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CSS left Property

Topic: CSS3 Properties ReferencePrev|Next


The left CSS property specify an offset for the left edge of the positioned element, relative to the left edge of the reference element's box or browser window.

  • For absolutely positioned elements, the left property specifies how far the left edge of the element's box is offset to the right of the left edge of its containing block.
  • For relatively positioned elements, the left property specifies the offset with respect to the left edge of the box itself (i.e., the box is given a position in the normal flow, and then offset from that position according to these properties).

The following table summarizes the usages context and the version history of this property.

Default value: auto
Applies to: Positioned elements
Inherited: No
Animatable: Yes. See animatable properties.
Version: CSS 2, 3


The syntax of the property is given with:

left length | percentage | auto | initial | inherit

The example below shows the left property in action.

p {
    position: absolute;
    left: 150px;

Property Values

The following table describes the values of this property.

Value Description
length Specifies the offset as a length value in px, pt, cm, em, etc. Negative length values are allowed.
percentage Specifies the offset in percentage. The percentage is calculated with respect to the width of the element's containing block. Negative percentage values are allowed.
auto The browser calculates the left edge position. This is default value.
initial Sets this property to its default value.
inherit If specified, the associated element takes the computed value of its parent element left property.

Browser Compatibility

The left property is supported in all major modern browsers.

Browsers Icon

Basic Support—

  • Firefox 1+
  • Google Chrome 1+
  • Internet Explorer 4+
  • Apple Safari 1+
  • Opera 6+

Further Reading

See tutorial on: CSS Position, CSS Layers.

Related properties: position, top, right, bottom, z-index.

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