Multi-column text support in HTML/JS AIR Applications

Filed under: AIR, JavaScript

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As I continue my research into AIR development, I'm constantly finding things that I wasn't aware. For instance, did you know that WebKit engine has support for multi-column text? What's that you say? Think newspapers and you're right on track. WebKit gives us the ability to specify two new properties in our CSS and BAM, we have multi-column text. Even better is that the version of WebKit used in Adobe AIR also supports multi-column text. I took some time to write up an example implementation so that you could see how it works. I also took this chance to do a little experimentation with jQuery UI. As you can see from downloading the source code of this project, it works really well and is really easy to put into place.

I won't be showing much of the code, because there's actually nothing that's specific to AIR. I will however point out the two new properties that we have available to us. Setting up a container to be multi-column couldn't be simpler:

And that's it, -webkit-column-count is a number indicating how many columns you wish to divide your text into; while -webkit-column-gap determines the space between each column. Typography and print nerds should be very happy about this support as it will help you build more compelling magazine and RSS reader style applications using HTML and JavaScript.

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