Little Web Hut

Flip through images without reloading the whole page

The magic of iframes

Ever wonder how to change an image, in a web page, without reloading the whole page every time the user clicks on a link? It's easy using the HTML <iframe> tag. This iframe example will show how the <iframe> tag can be used as an image container. When a user clicks on an image link, the image is loaded into the iframe. The only thing that is changed is the contents of the iframe. The rest of the page does not need to be reloaded.

Try it! - Click on a link next to the 8-ball image.

Red Ball
Floating Ball
Eight Ball

How is it done?

We start by hiding the iframe borders so that only the image is visible. The iframe borders can be removed by using the iframe frameborder attribute. The syntax is:


Some browsers may try to add scrollbars when they are not desired. The scrollbars can be removed by using the iframe scrolling attribute. The syntax is:


The width of the iframe is set using the iframe width attribute. Likewise, the height is set using the iframe height attribute. The values are specified in pixels. Some browsers may clip the image unless the iframe is sized a little larger than the image. For this example the image is 100 x 168 pixels. The iframe is sized to 130 x 198 pixels using the following syntax:

width="130" height="198"

When the web page is initially loaded, the iframe will display the image that is pointed to by the iframe src attribute. The value of the src attribute is the URL of the image. For this example, the image is located on the same server as the web page so a relative address can be used instead of the full web address. The syntax is:


The iframe needs to be given a name. This example uses three <a> tags which are used to select which image to display. The iframe name is needed by the <a> tags as a destination for the images. The <a> tag uses its target attribute to point to the iframe. The <a> tag target attribute and the iframe name need to match. The iframe name is set using the iframe name attribute and the iframe id attribute.
The syntax for the <iframe> tag attributes is:

name="imgbox" id="imgbox"

The syntax for the <a> tag attribute is:


The HTML Code

<iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="130" height="198"
   src="../images/eightball.gif" name="imgbox" id="imgbox">
   <p>iframes are not supported by your browser.</p>
</iframe><br />
<a href="../images/redball.gif" target="imgbox">Red Ball</a><br /> <a href="../images/floatingball.gif" target="imgbox">Floating Ball</a><br /> <a href="../images/eightball.gif" target="imgbox">Eight Ball</a>
Test It XHTML Style

The following is a summary of the tags and attributes used in this iframe example:

HTML <iframe> tag - container for the image
HTML <iframe> frameborder attribute - hides the iframe borders
HTML <iframe> scrolling attribute - hides the scrollbars
HTML <iframe> width attribute - sets horizontal size in pixels
HTML <iframe> height attribute - sets the vertical size in pixels
HTML <iframe> src attribute - specifies the URL of the initial image
HTML <iframe> name attribute - sets the name of the iframe
HTML <iframe> id attribute - set the name of the iframe
HTML <a> tag - links to the images
HTML <a> href attribute - specifies the URL of the image to display
HTML <a> target attribute - specifies the name of the iframe

Final Notes:

This iframe example uses XHTML version 1.0 with the Transitional DTD. The <iframe> tag is not available with the Strict DTD.

IFRAME Video Tutorial:

iframe tag tutorial

iframe Tag Tutorial