Web Standard: Pop-ups and New Browser Windows


A pop-up is a window, smaller than the full screen, intended to supplement the primary browser window. An overlay is a modal box, a window that requires you to do something in it (including closing it) before you can return to the main window, overlaid on top of the primary browser window. New browser windows are typically the same size as the original window, and usually has its own stand-alone information.

Content Requirements

  • Use pop-ups or overlays only if the information relates back to the information in the existing window (for example, to define words).
  • Whenever possible, use text identifiers to warn your visitors that clicking on a particular link, or on some or all of the links on your page, may open a pop-up or colorbox.
  • Do not create new browser windows. That breaks the back button for our visitors.


For overlays, see: Style Guide: Colorbox

About this Standard

Effective date: 09/12/2012
Date approved: 09/12/2012
Web Council review by date: 09/02/2014 (or earlier if deemed necessary by the Web Council)