margin-left

Summary

Area on which CSS margin-left applyThe margin-left CSS property of an element sets the margin space required on the left side of a box associated with an element. A negative value is also allowed.

The vertical margins of two adjacent boxes may fuse. This is called margin collapsing.

In the rare cases where width is overconstrained (that is when all of width, margin-left, border, padding, the content area and margin-right are defined), margin-left is ignored, and will have the same calculated value as if the auto value was specified.

  • Initial value 0
  • Applies to all elements except elements with table display types other than table-caption, table and inline-table
  • Inherited no
  • Percentages refer to the width of the containing block
  • Media visual
  • Computed value the percentage as specified or the absolute length
  • Animatable yes, as a length
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

Formal syntax: <length> | <percentage> | auto
margin-left: 10px;        /* An absolute length */
margin-left: 1em;         /* A length relative to the text size */
margin-left: 5%;          /* A margin relative to the nearest block container's width */
margin-left: auto;

margin-left: inherit;

Values

<length>
Is a <length> specifying a fixed width: it can be absolute width, e.g. in px, or a width relative to the text size, e.g. in em, or relative to the viewport size, e.g. in vh.
<percentage>
Is a <percentage> relative to the width of the nearest containing block.
auto
Is a keyword indicating that the left margin receives a share of the remaining space, defined mainly by the current layout mode.. If there several auto values for margin-left or margin-right, the calculated space is evenly distributed between all the auto values. This table summarizes the different cases:
Value of display Value of float Value of position Computed value of auto Comment
inline, inline-block, inline-table any static or relative 0 Inline layout mode
block, inline, inline-block, block, table, inline-table, list-item, table-caption any static or relative 0, except if both margin-left and margin-right are set to auto. In this case, it is set to the value centering the element inside its parent. Block layout mode
block, inline, inline-block, block, table, inline-table, list-item, table-caption left or right static or relative 0 Block layout mode (floating element)
any table-*, except table-caption any any 0 Internal table-* elements don't have margins, use border-spacing instead
any, except flex, inline-flex, or table-* any fixed or absolute 0, except if both margin-left and margin-right are set to auto. In this case, it is set to the value centering the border area inside the available width, if fixed. Absolutely positioned layout mode
flex, inline-flex any any 0, except if there is any positive horizontal free space. In this case, it is evenly distributed to all horizontal auto margins. Flexbox layout mode

Examples

.content { margin-left:   5%; }
.sidebox { margin-left: 10px; }
.logo    { margin-left: -5px; }

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Basic Box Model Working Draft No significant change from CSS 2.1.
CSS Transitions Working Draft Defines margin-left as animatable.
CSS Flexible Box Layout Module Candidate Recommendation Defines the behavior of margin-left on flex items.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1) Recommendation Like in CSS1, but removes its effect on inline elements.
CSS Level 1 Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 3.0 3.5 1.0 (85)
auto value 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 6.0 (strict mode) 3.5 1.0 (85)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1) 6.0 6.0 1.0

See also

Attachments

File Size Date Attached by
Area on which CSS margin-left apply
The effect of the CSS margin-left property on the element box
2640 bytes 2012-09-17 01:09:16 teoli

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: Sheppy, fscholz, Yuichiro, ethertank, trevorh, BijuGC, kscarfone, teoli, grendel, McGurk
Last updated by: trevorh,
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