Create Accordion Menu Using JQuery

When I had the job interview last weekend, I was asked if I had experience with Accordion Menus. Accordio-what??? I thought it was some kind of Javascript framework for easily creating menus.

I was only able to know what it was about until it was workday again and I got to surf for it so I could check what it was exactly. So, an accordion menu is actually a type of a menu that expands content (can be sub menu items or text or image or whatever).

The sample menu that was given to me to modify came from this site. The accordion menu in that URL was created using JQuery and is limited to one level only. There are no sub-menus. I think I did badly in that exam since I have never used JQuery extensively unless they were show() hide() funtionalities.

I decided to check JQuery out and try to make it work. What I did was use the same CSS class attributes and changed the code to cater sub-menus no matter how many level(s) a menu item has. The finished code would create an accordian menu that looks like the image on the right. I highlighted the sub-menus as blue and red.

I am not much of a CSS stylist so it is up to you to change the existing CSS code to, let’s say, have the text move a bit to the right so that they all won’t be aligned vertically.

Here is the JQuery code

And this is the HTML code. I provided 1 menu item sample that has 2 sub-menu levels.

Notice that in <p> and div tags (with ID firstpane), I added the attribute ID to give them unique identifier names. This is mandatory in my code because I used the tag’s ID to check if the menu header clicked is a parent menu header or a sub menu header.

Make sure that you have a main container, in this case, firstpane with CSS class menu_list. Next in the CSS sequence are the menu_head and the menu_body (contains your menu items or more sub-menus).

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  1. hi coffey, my post has the link to where i based my modified version of jquery. you can get the css file there and the original jquery code.

    then just change that code with mine. it should show the same accordion menu as the image in my post

  2. wow 5 submenus huh. i only tried mine until 3. but that code should work for 5 or more.

    you would have to modify the css for that since i did not do any css for indentation on the sub menus.

  3. yep I should be able to fix the css no problem but I’m trying to change the code so that it reads from a list and not divs. I have changed the javascript so that instead of using “#firstpane p.menu_head” I’m using “#leftCol li.menu_header” and in the function instead of using “$(this).css({backgroundImage:”url(down.png)”}).next(“div.menu_body”).slideToggle(300).siblings(“div.menu_body”).slideUp(“slow”);” i’m using this “$(this).css({backgroundImage:”url(‘images/subnav_arrowDown.gif’)”}).next(“ul.sideNavInner”).slideToggle(300).siblings(“ul.sideNavInner”).slideUp(“slow”);” but it’s not working…any ideas were I’m going wrong?

  4. sorry, pretty busy at the moment. im not used to jquery stuffs so i might have to review it again. if you do solve it please share it here. as well as your css if you managed to do indentation for sub-menus. thanks coffey

  5. Great script! It’s very small and not so complex as the orginal accordion provided by jquery. I do have an question:
    Imagine I have 3 subnavs called A B C. When subnav A is opened and I click on subnav B, subnav A stays open and subnav B opens as well. But what if I want the subnav A to be clossed?

  6. hi phil. great that you found it useful, you can subscribe to my feeds for more updates and please do rate this post.

    what you can do is loop through all ids that are on the same level as your subnavs and call hide() on them except the subnav that you clicked. that is how i did it with the upper level menus.

  7. Thanks for the fast reply. I never quit understood javascript. I can read it, but adjusting the script is beyond my powers. (I’m more the css – html guy) I debugged the shit outa the script.
    I tried adding lots of hide functions such as: parent_menu_head.attr().is(‘hide’))
    but it’s all without result.
    Can you guide me into the right direction? It would be a great asset to the script!

  8. honestly, i would have to review jquery again which would take up my time since i have forgotten about this.

    if you do manage to get it, please place a link to your site so others can benefit too. thanks

  9. hi roshan,

    doesnt my code do that? cant remember though because i have never touched that code after i posted it here.

    still, sure. you can email it to me and i will post it here and give you full credit.


  10. roshan, i checked my code and it does close the other submenus when a different submenu from a different header is clicked.

    still, i will still post your code if you want to share it. just let me know

  11. lol a number of the feedback people write are so silly, again and again i contemplate if they seriously read the writing and content before writing a comment or if perhaps they only just read the title of the article and type the very first idea that one thinks of. anyhow, it is really relaxing to look over smart commentary once in a while instead of the same, outdated oppinion vomit which i mainly notice on the net i’m off to take up a couple of hands of facebook poker regards

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  13. Hello, I want to post a solution related with a question made by Phil about
    a possible way to hide an open submenu when a sibling submenu is opened.
    This is my first real contact with jQuery so I hope this approach be a useful solution.

    clicked_menu_head.parent().children(‘p’).siblings(‘p’).each(function() {
    // loop through each main menu, if not equal, hide all sub menu
    if (clicked_menu_head.attr(‘id’) != $(this).attr(‘id’))
    $(this).next().slideUp(speed).find(‘p.menu_head’).each(function() {

  14. @Jean Solis: Thank you for posting your solution to hide an open submenu when a sibling submenu is opened. Could you please show where to insert this snippet into the existing Javascript code, as I have tried but I think I am inserting it in the wrong place as it makes the menu stop working. Apologies, I am just learning Javascript. Thanks, and thank you Tech for the menu.

  15. I like your adaptation of Roshan’s menu. (You should have got the job!!) 🙂 Have you done a version that works with mouseover instead of clicking? also, is there a way of the submenu staying open when a link is clicked so you still have access to other links in the same submenu?

  16. Sorry I wasn’t aware of these updates on this post, relating to your question, addi, I checked the last version I did for this menu, and the final code is pretty different from the one I post a few months ago, anyway if you still need it, or if could be useful for someone else, I post this last version but this time I will be more specific :-P, the next code must replace the original code from line 24 to line 39, and please be aware of the quotation marks, otherwise the code possibly will not run.

    //Hide submenus
    if(clicked_menu_head.parent().attr(‘id’) == ‘firstpane’)
    //First level
    //Deeper levels

  17. really i were wondering for this type of code only but where is the css code without the css code how v can refer the id and class which is in div tag

  18. Hi, how can one modify your script to have the second level to give a slideout menu to the right when the mouse is over them?

  19. Hi.
    Thank you for making the only actual tutorial that I’ve been able to find. Other ‘tutorials’ haven’a actually explained how to do things, but you did so, very clearly.

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