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I completely agree that you shouldn't open content in new windows/tabs and always try and advise this to clients. One area where they seem to take issue with this is on forms where the last item is an 'agree to the terms and conditions' checkbox and the 'terms and conditions' text is a link to that page.

This is where often clients will insist on the page opening in a new window/tab or sometimes a lightbox type window (is this any better?). The reason given is that the user has completed the form and if they leave the page, they may lose all the form fields they have completed.

Just wondering what peoples views are on this and what people usually do in this circumstance.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Instead of opening the terms and conditions in a new window, you could display them in an area with a scrollbar. This way, the terms are immediately visible and there is no need to open them in a new window / tab.

enter image description here

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I like this. I can imagine clients saying it 'looks ugly' is distracting, takes up too much space, etc... What about hiding it until a user clicks on the Terms and Conditions link and then it appears? – Jeff Shillitto Aug 7 '13 at 6:54
That could be an option aswell, toggling the Terms and Conditions when the link is clicked. – Jeroenem Aug 7 '13 at 7:39

When the terms and conditions link is clicked, have the terms and conditions appear within the page using an expanding div (or something similar). This keeps the page uncluttered, but allows viewing of the full T & C without leaving the page.

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Thanks for the answer, I am thinking a hybrid of this idea and the answer by Jeronem and vzwick. – Jeff Shillitto Aug 7 '13 at 6:55

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