overflow in general is apples and oranges for IE and proper browsers.
overflow:auto is a nightmare in IE.
Many coders use overflow:hidden and overflow:visible as actual IE hacks to get IE 5.0.x and 5.5 to tame the IE "double margin bug" and the "expanding box bug".
What you most likely are looking for is the "overflow:auto" element along with the "visibility" feature of an absolute div (aka "layer" in DreamWeaver). On its own it has no reference points other than what you want the browser default to guess at (and you never want to leave it up to IE to guess). BUT, used in an absolute positioned div it tells the browser how to guess.
Example - what I did here was to put a table based form within an absolute positioned div, http://www.manhattan...forms/r_lwu.php
Here is the css I used. The div should be wider than the table, but the table must be longer than the div. Then designate how much of the div you want to be visible with height and when you specify overflow:auto it adds scrolling up and down for visibile table height (you can do the same with width by making the table width wider than the div width.