YUI 3 Gallery: Accordion Widget

By YUI TeamNovember 4, 2009

YUI3 Accordion Widget Accordion is a visual widget that allows the expansion/collapse of grouped items containing arbitrary data. Accordion items can be added or removed dynamically, reordered via drag-and-drop, closed and set as always visible. Originally, I built the widget top of YUI 2, but I've since ported it to YUI 3.

Accordion is part of the new YUI 3 Gallery, offered under the YUI BSD License, and available on the Yahoo! CDN.

The module consists of two classes — Accordion itself and AccordionItem, both extending YUI 3's Widget.

Building an Accordion

The developer can build an Accordion from markup or from scratch using JavaScript. Check out the examples on GitHub for more information.

If you are building from JavaScript, the first step is to instantiate and render Accordion:

var accordion = new Y.Accordion( {
    contentBox: "#accordion1",
    useAnimation: true,
    collapseOthersOnExpand: true


The next step is to add one or more items:

var item1 = new Y.AccordionItem( {
    label: "Item1, added from script",
    expanded: true,
    contentBox: "dynamicContentBox1",
    contentHeight: {
        method: "fixed",
        height: 80
    closable: true
} );

item1.set( "bodyContent", "Dynamically added item with fixed content height, 80px." );

accordion.addItem( item1 );


During instantiation (or later) the developer can set configuration options. Some of them are applicable for Accordion itself; others options apply to AccordionItems.

Among the Accordion config options:

  • reorderItems — If true, the user will be able to reorder the registered items by using drag and drop.
  • collapseOthersOnExpand — If true, Accordion will close all other items when a new item expands. This is the default behaviour.
  • useAnimation — This setting determines whether Accordion animates the process of items expanding/collapsing. If true, animation details may be set through another config property: animation.
  • resizeEvent — The developer may specify an object that provides a resize event (instead of the default browser event). For example, in the YUI 2 world if an Accordion were placed in LayoutManager the developer could use the resize event that LayoutManager provides.

Some of the AccordionItem config options:

  • contentHeight — The developer may choose among three different content height policies. These are:
    • auto — The browser will calculate content height.
    • fixed — Content height will be always X pixels, where X is a value specified by the developer.
    • stretch — The third option is to set content height to be stretched. In this case, it will be calculated later, depending on the other items and on the total size of Accordion's container.
  • alwaysVisible — if true, the item will always stay open, even when another item is being expanded, and even if the value of Accordion's property collapseOthersOnExpand is true.
  • closable — If true, the user will be able to remove the item from Accordion.
  • expanded — Setting this property to true or false will expand/collapse item respectively.
  • animation — Each item may have its own animation settings.

Future enhancements

I plan to do more work in the area of accessibility; I would like to see it improved in the future versions of Accordion.

About the author

YUI3 Accordion Widget Iliyan Peychev,
Senior Software Engineer
Map Soft Ltd.