How to horizontally center an element using CSS? [Answered]

This post contains the top best answers to horizontally center an element using CSS.

Sample problem:

How can I horizontally center a <div> within another <div> using CSS?

<div id="outer">
  <div id="inner">Foo foo</div>
</div>

How to horizontally center an element? Answer #1:

You can apply this CSS to the inner <div>:

#inner {
  width: 50%;
  margin: 0 auto;
}

Of course, you don’t have to set the width to 50%. Any width less than the containing <div> will work. The margin: 0 auto is what does the actual centering.

If you are targeting Internet Explorer 8 (and later), it might be better to have this instead:

#inner {
  display: table;
  margin: 0 auto;
}

It will make the inner element center horizontally and it works without setting a specific width.

Working example here:

#inner {
  display: table;
  margin: 0 auto;
  border: 1px solid black;
}

#outer {
  border: 1px solid red;
  width:100%
}
<div id="outer">
  <div id="inner">Foo foo</div>
</div>

EDIT

With flexbox it is very easy to style the div horizontally and vertically centered.

#inner {  
  border: 1px solid black;
}

#outer {
  border: 1px solid red;
  width:100%;
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
}
<div id="outer">
  <div id="inner">Foo foo</div>
</div>

Also read: How to center elements horizontally and vertically?

Center an element horizontally using CSS- Answer #2:

If you don’t want to set a fixed width on the inner div you could do something like this:

#outer {
  width: 100%;
  text-align: center;
}

#inner {
  display: inline-block;
}
<div id="outer">  
    <div id="inner">Foo foo</div>
</div>

That makes the inner div into an inline element that can be centered with text-align.

Answer #3:

The best approaches are with CSS 3.

Box model:

#outer {
  width: 100%;
  /* Firefox */
  display: -moz-box;
  -moz-box-pack: center;
  -moz-box-align: center;
  /* Safari and Chrome */
  display: -webkit-box;
  -webkit-box-pack: center;
  -webkit-box-align: center;
  /* W3C */
  display: box;
  box-pack: center;
  box-align: center;
}

#inner {
  width: 50%;
}
<div id="outer">
  <div id="inner">Foo foo</div>
</div>

According to your usability, you may also use the box-orient, box-flex, box-direction properties.

Flex:

#outer {
    display: flex;
    flex-direction: row;
    flex-wrap: wrap;
    justify-content: center;
    align-items: center;
}

Read more about centering the child elements

Answer #4:

Suppose that your div is 200 pixels wide:

.centered {
  position: absolute;
  left: 50%;
  margin-left: -100px;
}

Make sure the parent element is positioned, i.e., relative, fixed, absolute, or sticky.

If you don’t know the width of your div, you can use transform:translateX(-50%); instead of the negative margin.

With CSS calc(), the code can get even simpler:

.centered {
  width: 200px;
  position: absolute;
  left: calc(50% - 100px);
}

The principle is still the same; put the item in the middle and compensate for the width.

Answer #5:

I’ve created this example to show how to vertically and horizontally align.

The code is basically this:

#outer {
 position: relative;
}

and…

#inner {
  margin: auto;
  position: absolute;
  left:0;
  right: 0;
  top: 0;
  bottom: 0;
}

And it will stay in the center even when you resize your screen.

Answer #6:

Some posters have mentioned the CSS 3 way to center using display:box.

This syntax is outdated and shouldn’t be used anymore.

So just for completeness here is the latest way to center in CSS 3 using the Flexible Box Layout Module.

So if you have simple markup like:

<div class="box">
  <div class="item1">A</div>
  <div class="item2">B</div>
  <div class="item3">C</div>
</div>

…and you want to center your items within the box, here’s what you need on the parent element (.box):

.box {
    display: flex;
    flex-wrap: wrap; /* Optional. only if you want the items to wrap */
    justify-content: center; /* For horizontal alignment */
    align-items: center; /* For vertical alignment */
}
.box {
  display: flex;
  flex-wrap: wrap;
  /* Optional. only if you want the items to wrap */
  justify-content: center;
  /* For horizontal alignment */
  align-items: center;
  /* For vertical alignment */
}
* {
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}
html,
body {
  height: 100%;
}
.box {
  height: 200px;
  display: flex;
  flex-wrap: wrap;
  justify-content: center;
  align-items: center;
  border: 2px solid tomato;
}
.box div {
  margin: 0 10px;
  width: 100px;
}
.item1 {
  height: 50px;
  background: pink;
}
.item2 {
  background: brown;
  height: 100px;
}
.item3 {
  height: 150px;
  background: orange;
}
<div class="box">
  <div class="item1">A</div>
  <div class="item2">B</div>
  <div class="item3">C</div>
</div>

Answer #7:

If you don’t want to set a fixed width and don’t want the extra margin, add display: inline-block to your element.

You can use:

#element {
    display: table;
    margin: 0 auto;
}

Answer #8:

Centering a div of unknown height and width

Horizontally and vertically. It works with reasonably modern browsers (Firefox, Safari/WebKit, Chrome, Internet & Explorer & 10, Opera, etc.)

.content {
  position: absolute;
  left: 50%;
  top: 50%;
  transform: translate(-50%, -50%);
}
<div class="content">This works with any content</div>

Answer #9:

Centering only horizontally

In my experience, the best way to center a box horizontally is to apply the following properties:

The container:

  • should have text-align: center;

The content box:

  • should have display: inline-block;

Demo:

.container {
  width: 100%;
  height: 120px;
  background: #CCC;
  text-align: center;
}

.centered-content {
  display: inline-block;
  background: #FFF;
  padding: 20px;
  border: 1px solid #000;
}
<div class="container">
  <div class="centered-content">
    Center this!
  </div>
</div>

Centering both horizontally & vertically

In my experience, the best way to center a box both vertically and horizontally is to use an additional container and apply the following properties:

The outer container:

  • should have display: table;

The inner container:

  • should have display: table-cell;
  • should have vertical-align: middle;
  • should have text-align: center;

The content box:

  • should have display: inline-block;

Demo:

.outer-container {
  display: table;
  width: 100%;
  height: 120px;
  background: #CCC;
}

.inner-container {
  display: table-cell;
  vertical-align: middle;
  text-align: center;
}

.centered-content {
  display: inline-block;
  background: #FFF;
  padding: 20px;
  border: 1px solid #000;
}
<div class="outer-container">
  <div class="inner-container">
    <div class="centered-content">
      Center this!
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Hope you learned something from this post.

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