left

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Summary

The left CSS property specifies part of the position of positioned elements.

For absolutely positioned elements (those with position: absolute or position: fixed), it specifies the distance between the left margin edge of the element and the left edge of its containing block.

  • Initial value auto
  • Applies to positioned elements
  • Inherited no
  • Percentages refer to the width of the containing block
  • Media visual
  • Computed value if specified as a length, the corresponding absolute length; if specified as a percentage, the specified value; otherwise, auto
  • Animatable yes, as a length, percentage or calc(); when both values are lengths, they are interpolated as lengths; when both values are percentages, they are interpolated as percentages; otherwise, both values are converted into a calc() function that is the sum of a length and a percentage (each possibly zero), and these calc() functions have each half interpolated as real numbers.
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

Formal syntax: <length> | <percentage> | auto
left: 3px         /* <length> values */
left: 2.4em

left: 10%         /* <percentages> of the width of the containing block */

left: auto

left: inherit

Values

<length>
Is a negative, null, or positive <length> that represents:
  • for absolutely positioned elements, the distance to the left edge of the containing block
  • for relatively positioned elements, the offset that the element is moved left from its position in the normal flow if it wasn't positioned.
<percentage>
Is a <percentage> of the containing block's width, used as described in the summary.
auto
Is a keyword that represents:
  • for absolutely positioned elements, the position of the element based on the right property and treat width: auto as a width based on the content.
  • for relatively positioned elements, the left offset of the element from its original position based on the right property, or if right is also auto, do not offset it at all.
inherit
Is a keyword indicating that the value is the same as the computed value from its parent element (which may not be its containing block). This computed value is then handled like it was a <length>, <percentage> or the auto keyword.

Examples

CSS Content

#wrap {
  width: 700px;
  margin: 0 auto;
  background: #5C5C5C;
}

pre {
  white-space: pre;
  white-space: pre-wrap;
  white-space: pre-line;
  word-wrap: break-word;
}

#example_1 {
  width: 200px;
  height: 200px;
  position: absolute;
  left: 20px;
  top: 20px;
  background-color: #D8F5FF;
}

#example_2 {
  width: 200px;
  height: 200px;
  position: relative;
  top: 0;
  right: 0;
  background-color: #C1FFDB;

}
#example_3 {
  width: 600px;
  height: 400px;
  position: relative;
  top: 20px;
  left: 20px;
  background-color: #FFD7C2;
}

#example_4 {
  width:200px;
  height:200px;
  position:absolute;
  bottom:10px;
  right:20px;
  background-color:#FFC7E4;
}

HTML Content

<div id="wrap">
  <div id="example_1">
    <pre>
      position: absolute;
      left: 20px;
      top: 20px;
    </pre>
    <p>The only containing element for this div is the main window, so it positions itself in relation to it.</p>
  </div>

  <div id="example_2">
    <pre>
      position: relative;
      top: 0;
      right: 0;
    </pre>
    <p>Relative position in relation to its siblings.</p>
  </div>

  <div id="example_3">
    <pre>
      float: right;
      position: relative;
      top: 20px;
      left: 20px;
    </pre>
    <p>Relative to its sibling div above, but removed from flow of content.</p>

    <div id="example_4">
      <pre>
        position: absolute;
        top: 10px;
        left: 20px;
      </pre>
      <p>Absolute position inside of a parent with relative position</p>
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Live sample

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Transitions Working Draft Defines left as animatable.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1) Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 5.5 5.0 1.0
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

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: teoli,
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