rgba(10, 10, 10, 0.5) 1px 2px 2px;
  text-align: center;
  vertical-align: middle;
  white-space: nowrap;
  text-overflow: ellipsis; 
  overflow: hidden;

The first part to render a rounded-corner rectangle. Set the position as relative to place “glare” inside of the button later.
The second part is for styling the label.
Give text-shodow with alpha-transparency. (Believe or not, Chrome and Android do not support text-shadow!)

Button Color and Shadow

  background-color: rgba(60, 132, 198, 0.8);
  background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear, 0% 0%, 0% 90%, from(rgba(28, 91, 155, 0.8)), to(rgba(108, 191, 255, .9)));
  border-top-color: #8ba2c1;
  border-right-color: #5890bf;
  border-bottom-color: #4f93ca;
  border-left-color: #768fa5;	
  -webkit-box-shadow: rgba(66, 140, 240, 0.5) 0px 10px 16px;
  -moz-box-shadow: rgba(66, 140, 240, 0.5) 0px 10px 16px; /* FF 3.5+ */

Now, specify the appearance of the button and shadow at bottom.
Here. I use the -webkit-gradient to create a nice-looking aqua gradient.

Notice that I use -webkit-gradient as a background-image, although there’s no physical graphics are added there.
You can use gradients in background-image, border-image, list-style-image and content property.
On Firefox, this is ignored and you see only Background-color.

The syntax for linear gradient is as follows:

-webkit-gradient(lenear, left top, right bottom, from(start color/alpha), to(end color/alpha))

In this example, starts with dark blue from straight top to bottom (no angle) at 95%, not all way down, to blended into lighter blue.

Then, I specified color on each border (so the css looks pretty messy).

Finally, give a nice shadow at bottom, with -webkit-box-shadow.
Firefox 3.5+ supports it too, so duplicate it with -moz-box-shadow.

Syntax is as:

[color/alpha] [horizontal offset] [vertical offset] [blur radius] 

Give it shine

.button .glare {
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  left: 5px;
  -webkit-border-radius: 8px;
  -moz-border-radius: 8px;
  height: 1px;
  width: 142px;
  padding: 8px 0;
  background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.25);
  background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear, 0% 0%, 0% 95%, from(rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.7)), to(rgba(255, 255, 255, 0)));

The class glare renders the glossy look on the button.
First, give absolute position to the parent container, button to give shine in the right position.

Again, use -webkit-gradient to create the glossy look, by playing with alpha-transparency.
Start with the white (alpha 0.7) and end with complete transparent (alpha 0).

Honestly, I do not like to have this non-semantic empty div block to only get this visual effect.
I need to figure a better way to do.


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