Html – How to center div vertically inside of absolutely positioned parent div

absolutecsshtmlvertical alignment

I am trying to get blue container in the middle of pink one, however seems vertical-align: middle; doesn't do the job in that case.

<div style="display: block; position: absolute; left: 50px; top: 50px;">
    <div style="text-align: left; position: absolute;height: 56px;vertical-align: middle;background-color: pink;">
        <div style="background-color: lightblue;">test</div>


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Please suggest how can I achieve that.


Best Answer

First of all note that vertical-align is only applicable to table cells and inline-level elements.

There are couple of ways to achieve vertical alignments which may or may not meet your needs. However I'll show you two methods from my favorites:

1. Using transform and top

.valign {
    position: relative;
    top: 50%;
    transform: translateY(-50%);
    /* vendor prefixes omitted due to brevity */
<div style="position: absolute; left: 50px; top: 50px;">
    <div style="text-align: left; position: absolute;height: 56px;background-color: pink;">
        <div class="valign" style="background-color: lightblue;">test</div>

The key point is that a percentage value on top is relative to the height of the containing block; While a percentage value on transforms is relative to the size of the box itself (the bounding box).

If you experience font rendering issues (blurry font), the fix is to add perspective(1px) to the transform declaration so it becomes:

transform: perspective(1px) translateY(-50%);

It's worth noting that CSS transform is supported in IE9+.

2. Using inline-block (pseudo-)elements

In this method, we have two sibling inline-block elements which are aligned vertically at the middle by vertical-align: middle declaration.

One of them has a height of 100% of its parent and the other is our desired element whose we wanted to align it at the middle.

.parent {
    text-align: left;
    position: absolute;
    height: 56px;
    background-color: pink;
    white-space: nowrap;
    font-size: 0; /* remove the gap between inline level elements */

.dummy-child { height: 100%; }

.valign {
    font-size: 16px; /* re-set the font-size */

.dummy-child, .valign {
    display: inline-block;
    vertical-align: middle;
<div style="position: absolute; left: 50px; top: 50px;">
    <div class="parent">
        <div class="dummy-child"></div>
        <div class="valign" style="background-color: lightblue;">test</div>

Finally, we should use one of the available methods to remove the gap between inline-level elements.

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