I found a great little trick today whilst trying to fit a large amount of textual data onto a single grid type row. Rather than allow the text to wrap, potentially making rows different heights or making all rows large enough to fit the extremes I decided to fix the size and add an ellipse (...) to the end of the row if the text exceeds the limit. I think this only works on IE.. !
Before I found this trick I cheated slightly and 'guestimated' how many characters would fit on the row and added the ellipse manually. Not any more ! Check out the box below:
Notice the ellipse is placed at the end of the text.
The magic is done by the, previously unknown to me, CSS style: text-overflow. If you set this to ellipsis most of the work is done. You need to set a few other attributes to get the desired effect; overflow, width and white-space. Here is the HTML that generated the box above:
border: 1px dashed gray;">
Some long text that exceeds the fixed width of the span tag used in this example.
This trick can be applied to table cells providing the table-layout CSS style attribute is set to fixed.