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margin-left

The margin-left CSS property sets the margin area on the left side of an element. A positive value places it farther from its neighbors, while a negative value places it closer.

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

In the rare cases where width is overconstrained (i.e., 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.

Syntax

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

/* Keyword values */
margin-left: auto;

/* Global values */
margin-left: inherit;
margin-left: initial;
margin-left: unset;

The margin-left property is specified as the keyword auto, or a <length>, or a <percentage>. Its value can be positive, zero, or negative.

Values

<length>
The size of the margin as a fixed value.
<percentage>
The size of the margin as a percentage, relative to the width of the containing block.
auto
The left margin receives a share of the unused horizontal space, as determined mainly by the layout mode that is used. If the values of margin-left and margin-right are both auto, the calculated space is evenly distributed. 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

Formal definition

Initial value 0
Applies to all elements, except elements with table display types other than table-caption, table and inline-table. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inherited no
Percentages refer to the width of the containing block
Computed value the percentage as specified or the absolute length
Animation type a length

Formal syntax

<length> | <percentage> | auto

Examples

Setting left margin using pixels and percentages

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

Specifications

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

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Desktop
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
margin-left 1 12 1 3 3.5 1
auto 1 12
12
The auto value is not supported in quirks mode.
1 6
6
The auto value is not supported in quirks mode.
3.5 1
Mobile
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
margin-left 1 18 4 10.1 1 1.0
auto 37 18 4 14 1 1.0

See also

© 2005–2020 Mozilla and individual contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/margin-left