The float CSS property places an element on the left or right side of its container, allowing text and inline elements to wrap around it. The element is removed from the normal flow of the page, though still remaining a part of the flow (in contrast to absolute positioning).

A floating element is one where the computed value of float is not none.

As float implies the use of the block layout, it modifies the computed value of the display values, in some cases:

Specified value Computed value
inline block
inline-block block
inline-table table
table-row block
table-row-group block
table-column block
table-column-group block
table-cell block
table-caption block
table-header-group block
table-footer-group block
inline-flex flex
inline-grid grid
other unchanged
Note: If you're referring to this property from JavaScript as a member of the HTMLElement.style object, modern browsers support float, but in older browsers you have to spell it as cssFloat, with Internet Explorer versions 8 and older using styleFloat. This was an exception to the rule, that the name of the DOM member is the camel-case name of the dash-separated CSS name (due to the fact that "float" is a reserved word in JavaScript, as seen in the need to escape "class" as "className" and escape <label>'s "for" as "htmlFor").


/* Keyword values */
float: left;
float: right;
float: none;
float: inline-start;
float: inline-end;

/* Global values */
float: inherit;
float: initial;
float: unset;

The float property is specified as a single keyword, chosen from the list of values below.


The element must float on the left side of its containing block.
The element must float on the right side of its containing block.
The element must not float.
The element must float on the start side of its containing block. That is the left side with ltr scripts, and the right side with rtl scripts.
The element must float on the end side of its containing block. That is the right side with ltr scripts, and the left side with rtl scripts.

Formal definition

Initial valuenone
Applies toall elements, but has no effect if the value of display is none.
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

left | right | none | inline-start | inline-end


How floated elements are positioned

As mentioned above, when an element is floated, it is taken out of the normal flow of the document (though still remaining part of it). It is shifted to the left, or right, until it touches the edge of its containing box, or another floated element.

In this example, there are three colored squares. Two are floated left, and one is floated right. Note that the second "left" square is placed to the right of the first. Additional squares would continue to stack to the right, until they filled the containing box, after which they would wrap to the next line.

A floated element is at least as tall as it's tallest nested floated children. We gave the parent width: 100% and floated it to ensure it is tall enough to encompass it's floated children, and to make sure it takes up the width of the parent so we don't have to clear it's adjacent sibling.


  <div class="left">1</div>
  <div class="left">2</div>
  <div class="right">3</div>
  <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
     Morbi tristique sapien ac erat tincidunt, sit amet dignissim
     lectus vulputate. Donec id iaculis velit. Aliquam vel
     malesuada erat. Praesent non magna ac massa aliquet tincidunt
     vel in massa. Phasellus feugiat est vel leo finibus congue.</p>


section {
  border: 1px solid blue;
  width: 100%;
  float: left;

div {
  margin: 5px;
  width: 50px;
  height: 150px;

.left {
  float: left;
  background: pink;

.right {
  float: right;
  background: cyan;


Clearing floats

Sometimes you may want to force an item to move below any floated elements. For instance, you may want paragraphs to remain adjacent to floats, but force headings to be on their own line. See clear for examples.


Specification Status Comment
CSS Logical Properties and Values Level 1
The definition of 'float and clear' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Adds the values inline-start and inline-end.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'float' in that specification.
Recommendation No change
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'float' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
floatChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 4Opera Full support 7Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
Flow-relative values inline-start and inline-endChrome No support NoEdge No support NoFirefox Full support 55IE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoFirefox Android Full support 55Opera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No


Full support
Full support
No support
No support

See also