Guide: CSS Floats Explained: Complete Guide

CSS “Floats” are simple to use, but once used, the effect it has on the elements around it sometimes becomes unpredictable. If you’ve ever run into the trouble of nearby elements or floats sticking out like a sore thumb disappearing, don’t worry anymore. This post will cover five basic questions that will help you become an expert in floating elements. For readers who want the TL; Accepting dr approach to life, there is a summary at the end of the post.

1. Which elements do not float?

A absolutely or permanently positioned element will not float. So the next time you come across a float that isn’t working, check if it’s in position: absolute or position: fixed and apply the changes accordingly.

2. What happens to an element when it floats?

When an element is tagged “float”, it travels left or right up to the element hits the wall of its container elementAlternatively, it runs to the hits another floating element that has already hit the same wall. They keep accumulating up side by side until the space runs out, and newer incoming will be moved down. Floating elements too does not go beyond the elements in the code, something you should keep in mind before coding a “Float” after an element on the side you want it to float. Here are two more things that will happen with a floating element, depending on the type of element that is floating: Have you ever wondered why you can suddenly assign height and width to a floating span? That’s because all elements that float get the value block for the display attribute (inline table gets table), making them block-level elements.

If you do not specify a width for a block element, the default is usually 100% width. But when it floats, that is no longer the case; the box of the block element will shrink until the contents remain visible.

3. What will happen to the “Floats” siblings?

When you decide to float an element between a number of elements, you don’t have to worry about how it will behave, the behavior will be predictable and move left or right. What you really have to think about is how the brothers and sisters are going to behave Floats have the most caring and obedient siblings in the world later on. They will do everything they can to catch a floating element. The text and inline elements will just make way for the “Floats” and will surround the “Float” when it is in position. The block elements goes one step further and will wrap herself around a “Float” generous, even if it means kicking out their own underlying elements to make room for the “Float”. Let’s take a look at this in an experiment. Below is a blue box and then a red box of the same size with some child elements. Now let’s float the blue box and see what happens to the red box and its children. Everything will be fine when the red box no longer hugs the blue box and you can use overflow for that: hidden. When you add overflow: hidden from an element that has a float wrapped around it stops doing thisSee below how the red box behaves on overflow: hidden.

4. What happens to a parent of a “Float”?

Parents don’t care much about their “Float” kids, except that they shouldn’t go beyond their left or right boundaries. Typically a block element with an unspecified height increases its height to accommodate its children, but this is not the case for “Float” children. As the size of a “Float” increases, its parent will not increase its height accordinglyThis can be solved again by using overflow: hidden in the parent.

5. How to Delete “floats”?

I’ve already talked about using overflow: hidden to allow a parent to accommodate a floating child in height and at the same time create the appropriate space for other elements after the “Float” and to prevent siblings ” Floats “packing. And so you let an element close to a “Float” live without compromise. There is another method where the elements are not even close to their “Float” siblings. By using the clear attribute, you can free an element from near a “Float”. clear: left; clear: right; clear: both; left value clears all “Floats” to the left of the element, and vice versa for the right, and on both sides for both. This clear attribute can be used on a sibling, an empty div, or a pseudo-element as per your convenience.


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