Thursday, 20 December 2012

Turning you ASP.Net Hyperlinks into images buttons using CSS and jQuery

First of all I’m no big jQuery or CSS geek I know a little and I search the net Smile

I was building a site for a client who wanted Image buttons not text links and you should know me if you have read past posts I believe Dynamic Data is about changing as little as possible in the pages I like to do it all if possible using the Metadata, so I thought is there a way of doing this using pure CSS, there is sort of but you are still left with the text of the hyperlink, that is where jQuery came in, and then I thought I need to add a CSS class to each button and again jQuery came to my aid. so here we go.

Note: I am using the latest Web Essentials by Mads Kristensen and using LESS for my style sheets, you are really missing out if you have VS2012 and are not using this experimental add-in for VS2012.

Note: If you don't have VS2012 the you can use Mindscape’s Web Workbench which offers SASS, LESS and CoffeeScript

So the first job is to somehow automatically add the CSS class to each of the buttons that we want to swap to image button.

function NAC_ReplaceHyperLinkWithImageButton() {
// array of button commands/names to affect
var toMatch = ["Details", "Edit", "Delete", "Update", "Cancel", "Insert", "Select", "New"];
// commands/names to replace
var toReplace = { "New": "Insert" };
$(document).ready(function () {
$("TABLE.DDDetailsTable a, TABLE.DDGridView a")
.each(function () {
// get the inner text
var innerText = $(this).text();
if ($.inArray(innerText, toMatch) > -1) {

// do replacement of commands to Replace
var found = toReplace[innerText];
// check there is a match in the lookup table
if (typeof found !== "undefined")
innerText = found;

// get the embedded text

// add a tooltip
$(this).attr('Title', innerText);

// remove the hyperlinks text
// run script
// bind script to AJAX bits

Listing 1 – jQuery for the swap out

So first of all we have an array this contains ALL the button names (the display text) that we want to affect, next we hook into the jQuery Read event then we are selecting command buttons List, Details, Edit and ListDetails pages using these two selectors:

"TABLE.DDDetailsTable a, TABLE.DDGridView a"

after that I am using the jQuery inArray function to check if the buttons text is one we want to affect. Then having gotten the innerText form the hyperlink we add the CSS class, then finally we remove the text so only the icon will show.

jQuery is so cool mixed with CSS.


Figure 1- hyperlinks replace with buttons

Now people say LESS is more and in this case it is.

table.DDGridView a.Cancel,
table.DDDetailsTable a.Cancel
    width: 20px;
    height: 20px;
    display: inline-block;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: center center;
    background-image: url('../images/Cancel.png');

    table.DDGridView a.Cancel:hover,
    table.DDDetailsTable a.Cancel:hover
        background-image: url('../images/Cancel-h.png');

        table.DDGridView a.Cancel:hover:active,
        table.DDDetailsTable a.Cancel:hover:active
            background-image: url('../images/Cancel-a.png');

    table.DDGridView a.Cancel.aspNetDisabled,
    table.DDDetailsTable a.Cancel.aspNetDisabled,
    table.DDGridView a.Cancel.aspNetDisabled:hover,
    table.DDDetailsTable a.Cancel.aspNetDisabled:hover,
    table.DDGridView a.Cancel.aspNetDisabled:active,
    table.DDDetailsTable a.Cancel.aspNetDisabled:active
        background-image: url('../images/Cancel-d.png');

Listing 2 – the CSS

above in Listing 2 is the CSS for the Edit button as you can see we cover hyperlinks with a CSS class of “Edit” and we have three states normal hover and active that is when we click. Now for the LESS

/* ==== button mixin ==== */
.Button (@Name)
width: 20px;
height: 20px;
display: inline-block;
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-position: center center;

background-image: url('../images/@{Name}.png');

background-image: url('../images/@{Name}-h.png');

background-image: url('../images/@{Name}-a.png');
// link fix
background-image: url('../images/@{Name}-d.png');
// link fix


Listing 3 – LESS

In Listing 3 we have a MIXIN called Button and we pass in the name of the button we want, no repeating the same code and if you need to add an extra button it’s easy.

The only thing left is for me to add this to NuGet as a simple to apply package and you are away.

Updated: Package now available from NuGet here Replace ASP.Net Hyperlink With Image Button You will need to add a reference in you master page to the CSS and the JavaScript files which will be added to the Style and Scripts folder respectively.

Adding the NuGet package to an existing Dynamic Data site

Right Click the “References” node of the Web Application Project

Adding NuGet Package

Figure 1 – Adding NuGet Package to Project

Find the “Replace Hyperlink With Image Button” NuGet Package

Figure 2 – Find the “Replace Hyperlink With Image Button” NuGet Package


Figure 3 – Add the Style sheet and jQuery references to the head of the Master page 

Note: the highlighted sections, you will need to add a ~/ and ../ to the start od the CSS and Script links.


Figure 4 – Add a script tag just before the end of the BODY tag

Note: you can add your scripts and Style sheets your own way with bundling and minifying this is just an example.

Happy coding.

V1.0.4 now on NuGet you disabled icons if a link’s Enabled property is set to “false”;

Replace Hyperlink With Disabled Icons

Hopefully no more changes now.

Warning another change: v1.0.8 now has better icons and supports disabled buttons including removing the onclick event of the Delete button.

Friday, 14 December 2012

ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 (Release Candidate)


Scott Hanselman announced ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 (Release Candidate) today and it’s great for the first time it’s easy to deploy a DD Web Application Project (WAP) site precompiled and un-editable it’s just a check box now.

So install the new tools (get them from here Download Page and Release notes)

Note: If you already have publish settings then VS2012 will import them but they need to be in the root of your site.

New Publish Wizard

Figure 1 - New Publish Wizard

Navigate to the Settings Tab and check the “Precompile during publishing” checkbox and then click “Configure”

Disabled Editable markup.

Figure 2 - Disabled Editable markup.

un-check the “Allow precompiled site to be updatable” checkbox and your pages will no look like this Figure 3 if someone tries to edit them Smile

Precompiled aspx page no uneditable

Figure 3 - Precompiled aspx page no un-editable

And finally in VS2012 you can set the build configuration in each Publish profile, this works without having to change the build configuration in you project.

Warning: This sadly does not work for Dynamic Data yet it testes OK you already deployed to a site as it uses the place holders, I’m looking into it hopefully there will be a simple fix.