Saturday 3 February 2024

What is the difference between display: inline & display: block?080

 What is the difference between display: inline & display: block?

The display property in CSS plays a crucial role in defining how elements are displayed on a web page. While both display: inline and display: block are commonly used values, they have distinct characteristics and influence the layout differently:

display: inline:

  • Behavior: Elements treated as part of the text flow, appearing on the same line as surrounding text or other inline elements.

  • Content size: Can only have intrinsic width and height, meaning their size is determined by their content or font styles. You cannot set explicit width or height with display: inline.

  • Wrapping: Flow naturally onto the next line only if they reach the end of their container or encounter another inline element.

  • Example: Used for elements like span, a, img, and inline styles within text.

display: block:

  • Behavior: Elements treated as independent blocks, starting on a new line and occupying the full width available within their container.

  • Content size: Can have explicit width and height defined using CSS properties, allowing for more control over their size and layout.

  • Wrapping: Always start on a new line, regardless of surrounding content or container width.

  • Example: Used for elements like div, p, h1, and other structural elements that define sections and containers on the page.

Key Differences:


display: inline

display: block


Part of text flow

Independent block

Content size


Can have explicit width/height


Wraps naturally

Always starts on a new line


span, a, img, inline styles

div, p, h1, sections, containers

Choosing the Right Display Value:

  • Use display: inline for elements that are meant to be part of the text flow, like individual characters, links within text, or small images.

  • Use display: block for elements that define sections or standalone components on the page, like headings, paragraphs, navigation menus, or content boxes.

Additional Notes:

  • Other display values exist, like inline-block and flex, offering more nuanced control over element behavior and layout.

  • Understanding these core differences in display: inline and display: block is crucial for crafting well-structured and visually appealing web pages.

By effectively utilizing these display values, you can achieve precise control over element placement and layout, enhancing the organization and visual appearance of your website.

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