Css Margins

This element has a margin of 70px.

CSS Margins


The CSS margin properties are used to generate space around elements.

The margin properties set the size of the white space outside the border.

With CSS, you have full control over the margins. There are CSS properties for setting the margin for each side of an element (top, right, bottom, and left).

Margin - Individual Sides


CSS has properties for specifying the margin for each side of an element:

All the margin properties can have the following values:

Tip: Negative values are allowed.

The following example sets different margins for all four sides of a <p> element:


p {
   margin-top : 100px;
   margin-bottom : 100px;
   margin-right : 150px;
   margin-left : 80px;
Try it Yourself

Margin - Shorthand Property


To shorten the code, it is possible to specify all the margin properties in one property.

The margin property is a shorthand property for the following individual margin properties:


p {
   margin : 100px 150px 100px 80px ;
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So, here is how it works:

If the margin property has four values:

  • margin: 25px 50px 75px 100px;
    • top margin is 25px
    • right margin is 50px
    • bottom margin is 75px
    • left margin is 100px

If the margin property has three values:

  • margin: 25px 50px 75px;
    • top margin is 25px
    • right and left margins are 50px
    • bottom margin is 75px

If the margin property has two values:

  • margin: 25px 50px;
    • top and bottom margins are 25px
    • right and left margins are 50px

If the margin property has one value:

  • margin: 25px;
    • all four margins are 25px

The auto Value


You can set the margin property to auto to horizontally center the element within its container.

The element will then take up the specified width, and the remaining space will be split equally between the left and right margins:

The background image for a page can be set like this:


div {
    width : 300px;
    margin : auto;
    border : 1px solid red ;
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The inherit Value


This example lets the left margin be inherited from the parent element:


div.container {
    border : 1px solid red ;
    margin-left : 100px ;

p.one {
    margin-left : inherit ;
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Margin Collapse


Top and bottom margins of elements are sometimes collapsed into a single margin that is equal to the largest of the two margins.

This does not happen on horizontal margins (left and right)! Only vertical margins (top and bottom)!

Look at the following example:


h1 {
    margin : 0 0 50px 0 ;

h2 {
    margin : 20px 0 0 0;
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In the example above, the <h1> element has a bottom margin of 50px. The <h2> element has a top margin set to 20px.

Common sense would seem to suggest that the vertical margin between the <h1> and the <h2> would be a total of 70px (50px + 20px). But due to margin collapse, the actual margin ends up being 50px.

Test Yourself with Exercises


All CSS Margin Properties


Property Description
margin A shorthand property for setting the margin properties in one declaration
margin-bottom Sets the bottom margin of an element
margin-left Sets the left margin of an element
margin-right Sets the right margin of an element
margin-top Sets the top margin of an element