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Nick
Nick

Our FAVORITE way to center things horizontally in HTML and CSS

December 05, 2014

Centering things has always been a constant give and take relationship for Developers. There isn’t really a universal way to horizontally center things that is guaranteed to work under any circumstances. Are you trying to center a single element? Are there multiple elements? Do they have varying widths? Does it need to be responsive? Can you add classes to the parent?

One of my favorite ways to tackle horizontal centering is setting the parent css to text-align:center and adding display:inline-block to each of the children. This is especially helpful if you have multiple items of defined or auto width that need to be centered within it’s parent:

three-circles

A really quick and simple way to produce this only requires a couple lines of code.

HTML:

CSS:

The main styles to point out are the “text-align:center” on the parent and the “display:inline-block” on the circles.

This will center all three circles inside of your parent container. It is basically treating the outside of the inline-block elements as a block level element with auto margins, but it keeps the inline features inside. A further plus is I have found that this works all the way back to IE8 – meaning you can use this tactic pretty much all the time.

There are plenty of other ways to center things, and each of them have their uses. I happen to find this way the quickest and easiest way to accomplish the task.

 

Nick
Nick
Senior Developer

Nick is an ambitious and versatile developer with a wide range of talents. He is an efficient coder that utilizes his resources in order to achieve both his and the clients’ goals. His Alma Mater is the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point where he graduated with honors in Web and Digital Media Development.