html - horizontal - remove vertical space between divs




How do I remove the space between inline-block elements? (20)

Given this HTML and CSS:

span {
    display:inline-block;
    width:100px;
    background-color:palevioletred;
}
<p>
    <span> Foo </span>
    <span> Bar </span>
</p>

As a result, there will be a 4 pixel wide space between the SPAN elements.

Demo: http://jsfiddle.net/dGHFV/

I understand why this happens, and I also know that I could get rid of that space by removing the white-space between the SPAN elements in the HTML source code, like so:

<p>
    <span> Foo </span><span> Bar </span>
</p>

However, I was hoping for a CSS solution that doesn't require the HTML source code to be tampered with.

I know how to solve this with JavaScript - by removing the text nodes from the container element (the paragraph), like so:

// jQuery
$('p').contents().filter(function() { return this.nodeType === 3; }).remove();

Demo: http://jsfiddle.net/dGHFV/1/

But can this issue be solved with CSS alone?


p {
  display: flex;
}
span {
  float: left;
  display: inline-block;
  width: 100px;
  background: red;
  font-size: 30px;
  color: white;
}
<p>
  <span> hello </span>
  <span> world </span>
</p>

Add display: flex; to the parent element. Here is the solution with a prefix:

p {
  display: -webkit-box;
  display: -webkit-flex;
  display: -ms-flexbox;
  display: flex;
}
span {
  float: left;
  display: inline-block;
  width: 100px;
  background: blue;
  font-size: 30px;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
}
<p>
  <span> Foo </span>
  <span> Bar </span>
</p>

Update

Simplified version 👇

p {
  display: flex;
}

span {
  width: 100px;
  background: tomato;
  font-size: 30px;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
}
<p>
  <span> Foo </span>
  <span> Bar </span>
</p>

Add white-space: nowrap to the container element:

CSS:

* {
    box-sizing: border-box;
}
.row {
    vertical-align: top;
    white-space: nowrap;
}
.column{
    float: left;
    display: inline-block;
    width: 50% // Or whatever in your case
}

HTML:

<div class="row">
    <div class="column"> Some stuff</div>
    <div class="column">Some other stuff</div>
</div>

Here is the Plunker.


Add comments between elements to NOT have a white space. For me it is easier than resetting font size to zero and then setting it back.

<div>
    Element 1
</div><!--
--><div>
    Element 2
</div>

Every question, that try to remove the space between inline-blocks seems like a <table> to me...

Try something like this:

p {
  display: table;
}
span {
  width: 100px;
  border: 1px solid silver; /* added for visualization only*/
  display: table-cell;
}
<p>
  <span> Foo </span>
  <span> Bar </span>
</p>


I had this problem right now and from font-size:0; I've found that in Internet Explorer 7 the problem remains because Internet Explorer thinks "Font Size 0?!?! WTF are you crazy man?" - So, in my case I've Eric Meyer's CSS reset and with font-size:0.01em; I have a difference of 1 pixel from Internet Explorer 7 to Firefox 9, so, I think this can be a solution.


I think there is a very simple/old method for this which is supported by all browsers even IE 6/7. We could simply set letter-spacing to a large negative value in parent and then set it back to normal at child elements:

body { font-size: 24px }
span { border: 1px solid #b0b0c0; } /* show borders to see spacing */

.no-spacing { letter-spacing: -1em; } /* could be a large negative value */
.no-spacing > * { letter-spacing: normal; } /* => back to normal spacing */
<p style="color:red">Wrong (default spacing):</p>

<div class="">
  <span>Item-1</span>
  <span>Item-2</span>
  <span>Item-3</span>
</div>

<hr/>

<p style="color:green">Correct (no-spacing):</p>

<div class="no-spacing">
  <span>Item-1</span>
  <span>Item-2</span>
  <span>Item-3</span>
</div>

I’ve been tackling this recently and instead of setting the parent font-size:0 then setting the child back to a reasonable value, I’ve been getting consistent results by setting the parent container letter-spacing:-.25em then the child back to letter-spacing:normal.

In an alternate thread I saw a commenter mention that font-size:0 isn’t always ideal because people can control minimum font sizes in their browsers, completely negating the possibility of setting the font-size to zero.

Using ems appears to work regardless of whether the font-size specified is 100%, 15pt or 36px.

http://cdpn.io/dKIjo


I'm going to expand on user5609829's answer a little bit as I believe the other solutions here are too complicated/too much work. Applying a margin-right: -4px to the inline block elements will remove the spacing and is supported by all browsers. See the updated fiddle here. For those concerned with using negative margins, try giving this a read.


Just for fun: an easy JavaScript solution.

document.querySelectorAll('.container').forEach(clear);

function clear(element) {
  element.childNodes.forEach(check, element);
}

function check(item) {
  if (item.nodeType === 3) this.removeChild(item);
}
span {
  display: inline-block;
  width: 100px;
  background-color: palevioletred;
}
<p class="container">
  <span> Foo </span>
  <span> Bar </span>
</p>

Ok, although I've upvoted both the font-size: 0; and the not implemented CSS3 feature answers, after trying I found out that none of them is a real solution.

Actually, there is not even one workaround without strong side effects.

Then I decided to remove the spaces (this answers is about this argument) between the inline-block divs from my HTML source (JSP), turning this:

<div class="inlineBlock">
    I'm an inline-block div
</div>
<div class="inlineBlock">
    I'm an inline-block div
</div>

to this

<div class="inlineBlock">
    I'm an inline-block div
</div><div class="inlineBlock">
    I'm an inline-block div
</div>

that is ugly, but working.

But, wait a minute... what if I'm generating my divs inside Taglibs loops (Struts2, JSTL, etc...) ?

For example:

<s:iterator begin="0" end="6" status="ctrDay">
    <br/>
    <s:iterator begin="0" end="23" status="ctrHour">
        <s:push value="%{days[#ctrDay.index].hours[#ctrHour.index]}">
            <div class="inlineBlock>
                I'm an inline-block div in a matrix 
                (Do something here with the pushed object...)
           </div>
       </s:push>
    </s:iterator>
</s:iterator>

It is absolutely not thinkable to inline all that stuff, it would mean

<s:iterator begin="0" end="6" status="ctrDay">
    <br/>
    <s:iterator begin="0" end="23" status="ctrHour"><s:push value="%{days[#ctrDay.index].hours[#ctrHour.index]}"><div class="inlineBlock>
                I'm an inline-block div in a matrix             
                (Do something here with the pushed object...)
           </div></s:push></s:iterator>
</s:iterator>

that is not readable, hard to mantain and understand, etc...

The solution i found:

use HTML comments to connect the end of one div to the begin of the next one!

<s:iterator begin="0" end="6" status="ctrDay">
   <br/>
   <s:iterator begin="0" end="23" status="ctrHour"><!--
    --><s:push value="%{days[#ctrDay.index].hours[#ctrHour.index]}"><!--
        --><div class="inlineBlock>
                I'm an inline-block div in a matrix             
                (Do something here with the pushed object...)
           </div><!--
    --></s:push><!--
--></s:iterator>
</s:iterator>

This way you will have a readable and correctly indented code.

And, as a positive side effect, the HTML source, although infested by empty comments, will result correctly indented;

let's take the first example, imho this:

    <div class="inlineBlock">
        I'm an inline-block div
    </div><!--
 --><div class="inlineBlock">
        I'm an inline-block div
    </div>

is better than this

    <div class="inlineBlock">
         I'm an inline-block div
    </div><div class="inlineBlock">
         I'm an inline-block div
    </div>

Hope that helps...


Simple:

item {
  display: inline-block;
  margin-right: -0.25em;
}

There is no need to touch the parent element.

Only condition here: the item's font-size must not be defined (must be equal to parent's font-size).

0.25em is the default word-spacing

W3Schools - word-spacing property


Since this answer has become rather popular, I'm rewriting it significantly.

Let's not forget the actual question that was asked:

How to remove the space between inline-block elements? I was hoping for a CSS solution that doesn't require the HTML source code to be tampered with. Can this issue be solved with CSS alone?

It is possible to solve this problem with CSS alone, but there are no completely robust CSS fixes.

The solution I had in my initial answer was to add font-size: 0 to the parent element, and then declare a sensible font-size on the children.

http://jsfiddle.net/thirtydot/dGHFV/1361/

This works in recent versions of all modern browsers. It works in IE8. It does not work in Safari 5, but it does work in Safari 6. Safari 5 is nearly a dead browser (0.33%, August 2015).

Most of the possible issues with relative font sizes are not complicated to fix.

However, while this is a reasonable solution if you specifically need a CSS only fix, it's not what I recommend if you're free to change your HTML (as most of us are).


This is what I, as a reasonably experienced web developer, actually do to solve this problem:

<p>
    <span>Foo</span><span>Bar</span>
</p>

Yes, that's right. I remove the whitespace in the HTML between the inline-block elements.

It's easy. It's simple. It works everywhere. It's the pragmatic solution.

You do sometimes have to carefully consider where whitespace will come from. Will appending another element with JavaScript add whitespace? No, not if you do it properly.

Let's go on a magical journey of different ways to remove the whitespace, with some new HTML:

<ul>
    <li>Item 1</li>
    <li>Item 2</li>
    <li>Item 3</li>
</ul>
  • You can do this, as I usually do:

    <ul>
        <li>Item 1</li><li>Item 2</li><li>Item 3</li>
    </ul>
    

    http://jsfiddle.net/thirtydot/dGHFV/1362/

  • Or, this:

    <ul>
        <li>Item 1</li
        ><li>Item 2</li
        ><li>Item 3</li>
    </ul>
    
  • Or, use comments:

    <ul>
        <li>Item 1</li><!--
        --><li>Item 2</li><!--
        --><li>Item 3</li>
    </ul>
    
  • Or, you can even skip certain closing tags entirely (all browsers are fine with this):

    <ul>
        <li>Item 1
        <li>Item 2
        <li>Item 3
    </ul>
    

Now that I've gone and bored you to death with "one thousand different ways to remove whitespace, by thirtydot", hopefully you've forgotten all about font-size: 0.


Alternatively, you can now use flexbox to achieve many of the layouts that you may previously have used inline-block for: https://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/a-guide-to-flexbox/



There are lots of solutions like font-size:0,word-spacing,margin-left,letter-spacing and so on.

Normally I prefer using letter-spacing because

  1. it seems ok when we assign a value which is bigger than the width of extra space(e.g. -1em).
  2. However, it won't be okay with word-spacing and margin-left when we set bigger value like -1em.
  3. Using font-size is not convenient when we try to using em as font-size unit.

So, letter-spacing seems to be the best choice.

However, I have to warn you

when you using letter-spacing you had better using -0.3em or -0.31em not others.

* {
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}
a {
  text-decoration: none;
  color: inherit;
  cursor: auto;
}
.nav {
  width: 260px;
  height: 100px;
  background-color: pink;
  color: white;
  font-size: 20px;
  letter-spacing: -1em;
}
.nav__text {
  width: 90px;
  height: 40px;
  box-sizing: border-box;
  border: 1px solid black;
  line-height: 40px;
  background-color: yellowgreen;
  text-align: center;
  display: inline-block;
  letter-spacing: normal;
}
<nav class="nav">
    <span class="nav__text">nav1</span>
    <span class="nav__text">nav2</span>
    <span class="nav__text">nav3</span>
</nav>

If you are using Chrome(test version 66.0.3359.139) or Opera(test version 53.0.2907.99), what you see might be:

If you are using Firefox(60.0.2),IE10 or Edge, what you see might be:

That's interesting. So, I checked the mdn-letter-spacing and found this:

length

Specifies extra inter-character space in addition to the default space between characters. Values may be negative, but there may be implementation-specific limits. User agents may not further increase or decrease the inter-character space in order to justify text.

It seems that this is the reason.


Though, technically not an answer to the question: "How do I remove the space between inline-block elements?"

You can try the flexbox solution and apply the code below and the space will be remove.

p {
   display: flex;
   flex-direction: row;
}

You can learn more about it on this link: https://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/a-guide-to-flexbox/


Two more options based on CSS Text Module Level 3 (instead of white-space-collapsing:discard which had been dropped from the spec draft):

  • word-spacing: -100%;

In theory, it should do exactly what is needed — shorten whitespaces between 'words' by the 100% of the space character width, i.e. to zero. But seems not to work anywhere, unfortunately, and this feature is marked 'at risk' (it can be dropped from the specification, too).

  • word-spacing: -1ch;

It shortens the inter-word spaces by the width of the digit '0'. In a monospace font it should be exactly equal to the width of the space character (and any other character as well). This works in Firefox 10+, Chrome 27+, and almost works in Internet Explorer 9+.

Fiddle


Use flexbox and do a fallback (from suggestions above) for older browsers:

ul {
    display: -webkit-box;
    display: -moz-box;
    display: -ms-flexbox;
    display: -webkit-flex;
    display: flex;
}

With PHP brackets:

ul li {
  display: inline-block;
}
    <ul>
        <li>
            <div>first</div>
        </li><?
        ?><li>
            <div>first</div>
        </li><?
        ?><li>
            <div>first</div>
        </li>
    </ul>






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