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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Margin?
2.1.
Types of Margin
2.2.
Use of Margin
2.3.
Example
3.
What is Padding?
3.1.
Types of Padding
3.2.
Use of Padding
4.
Example
5.
Margin vs Padding
6.
Tips When Using Margins and Padding
7.
Frequently Asked Questions
7.1.
Can padding be added to a border in CSS?
7.2.
What is auto in CSS?
7.3.
How to colour padding in CSS?
7.4.
How can we remove all the margins in your CSS code?
7.5.
For which purpose do we use the padding property?
8.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Difference Between Margin and Padding

Author Sagar Mishra
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Introduction

Hey Ninjas! You must have used CSS to design your HTML page. There are n numbers of properties present in CSS to help your website look good. One of them is Margin and Padding. You are at the right place if you need to learn the difference between Margin and Padding.

Difference between Margin and Padding

This blog will discuss the difference between Margin and Padding in detail. Let's go.

What is Margin?

Margin

Let's first discuss what Margin in CSS is. The CSS margin property is used to make space around elements outside of any characterized borders. We can use margins to keep different elements an equal distance apart also. 

Types of Margin

There are mainly 4 types of margins that you can use while giving spaces between two elements.

  • margin-top: The margin-top is used to give the space from the top of an element.
     
  • margin-bottom: The margin-bottom is used to give the space from the bottom of an element. 
     
  • margin-left: The margin-left is used to give the space from the left of an element.
     
  • margin-right: The margin-right is used to give the space from the right of an element.

Use of Margin

As we have seen the definition and types of margin, let's now move to the usage of margin.

  • We can use the margin to move the element in any direction, like left, right, up and down.
     
  • We can use the margin to maintain the whitespace between two adjacent elements.
     
  • We can also use the margin to overlap the elements by giving negative values.

Example

Let's take a working example of margin that will help you to understand the concepts in a better way.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
  <title>Difference between Margin and Padding</title>
  <style>
    div {
      margin: 70px;
      background-color: #82f46b;
      display: inline-block;
      height: 200px;
      width: 200px;
    }

    * {
      color: #2D3E50;
      font-family: 'Arial';
      font-weight: bold;
    }
  </style>
</head>
<body>
  <div>
    I am element 1
  </div>

  <div>
    I am element 2
  </div>
</body>
</html>


Output:

output

Explanation:

As you can see in the output screen, there is a gap between the two elements of 70px. We have used the margin to separate the elements by 70px.

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What is Padding?

Padding

Moving ahead to the next topic, we will now discuss the definition of padding. Padding in CSS is the space between the border and the text/content inside an element. Padding is useful when we need to separate text boxes and images while also aligning them.

Types of Padding

There are mainly 4 types of padding that you can use while giving spaces between the content and the border inside an element.

  • padding-top: The padding-top is used to give the space from the top inside an element.
     
  • padding-bottom: The padding-bottom is used to give the space from the bottom inside an element. 
     
  • padding-left: The padding-left is used to give space from the left inside an element.
     
  • padding-right: The padding-right is used to give the space from the right inside an element.
     

All the padding properties contain three things:

  • Length: It is generally defined in terms of px, pt, cm, etc.
     
  • Percentage(%): It defines padding in terms of the percentage of the containing element.
     
  • Inherit: Padding is always inherited from the parent element.
     

Note: Negative values cannot be used in padding.

Use of Padding

As we have seen the definition and types of paddings, let's now move to the usage of padding.

  • We can use padding to add extra space between the content and the border of an element.
     
  • We can use padding to change the size of the given element by increasing the padding value.

Example

Let's take a working example of padding to understand the concepts in a better way.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
  <title>Difference between Margin and Padding</title>
  <style>
    .div1 {
      padding: 30px;
    }
    .div2 {
      padding: 60px;
    }

    div {
      background-color: #596cff;
      color: white;
      font-family: 'Arial';
      font-weight: bold;
      display: inline-block;
    }
  </style>
</head>
<body>
  <div class="div1">
    Padding 30px
  </div>

  <div class="div2">
    Padding 60px
  </div>
</body>
</html>


Output:

output

Explanation:

As you can see in the output, there are two elements, one with padding 3px, and the other with 60px. Here, we can clearly see the difference between the two paddings.

Margin vs Padding

We are done with both margin and padding. It's time to check the difference between margin and padding in a tabular form. Let's have a look.

Margin

Padding

The area outside an element's edge or border is known as the margin. The area inside the element's edge or the border is known as the padding.
It is possible to set the margin to auto. It is not possible to set the margin to auto.
Margin allows using the negative values. Padding does not allow using negative values.
The margin does not affect by the styling of other elements. The padding does affect by the styling of other elements.

Tips When Using Margins and Padding

When using margins and padding in CSS for web design, consider the following tips:

 

  • Consistency: Maintain consistent margin and padding values throughout your design for a uniform look.
  • Box Model Understanding: Understand the CSS box model; margins affect the space outside an element, while padding affects the space inside, around the content.
  • Responsive Design: Use relative units like percentages or ems for responsiveness, allowing margins and paddings to adjust with screen size.
  • Collapsing Margins: Remember that vertical margins between blocks can collapse, taking the larger of the two values.
  • Zero Out Defaults: Reset default browser padding and margins (normalize or reset CSS) for consistent cross-browser rendering.
  • Avoid Large Margins: Use large margins sparingly as they can create unnecessary white space and affect layout.
  • Padding for Internal Spacing: Use padding for spacing within elements, like between text and the element's border.
  • Shorthand Properties: Use shorthand properties for concise code (e.g., padding: 10px 15px;).
  • Developer Tools: Utilize browser developer tools to experiment with and debug margin and padding issues.
  • Accessibility: Ensure padding and margins don't negatively impact the accessibility and usability of the website.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can padding be added to a border in CSS?

No, it is not possible to add padding to a border in CSS. All margins, padding, and border are different parts of an element. We can't provide a margin to a border. 

What is auto in CSS?

Whenever we adjust something in CSS automatically, we use "auto". We generally use auto to align an element to the centre of our page. 

How to colour padding in CSS?

Use the "background-clip" and "box-shadow" properties to add colour in CSS padding.

How can we remove all the margins in your CSS code?

We can easily remove all the margins by hard coding the margin length to be 0.

For which purpose do we use the padding property?

We use the padding property to specify the space between an element and its border.

Conclusion

This article discusses the difference between Margin and Padding in detail. We have seen the definition, types, usage, and example of margin and padding with code, output and explanation.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge of the difference between Margin and Padding. If you want to learn more, then check out our articles.

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