Inline Edit: empty fields and minimum widths

Gary Thompson gary at
Mon Jul 7 17:50:16 UTC 2008

Do we have a context of use where the user is editing "nothing"?  It 
seems that all of the comparative analysis and contexts of use in the 
design of inline edit point to having something already existing to edit.

If the condition exists where the user has not yet entered information, 
then it should probably be populated with a default message like "Click 
here to enter description" (from the lightbox collection view).  This 
also becomes the cue to the user that they can inline edit said information.

Then the existing information (whether user entered or a default 
message) provides the "width" of the inline edit field.


Anastasia Cheetham wrote:
> On 7-Jul-08, at 11:43 AM, Michael S Elledge wrote:
>> How about using putting the input field in a CSS class containing  
>> the "inline" attribute?
>> Anastasia Cheetham wrote:
>>> The problem is this:
>>> It seems you can't set a minimum width on <span> elements without   
>>> setting them to "display:block" (if anyone knows otherwise, please   
>>> correct me!!).
> Mike, thanks for the suggestion! I just tried it out, and  
> unfortunately, it has the wrong effect. By forcing the display to be  
> 'inline' it actually imposes the "no minimum width allowed" behaviour,  
> so that even empty divs, which would have allowed a minimum width,  
> become invisible :-(
> Michelle suggested a bit of a hack that would likely work, which is to  
> fill the 'empty' field with spaces. I'll investigate this option later  
> today (unless anyone thinks it's a bad idea...)

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