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Tabs consist of two or more tab items created for navigating between different sections of content.


When to use tabs

Each tab will display different sections within the same context. For example, tabs can display different sections of an article, different topics or different edit views.


The Tabs component always contains two or more Tab items.

Specification of Tab items.

Tabs include the following elements:

  1. Selected tab
    Within the tabs component, only one tab item can be selected at a time.
  2. Unselected tabs
    The remaining tab items will remain unselected. Users can choose these tabs by clicking on them or navigating to them via the keyboard’s arrow keys.
  3. Arrow button
    When tabs become scrollable, one or two icon-only buttons will appear. The number of buttons to scroll tabs will vary based on the tabs' scroll position. Users can utilize these buttons to navigate through the scrollable tabs.

Component limitations

Each Tabs component will contain a minimum of 2 tab items. There is no maximum limit to the number of tab items per Tabs.

The maximum width for each tab item is @size-1600 (equivalent to 256px in the default Codex theme), with an ellipsis appearing if the text exceeds this length.

When there is not enough space to display all tabs, scrolling will be activated. When the scroll is enabled, the positions of the tabs will be indicated by arrow buttons:

  1. Initial position: Due to the tabs being in the first position, only the end arrow button will be visible at the end to scroll the tabs.
  2. Middle position: Both the start and end arrow buttons will be visible.
  3. End position: As scrolling reaches the end, only the start arrow will be visible in order to scroll the tabs from the end to the beginning.

Scrollable Tabs with arrows indicating scroll-ability.

Refer to the Tabs component in Codex Figma.


Depending on the tabs' style and where they are employed, there are two types of tabs:

Quiet tabs

These tabs feature a transparent background with a Gray400 underline to delineate the tabs base. The selected tab is highlighted in blue with a blue line underneath. These tabs are intended for use on open white backgrounds, and it is not recommended to use them within boxes or modules.

Example of quiet Tabs.

Framed tabs

These tabs have a Gray200 background, with the selected tab appearing in white. They are designed to be used within boxes or modules, where the gray background serves as a head for the box. It is not recommended to use framed tabs outside of a box context; in such cases, use the quiet tabs instead.

Example of framed Tabs.

Interaction states

The Tabs component itself does not have distinct states. Instead, individual states will be attributed to each Tab item.

Tabs with the first tab item selected and the third one in a hover state.

Best practices

Consider the following recommendations when using Tabs.

Tabs with its items navigating to related content.

  • Use Tabs to navigate between various sections of related content.

Tabs with its items navigating to sections of the same page.

  • Use Tabs to structure content meant to be consumed sequentially, like the sections within an article page.


Tabs allow a reader to access contained, structured content blocks that make pages easier to read. To make the UI effective and consistent, keep tab names short and descriptive.

Tabs conveying an example of short, concise titles for sections.


Tabs conveying an example of mixing verbs and nouns.


Keyboard navigation

TabIt moves the focus to the next interactive element in tab order.
Shift + TabIt moves the focus to the previous interactive element.
Left arrow / Right arrowWhen focusing on a Tab item, the arrow keys navigate between the rest of Tab items.


Basic Example

Two stylistic variants are available, quiet (the default) and framed.

Header row scroll

When the width of the header row exceeds the width of its container, arrow buttons will appear to enable scrolling through tab names.

Content for tab1

This is the content for the First Tab

Reading direction

Dynamic replacement of slot content

The Tabs component will re-render if the provided slot content changes. Clicking the button below will replace the initial tabs with a new set; the header row will update to match.

Content for tab1

This is the content for the First Tab

Vue usage

One or more Tab components must be provided in the default slot of the Tabs component. Each child Tab component must have a name property. The Tabs component must have an active prop that matches the name of one of the child Tab components in the slot.

In order for the active tabs to change, the name of the active tab must be bound in the parent somehow, either using v-model:active or by manually binding the active prop and listening for update:active events.


Prop nameDescriptionTypeDefault
active(required)The name of the currently active Tab in the layout.

Provided by v-model:active binding in the parent component.
framedWhether or not the component should be displayed in a framed visual style.booleanfalse


Method nameDescriptionSignature
selectProgrammatically select a tab based on its "name" propParams:
  • tabName string - The name of the tab to select
  • setFocus boolean - Whether or not to also set focus to the new tab
Returns: void
nextSet the next tab to active, if one existsParams:
  • setFocus boolean -
Returns: void
prevSet the previous tab to active, if one existsParams:
  • setFocus boolean -
Returns: void


Event namePropertiesDescription
update:activeactive string - The name of the current active tabEmitted whenever the active tab changes


defaultOne or more Tab components must be provided here

CSS-only version

Markup structure

The non-JS version of the Tabs component should be seen as a navigational tool. It relies on HTML form submission to trigger a change in the current active tab. When the user clicks on a tab button (or hits Enter while tab button is focused), the browser will load a new page.

Basic setup:

  • The outermost element should be a <div> element with the class "cdx-tabs".
  • The cdx-tabs__header element should be a <form> with the following attributes:
    • method="get": we will send the form with a GET request
    • action="myURL": The value of action should be whatever URL the form data will be sent to; in this example it's simply the same URL as the page, but appended with a different URL query parameter based on the user's tab selection. In a real-world use-case, this might be a URL that can accept query parameters (say for performing a different kind of search based on which tab the user selects).
  • Within the tablist element, every tab label is represented by a <button> element (this is the same as in the Vue version). However, since we are submitting the data as a form, each tab button must contain a name and a value attribute. In a real application, this might correspond to key-value pairs used for a given query parameter.
  • The tab corresponding to the current view should contain the aria-selected="true" attribute. All other tabs should have aria-selected="false". If you are using a server-side templating language like Mustache, this should be set there.
  • Each tab should also have an aria-controls attribute with a value of the ID of the corresponding tabpanel.
  • Don't mess with <button> tabindex – since the CSS-only version of this component has no way to bind left and right arrow keys to handler methods, the user is going to need to rely on the mouse or the tab key to navigate between tabs.
  • To disable a tab, simply add a disabled attribute to that tab's <button> in the tablist.

The tabs below have long labels, making the tab list too long for its container. When this happens, you can horizontally scroll to reach the rest of the tabs list.


Keyboard navigation between tabs can only be done via the Tab key. Arrow keys will not work here.