List with floating section headings

CSS, Visual · Oct 11, 2021

Creates a list with floating headings for each section.

  • Use overflow-y: auto to allow the list container to overflow vertically.
  • Use display: grid on the inner container (<dl>) to create a layout with two columns.
  • Set headings (<dt>) to grid-column: 1 and content (<dd>) to grid-column: 2.
  • Finally, apply position: sticky and top: 0.5rem to headings to create a floating effect.
<div class="container">
  <div class="floating-stack">
    <dl>
      <dt>A</dt>
      <dd>Algeria</dd>
      <dd>Angola</dd>

      <dt>B</dt>
      <dd>Benin</dd>
      <dd>Botswana</dd>
      <dd>Burkina Faso</dd>
      <dd>Burundi</dd>

      <dt>C</dt>
      <dd>Cabo Verde</dd>
      <dd>Cameroon</dd>
      <dd>Central African Republic</dd>
      <dd>Chad</dd>
      <dd>Comoros</dd>
      <dd>Congo, Democratic Republic of the</dd>
      <dd>Congo, Republic of the</dd>
      <dd>Cote d'Ivoire</dd>

      <dt>D</dt>
      <dd>Djibouti</dd>

      <dt>E</dt>
      <dd>Egypt</dd>
      <dd>Equatorial Guinea</dd>
      <dd>Eritrea</dd>
      <dd>Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)</dd>
      <dd>Ethiopia</dd>
    </dl>
  </div>
</div>
.container {
  display: grid;
  place-items: center;
  min-height: 400px;
}

.floating-stack {
  background: #455A64;
  color: #fff;
  height: 80vh;
  width: 320px;
  border-radius: 1rem;
  overflow-y: auto;
}

.floating-stack > dl {
  margin: 0 0 1rem;
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: 2.5rem 1fr;
  align-items: center;
}

.floating-stack dt {
  position: sticky;
  top: 0.5rem;
  left: 0.5rem;
  font-weight: bold;
  background: #263238;
  color: #cfd8dc;
  height: 2rem;
  width: 2rem;
  border-radius: 50%;
  padding: 0.25rem 1rem;
  grid-column: 1;
  display: inline-flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
  box-sizing: border-box;
}

.floating-stack dd {
  grid-column: 2;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0.75rem;
}

.floating-stack > dl:first-of-type > dd:first-of-type {
  margin-top: 0.25rem;
}

Written by Angelos Chalaris

I'm Angelos Chalaris, a JavaScript software engineer, based in Athens, Greece. The best snippets from my coding adventures are published here to help others learn to code.

If you want to keep in touch, follow me on GitHub.

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