vertical-align

The vertical-align CSS property sets vertical alignment of an inline, inline-block or table-cell box.

The vertical-align property can be used in two contexts:

Note that vertical-align only applies to inline, inline-block and table-cell elements: you can't use it to vertically align block-level elements.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
vertical-align: baseline;
vertical-align: sub;
vertical-align: super;
vertical-align: text-top;
vertical-align: text-bottom;
vertical-align: middle;
vertical-align: top;
vertical-align: bottom;

/* <length> values */
vertical-align: 10em;
vertical-align: 4px;

/* <percentage> values */
vertical-align: 20%;

/* Global values */
vertical-align: inherit;
vertical-align: initial;
vertical-align: unset;

The vertical-align property is specified as one of the values listed below.

Values for inline elements

Parent-relative values

These values vertically align the element relative to its parent element:

baseline
Aligns the baseline of the element with the baseline of its parent. The baseline of some replaced elements, like <textarea>, is not specified by the HTML specification, meaning that their behavior with this keyword may vary between browsers.
sub
Aligns the baseline of the element with the subscript-baseline of its parent.
super
Aligns the baseline of the element with the superscript-baseline of its parent.
text-top
Aligns the top of the element with the top of the parent element's font.
text-bottom
Aligns the bottom of the element with the bottom of the parent element's font.
middle
Aligns the middle of the element with the baseline plus half the x-height of the parent.
<length>
Aligns the baseline of the element to the given length above the baseline of its parent. A negative value is allowed.
<percentage>
Aligns the baseline of the element to the given percentage above the baseline of its parent, with the value being a percentage of the line-height property. A negative value is allowed.

Line-relative values

The following values vertically align the element relative to the entire line:

top
Aligns the top of the element and its descendants with the top of the entire line.
bottom
Aligns the bottom of the element and its descendants with the bottom of the entire line.

For elements that do not have a baseline, the bottom margin edge is used instead.

Values for table cells

baseline (and sub, super, text-top, text-bottom, <length>, and <percentage>)
Aligns the baseline of the cell with the baseline of all other cells in the row that are baseline-aligned.
top
Aligns the top padding edge of the cell with the top of the row.
middle
Centers the padding box of the cell within the row.
bottom
Aligns the bottom padding edge of the cell with the bottom of the row.

Negative values are allowed.

Formal definition

Initial valuebaseline
Applies toinline-level and table-cell elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedno
Percentagesrefer to the line-height of the element itself
Computed valuefor percentage and length values, the absolute length, otherwise the keyword as specified
Animation typea length

Formal syntax

baseline | sub | super | text-top | text-bottom | middle | top | bottom | <percentage> | <length>

Examples

Basic example

HTML

<div>An <img src="https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/12245/frame_image.svg" alt="link" width="32" height="32" /> image with a default alignment.</div>
<div>An <img class="top" src="https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/12245/frame_image.svg" alt="link" width="32" height="32" /> image with a text-top alignment.</div>
<div>An <img class="bottom" src="https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/12245/frame_image.svg" alt="link" width="32" height="32" /> image with a text-bottom alignment.</div>
<div>An <img class="middle" src="https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/12245/frame_image.svg" alt="link" width="32" height="32" /> image with a middle alignment.</div>

CSS

img.top { vertical-align: text-top; }
img.bottom { vertical-align: text-bottom; }
img.middle { vertical-align: middle; }

Result

Vertical alignment in a line box

HTML

<p>
top:         <img style="vertical-align: top" src="star.png"/>
middle:      <img style="vertical-align: middle" src="star.png"/>
bottom:      <img style="vertical-align: bottom" src="star.png"/>
super:       <img style="vertical-align: super" src="star.png"/>
sub:         <img style="vertical-align: sub" src="star.png"/>
</p>

<p>
text-top:    <img style="vertical-align: text-top" src="star.png"/>
text-bottom: <img style="vertical-align: text-bottom" src="star.png"/>
0.2em:       <img style="vertical-align: 0.2em" src="star.png"/>
-1em:        <img style="vertical-align: -1em" src="star.png"/>
20%:         <img style="vertical-align: 20%" src="star.png"/>
-100%:       <img style="vertical-align: -100%" src="star.png"/>
</p>

Result

Vertical alignment in a table cell

HTML

<table>
  <tr>
    <td style="vertical-align: baseline">baseline</td>
    <td style="vertical-align: top">top</td>
    <td style="vertical-align: middle">middle</td>
    <td style="vertical-align: bottom">bottom</td>
    <td>
      <p>There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly
      what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and
      be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.</p>
      <p>There is another theory which states that this has already happened.</p>
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

CSS

table {
  margin-left: auto;
  margin-right: auto;
  width: 80%;
}

table, th, td {
  border: 1px solid black;
}

td {
  padding: 0.5em;
  font-family: monospace;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'vertical-align' in that specification.
Recommendation Adds the <length> value and allows it to be applied to elements with a display type of table-cell.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'vertical-align' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also