Saturday 3 February 2024

What is the difference between display: inline and display: inlineblock? 81

What is the difference between display: inline and display: inlineblock? 

In CSS, both display: inline and display: inline-block display elements inline, meaning they sit on the same line as surrounding content. However, they have key differences in terms of behavior, content size, and wrapping, impacting how they are rendered on the page:

display: inline:

  • Behavior: Primarily used for small inline content like text, images, or icons.

  • Content size: Limited to intrinsic width and height based on content or font styles. You cannot set explicit width or height.

  • Wrapping: Follows text flow and wraps to the next line only if there's no more space in the container or when encountering another inline element.

  • Examples: span, a (links within text), img (small images).

display: inline-block:

  • Behavior: Combines aspects of inline and block elements. Sits on the same line as inline elements but allows setting width and height like block elements.

  • Content size: Can have explicit width and height defined using CSS, offering more control over size and layout.

  • Wrapping: Similar to inline elements, wraps to the next line if there's no space but can also break the line due to its defined width.

  • Examples: Buttons, form elements, inline-styled lists, icons with text, responsive images.

Key Differences:


display: inline

display: inline-block

Content size


Can have explicit width/height


Flexible within text flow

Can break line based on width


Part of text flow

More like a miniature block


Small inline content

Buttons, form elements, responsive images

Choosing the Right Value:

  • Use display: inline for truly inline content that should always flow with surrounding text.

  • Use display: inline-block when you need small elements with defined size and the ability to break the line if needed (e.g., buttons, responsive images).

Additional Notes:

  • Consider display: block for standalone elements like headings, paragraphs, or sections that start on new lines and occupy full width.

  • Experiment with different display values to understand their unique behaviors and achieve desired layouts.

By understanding these distinctions, you can make informed decisions about element display, creating well-structured and visually appealing web pages with optimal content arrangement and responsiveness.

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