Can You Position Css Element By Percentage

CSS Programming

When it comes to positioning elements on a webpage using CSS, there are several methods available. One of the most flexible and powerful ways to position elements is by using percentages. In this article, I’ll dive deep into the details of positioning CSS elements by percentage and share personal insights and commentary along the way.

The Power of Percentage Positioning

Positioning elements using percentages allows for a more fluid and responsive design. When we specify the position of an element using percentages, it is relative to its parent container’s dimensions. This means that the element will adjust its position proportionally based on the size of the container.

For example, let’s say we have a parent container that is 800 pixels wide. If we position a child element with 50% left, it will be positioned at 400 pixels from the left edge of the container, regardless of its actual width. This makes percentage positioning particularly useful when designing responsive websites that need to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions.

Using Percentage Positioning in CSS

To position an element by percentage in CSS, we use the left, right, top, and bottom properties. These properties specify the distance between the element and its parent container’s corresponding edge, relative to the container’s dimensions.

For example, let’s say we have the following HTML and CSS:

<div class="parent">
  <div class="child">Content</div>

In this example, the parent container has a width of 600 pixels and a height of 400 pixels. The child element is positioned absolutely within the parent container and is 200 pixels wide and 100 pixels high. The left: 50% and top: 25% properties position the child element 50% from the left edge and 25% from the top edge of the parent container.

By using percentage values for positioning, we ensure that the child element remains in the correct position, regardless of any changes to the dimensions of the parent container. This flexibility is essential for creating responsive and adaptable designs.

Considerations and Best Practices

While percentage positioning offers great flexibility, there are a few things to keep in mind when using it:

  • Make sure to set the parent container’s dimensions explicitly. If the container’s dimensions are not specified, percentage positioning will not work as expected.
  • Be mindful of the content within the parent container. If the content expands beyond the container’s dimensions, it may affect the positioning of the child elements.
  • Consider using percentage positioning in conjunction with other CSS techniques, such as media queries, to create a fully responsive layout.


In conclusion, positioning CSS elements by percentage is a powerful technique that allows for flexible and responsive designs. By specifying element positions relative to their parent container’s dimensions, we can ensure that our designs adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions. However, it’s important to consider potential pitfalls, such as explicitly setting container dimensions and accounting for content overflow. By following best practices and using percentage positioning in conjunction with other CSS techniques, we can create visually pleasing and user-friendly web pages.