Using the height and width properties is straightforward, as shown in these examples and Figure 19-3.

    div#tall {width:100px; height:200px; }
    div#wide {width:200px; height:100px; }

    <div id="tall" style="position:absolute;">
      Lorem ipsum ...

    <div id="wide" style="position:absolute; left: 205px;">
      Lorem ...

There are only a few special behaviors to be aware of:

  • width and height properties apply to the content area of the element only. Padding, borders, and margins are added onto the width and height values to arrive at the total element box dimensions. (See the sidebar "The IE/Windows Box Model Problem" for details regarding the notoriously incorrect implementation of box model measurements in Internet Explorer for Windows.)

    The height and width properties

    Figure 19-3. The height and width properties

  • An element’s height is calculated automatically and is just large enough to contain the element’s contents; therefore, it is less common to specify height. The height of the content may change based on font-size, user settings, or other factors. If you do specify a height for a text element, be sure to also consider what happens should the content not fit (the overflow property is discussed in Chapter 21).

  • For images, it is recommended that both width and height values be provided.

  • CSS 2 introduced percentage values for width and height. Percentage values are calculated as a percentage of the width of the parent ...

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