Simple Morphing Search

A simple effect idea for a search input that morphs into a fullscreen overlay. The idea is to enlarge the search input and show some relevant content or search results.

Today we’d like to share a simple morphing effect with you. The idea is to have a search input in the upper right corner of the page and once the input is clicked, the whole search element expands to a fullscreen overlay. The fullscreen overlay has a bigger search input and some elements for showing related items or the search results. Note that we just made a dummy that does not actually search dynamically.

For the morphing search effect we use several transitions that animate the dimensions of the search input, the font size and some other elements. Please note that it’s very experimental and only tested in the latests versions of modern browsers.

The background image used in the demo is from Unsplash and the icons are from Font Awesome.

The search input is located in the top right corner of the page:


When clicking on the input, it will expand to the fullscreen overlay while increasing the font size of the search input and showing some relevant content or search results:


Please note that there are no transitions on the content elements in the fullscreen search in Firefox (latest version 33.0.2/Mac) due to a bug. This bug has to do with changing the overflow of the animated element’s parent. Please read more about it here: Firefox transitions breaking when parent overflow is changed

We hope you enjoyed this little experiment and find it inspiring.

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    • Hi Eugene, that’s not a bug but a defined style. This will avoid a “jump” (in Windows) when opening the overlay which has overflowing content. Thx, cheers, ML

  1. While I really love your design concepts, this one is more disturbing for me than useful.

  2. Thank you !!!
    I also want to learn how to create such an interesting and interactive …
    Please tell me where this teach? )))

  3. Looks like issue at the vertical scroll-bar has been resolved. This is enforcing ideas to a new concept. Maybe a little transparency or covering a portion of the page would make it more tolerable. Great job again Mary Lou!

  4. I’ve been following your site for quite a while. Everything you post is awesome, but this’s my favorite! I look forward to seeing what you come up with next 🙂

  5. Beautiful! Although I personally would not completely fill the window with modal screen. Users are suddenly thrown into a complete new interface and are not directly clear on how to leave the window.

  6. Hey ,Mary i am trying to use more than one elements from your website , like dropboxes , vertical pannels split layouts etc , but the problem is i am not able to integrate them into one file , your each code consists of demo.css , normalize.css and many other their are always many class name conflicts in classes , i am not a champ in designing but really want those cool effects in my college project , is their any way you can help me or is thier a possibility to use diffrent style sheets for a particular divs so that i could use them in my project …
    waiting for your reply eagerly..:)

  7. Could someone help me with linking this to a database search. Is this fine

    $(function() {

    $(“.search_button”).click(function() {
    // getting the value that user typed
    var searchString = $(“#search_box”).val();
    // forming the queryString
    var data = ‘search=’+ searchString;

    // if searchString is not empty
    if(searchString) {
    // ajax call
    type: “POST”,
    url: “do_search.php”,
    data: data,
    beforeSend: function(html) { // this happens before actual call
    success: function(html){ // this happens after we get results
    return false;

  8. This is what I like.. flexible to use if you have something to search it can morph into a fullscreen.

  9. It looks like a concept from Windows 8 dynamic search. But I must say that from the design perspective it is much, much better. Nicely done 🙂

  10. Hi Mary,
    There is no doubt is’t a very good front-end element for Web designers 🙂
    But i notice one thing we can’t use it twice in one page .
    Example: if i customize it and create an wordpress widget then it’s not work in more then one widget area
    So is there any way to fix it.!!
    Many thanks for this POST

  11. Hello Mary!

    This is Awesome!

    It’s possible use this plugin inside of the container 960px position:relative? I try but he only open to 960px.

    You can help?


  12. Would be cool to have this done for WordPress, thanks for any ideas how to realize that in advance.

  13. To everyone asking about WordPress—it’s simple: just apply the styles and scripts to your markup as you would on a static HTML site. The only difference is that you’ll want to use the WordPress search form like so:

    <form class="morphsearch-form" role="search" method="get" action="<?php echo home_url( '/' ); ?>"> <div><label class="screen-reader-text" for="s">Search for:</label> <input class="morphsearch-input" type="search" placeholder="Search" name="s" id="s" /> <input class="morphsearch-submit" type="submit" id="searchsubmit" value="Search" /> </div> </form>

    • Hello @Cameron

      Not at all !
      Apllying original scripts and styles and calling the default WP search form will not do the trick at all ! Did you try to do it ?
      You can take a look how I’ve done it
      Some CSS rules are added other slightly modified and some other removed !
      The JS is not the same at all, I’ve even removed all the JS here !

      SYA 🙂

  14. Really cool stuff ! Does anyone knows how to “launch” the search using a button ?
    I want to launch the “bigger” search screen using a button without having to display the “smaller” search input box !

    Thanks in advance for any help !

  15. trying to get this to work with jquery’s autocomplete (with jQuery UI) and having some problems. any insight? is it because it is hidden initially?