Trying to come up with a way to have a fixed space (eg 20px) between two blocks on a single line which dynamically resize to fit that line (50% each minus the fixed space between).

I ended up with the following code (demo):


<div class="cont">
    <div class="left">foo</div>
    <div class="right">bar</div>


    outline: 3px solid #ddd;
    position: relative;
    height: 50px;

.cont div{
    border: 1px solid #f0f;
    background: #fef;
    height: 40px;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;    

    left: 0;
    right: 50%;
    margin-right: 10px;

    left: 50%;
    right: 0;
    margin-left: 10px;

Is this a common or a good way to do it? Are there other or better ways (which work in IE >= 7).

Tested successfully in IE8 & IE9, and latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.


1 Answer 1


I guess this is the proper way to have fixed space between to half-fitted blocks, but maybe later you'll have small issuer with container DIV, because child elements are absolute position and parent - relative, so it will not follow heights of child elements.

for example: http://jsfiddle.net/XfStv/3/



You can also use table property for objects, but it's not supported by IE 7: Browser Support Table

here is example of tabled version code: http://jsfiddle.net/zur4ik/ehGRk/

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea, but thankfully height is fixed in this case. Otherwise it would be more difficult. (Can't see an obvious solution to that. Tables?) \$\endgroup\$
    – Qtax
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 11:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ you can use also tables version if you want: see updated answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – zur4ik
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 7:19

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