At my beginnings as a web designer using Div tags, when I first discovered clear floats I was so happy and it was for sure an “a-ha” moment. Since then, so many things have changed and new clearing methods have appeared. One thing remained the same: the need to clear floats.

In this article, we’ll see some effective solutions for clearing floated elements.


But first, what is float?

Arranging website page elements was always a struggle for you as a web designer. To achieve your desired website layout, a lot of calculation of box dimensions are needed, and various implementation decisions must be taken as well.

At the beginning, perhaps you used table elements to structure your layout, and even if tables are very intuitive, the table purpose is to list tabular data. You also tried the CSS display values like: tabletable-cell or table-row to build structures, but shortly you gave up as there wasn’t enough support for that.

In the end, you got rid of table markup and skipped to div floats.

So, float is a CSS property which help you aligning and positioning your web page elements.

Simple floats example

Clearing floats

Elements placed after a floated element will wrap around the floated element. To avoid this behavior, you must clear floats. To do that, generally you use the clear property which has four values: leftrightboth and none.

<div style="float:left"></div>
<div style="float:right"></div>
<div style="clear:both"></div>

The above is a common example.

Beside the above example that requires extra HTML markup, below is a list with some clearing methods that I found very useful (and they do not require extra markup):

Clearfix reloaded by Thierry Koblentz


  content: ".";
  display: block;
  height: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
.clearfix:after {clear: both;}
.clearfix {zoom: 1;} /* IE < 8 */

New clearfix hack by Jeff Starr


  visibility: hidden;
  display: block;
  font-size: 0;
  content: " ";
  clear: both;
  height: 0;

* html .clearfix             { zoom: 1; } /* IE6 */
*:first-child+html .clearfix { zoom: 1; } /* IE7 */

Micro clearfix hack by Nicolas Gallagher




/* For IE 6/7 (trigger hasLayout) */

CSS clearing floats with overflow by Nick La


That’s it!

You may already know the above techniques and my questions is:  Which one do you use most? Share your opinion with us!

Posted by: Dhiraj kumar

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