O'Reilly logo

CSS3: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition by David Sawyer McFarland

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 15. Positioning Elements on a Web Page

When the World Wide Web Consortium introduced CSS Positioning, some designers understandably thought they could make web pages look just like print documents created in programs like InDesign or Quark XPress. With just a couple of CSS properties, CSS Positioning lets you position an element in a precise location on a page—say 100 pixels from the top of the page and 200 pixels from the left edge. Pixel-accurate placement seemed to promise that, at last, you could design a page simply by putting a photo here, a headline there, and so on.

Unfortunately, the level of control designers expected from CSS Positioning never materialized. There have always been differences in how various browsers display CSS positioned elements. But, even more fundamentally, the Web doesn’t work like a printed brochure, magazine, or book. Web pages are much more fluid than printed pages. Once a magazine rolls off the press, readers can’t change the page size or font size. About the only way they can change the look of the magazine is to spill coffee on it.

Web visitors, on the other hand, can tinker with your handcrafted presentation. They can increase their browser’s font size, potentially making text spill out of your precisely placed and sized layout elements. But the news isn’t all bad: As long as you don’t try to dictate the exact width, height, and position of every design element, you’ll find CSS’s positioning properties powerful and helpful. You can use ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required