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CSS Margins


This element has a margin of 70px.


CSS Margins

The CSS margin properties are used to generate space around elements.

The margin properties set the size of the white space outside the border.

With CSS, you have full control over the margins. There are CSS properties for setting the margin for each side of an element (top, right, bottom, and left).


Margin - Individual Sides

CSS has properties for specifying the margin for each side of an element:

  • margin-top
  • margin-right
  • margin-bottom
  • margin-left

All the margin properties can have the following values:

  • auto - the browser calculates the margin
  • length - specifies a margin in px, pt, cm, etc.
  • % - specifies a margin in % of the width of the containing element
  • inherit - specifies that the margin should be inherited from the parent element

Tip: Negative values are allowed.

The following example sets different margins for all four sides of a <p> element:

Example

p {
    margin-top: 100px;
    margin-bottom: 100px;
    margin-right: 150px;
    margin-left: 80px;
}
Try it Yourself »

Margin - Shorthand Property

To shorten the code, it is possible to specify all the margin properties in one property.

The margin property is a shorthand property for the following individual margin properties:

  • margin-top
  • margin-right
  • margin-bottom
  • margin-left

Example

p {
    margin: 100px 150px 100px 80px;
}
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So, here is how it works:

If the margin property has four values:

  • margin: 25px 50px 75px 100px;
    • top margin is 25px
    • right margin is 50px
    • bottom margin is 75px
    • left margin is 100px

If the margin property has three values:

  • margin: 25px 50px 75px;
    • top margin is 25px
    • right and left margins are 50px
    • bottom margin is 75px

If the margin property has two values:

  • margin: 25px 50px;
    • top and bottom margins are 25px
    • right and left margins are 50px

If the margin property has one value:

  • margin: 25px;
    • all four margins are 25px

The auto Value

You can set the margin property to auto to horizontally center the element within its container.

The element will then take up the specified width, and the remaining space will be split equally between the left and right margins:

Example

div {
    width: 300px;
    margin: auto;
    border: 1px solid red;
}
Try it Yourself »

The inherit Value

This example lets the left margin be inherited from the parent element:

Example

div.container {
    border: 1px solid red;
    margin-left: 100px;
}

p.one {
    margin-left: inherit;
}
Try it Yourself »

Margin Collapse

Top and bottom margins of elements are sometimes collapsed into a single margin that is equal to the largest of the two margins.

This does not happen on left and right margins! Only top and bottom margins!

Look at the following example:

Example

h1 {
    margin: 0 0 50px 0;
}

h2 {
    margin: 20px 0 0 0;
}
Try it Yourself »

In the example above, the <h1> element has a bottom margin of 50px. The <h2> element has a top margin set to 20px.

Common sense would seem to suggest that the vertical margin between the <h1> and the <h2> would be a total of 70px (50px + 20px). But due to margin collapse, the actual margin ends up being 50px.


Test Yourself with Exercises!

Exercise 1 »  Exercise 2 »  Exercise 3 »  Exercise 4 »


All CSS Margin Properties

Property Description
margin A shorthand property for setting the margin properties in one declaration
margin-bottom Sets the bottom margin of an element
margin-left Sets the left margin of an element
margin-right Sets the right margin of an element
margin-top Sets the top margin of an element