Interesting Browser Bug with CSS border and the Select element

code comments suggest edit

UPDATE: Pretty much disregard this entire post, except as a reminder that it’s easy to make a mistake with DOCTYPEs and markup. As many people have told me, I had an error I didn’t notice in the original HTML. I forgot to close the SELECT tag. I’ll leave the post as-is.

Not only that, the DOCTYPE is not specified in the document, which causes IE to render in Quirks mode, not standards mode. So I guess the bug is in IE 7 rendering.

So this is a case of PEBKAC, the bug is in the HTML, not the browser.

Here’s an example of the HTML with the SELECT tag properly closed and the proper DOCTYPE. It renders correctly in FireFox 3 and IE 8.

In testing our helper methods for rendering a <select /> element which has some styling applied to it if the element has a validation error, a developer on the MVC team found an interesting bug in how browsers render a select element with a border applied to it via CSS. Check out the following HTML.

<style type="text/css">
select {
border: 1px solid #ff0000;
color: #ff0000;
<select >

Here’s how IE 8 renders it. Notice there’s no border. UPDATE: According to people on twitter, this is because I left out the doctype, so IE8 rendered it in old quirks mode, not standards mode.


Here’s Firefox 3. There’s a border, but there’s two drop-down arrows.


Here’s Google Chrome, which gets it right. Since Google Chrome uses the Safari Webkit rendering engine, I believe Safari gets it right as well. I didn’t test it personally, but Opera gets it right too.


Now if you add the following meta tag to the <head /> section of the HTML.

<meta http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible' content='IE=8'>

IE 8 now renders correctly.


You can see for yourself by pointing your browser to an example with the meta tag and without it.

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