jQuery UI Tutorial for Beginners with Examples

Published by - @ninjazhai on October 15, 2013
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Getting started with jQuery UI? You’ve come to the right place! This step by step tutorial aims to give you a head start in using jQuery UI. You probably know what jQuery is so you want to take a beautiful step forward with jQuery UI, and that’s awesome!

jquery ui tutorial for beginners

jQuery UI enable our applications to have a cool user interface (even animations) in a faster way. You don’t have to force yourself to work with CSS all the time just to have a decent UI for your web app. This is fun and very stylish, it allows us to choose from different themes available, you can even create your own theme! But this post only covers running a very simple jQuery UI script in your web browser.

1. Run jQuery UI in 6 Easy Steps

The following steps below will make an awesome date picker with jQuery UI. Let’s code!

Step 1: Prepare your HTML file with just its basic structure.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title></title>
        
    </head>
<body>

</body>
</html>

Step 2: Add a text box inside the tag. User will be able to click this and show a jQuery UI calendar picker later.

<input type="text" id="myDatepicker" placeholder="Click to pick date" />

Step 3: Add the jQuery library before the ending tag. This is because jQuery UI is built on top of jQuery library.

<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.9.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

Step 4: Add the jQuery UI library under the code of step 3. This is actually the first step in enabling jQuery UI in your page.

<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.10.3/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>

Step 5: Add jQuery UI theme via CSS external link, put it inside the tag, after the tag. This CSS will make our UI stylish.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.10.3/themes/smoothness/jquery-ui.min.css" />

Step 6: Enable jQuery UI date picker to our text box on Step 1. Add the following code under the code of step 5. This is how you make a simple text box to awesome jQuery UI date picker.

<script>
$( "#myDatepicker" ).datepicker();
</script>

Quick Tip: Always use the minified version. For instance, use jquery-ui.min.css instead of just jquery-ui.css

Continue to read below, you will see the complete code of the steps above.

2. jQuery UI Sample Codes and Live Demos

In the demo page, you have to click the text box saying “Click to pick date” to see jQuery UI with different themes in action.

By the way, examples 2.1 and 2.2 uses Google’s content delivery network to run jQuery UI, meaning you won’t have to download the jQuery and jQuery UI library, you just have to include it.


2.1 jQuery UI with Smoothness theme hosted in Google CDN.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>jQuery UI Tutorial for Beginners - smoothness theme - by codeofaninja.com</title>
        
        <!-- step 4 - include you jquery ui theme -->
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.10.3/themes/smoothness/jquery-ui.min.css" />
        
    </head>
<body>

<!-- step 1 -->
<input type="text" id="myDatepicker" placeholder="Click to pick date" />

<!-- step 2 -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.9.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<!-- step 3 -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.10.3/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>

<script>
/* step 5 */
$( "#myDatepicker" ).datepicker();
</script>

</body>
</html>

Smoothness Theme LIVE DEMO

2.2 jQuery UI with Vader theme hosted by Google too.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>jQuery UI Tutorial for Beginners - vader theme - by codeofaninja.com</title>
        
        <!-- step 4 - include you jquery ui theme -->
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.10.3/themes/vader/jquery-ui.min.css" />
        
    </head>
<body>

<!-- step 1 -->
<input type="text" id="myDatepicker" placeholder="Click to pick date" />

<!-- step 2 -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.9.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<!-- step 3 -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.10.3/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>

<script>
/* step 5 */
$( "#myDatepicker" ).datepicker();
</script>

</body>
</html>

Vader Theme LIVE DEMO

2.3 What if I don’t want a CDN? I want to host my own jQuery UI library? No problem, you can always go to the jQuery UI download builder, you just have to select your preferred theme using the dropdown at the lower part of the page.

jquery ui download builder

jQuery UI library is self hosted in the example code below.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>jQuery UI Tutorial for Beginners - vader theme - by codeofaninja.com</title>
        
        <!-- step 4 - include you jquery ui theme -->
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="jquery-ui-1.10.3.custom/css/le-frog/jquery-ui-1.10.3.custom.min.css" />
        
    </head>
<body>

<!-- step 1 -->
<input type="text" id="myDatepicker" placeholder="Click to pick date" />

<!-- step 2 -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.9.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<!-- step 3 -->
<script src="jquery-ui-1.10.3.custom/js/jquery-ui-1.10.3.custom.min.js"></script>

<script>
/* step 5 */
$( "#myDatepicker" ).datepicker();
</script>

</body>
</html>

Self Hosted jQuery UI LIVE DEMO

DOWNLOAD all examples above

3. References

Want to see more jQuery UI live demos? You can always visit the jQuery UI official demos:

jQuery UI LIVE DEMOS

Go to jQuery UI Download Builder

The Code of a Ninja Resources