The CSS reference

"width" - css property (v. css 1)

  • This property specifies the content width of boxes generated by block-level and replaced elements.
  • Replaced element is content which is outside the scope of the CSS formatting model, such as an image, embedded document, or applet.
  • This property does not apply to non-replaced inline-level elements.
  • The width of a replaced element's box is intrinsic and may be scaled by the user agent (UA) if the value of this property is different than 'auto'.
  • Initial value: auto
  • The property is not inherited
  • HTML usage: All elements but non-replaced inline elements, table rows, and row groups
  • Browsers that support the width - property :
    Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Opera Google Chrome Apple Safari

How width, height, margin, border and padding properties relates to each other:

Possible width values:

width value Comments CSS
length With this you specify a positive value followed with a unit identifier (it cannot be negative). 1
percentage With this you specify a value with a percentage. It refer to width of containing block. If the height of the containing block is not specified explicitly, the value is interpreted like 'auto'. 1
auto The outcome of this property value is much dependant on the related containing block type, replaced or none-replaced elements and the browser. For details, please study computing widths and margins for behavior. 1
inherit Will inherit the value from parent specification. This property value is new with CSS 2. 2

Possible unit identifier:

unit identifier Comments CSS
em The relative unit 'em' is relative to the font size of the element itself. 1
ex The relative unit 'ex' is relative to the font size of the element itself. 1
px Pixels, relative to the viewing device 1
in inches -> 1 inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters. 1
cm centimeters. 1
mm millimeters. 1
pt points -> the points used by CSS2 are equal to 1/72th of an inch. 1
pc picas -> 1 pica is equal to 12 points. 1

Property "width" example:

<html  >
    <style type="text/css">
      .presentation {
        border-color: #aad5ff;
        border-style: solid;    }
      table.presentation {
        border-width: 0 0 1px 1px;
        width: 500px;   }
      th.presentation, td.presentation {
        border-width: 1px 1px 0 0;
        padding: 4px 4px 4px 4px;      }
      th.presentation { background-color: #D4FFAA;}
    <table class='presentation'  border='0'
           cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' >
        <th class='presentation' style="width: 22%">Values</th>
        <th class='presentation'>Comments</th>
        <th class='presentation'>CSS</th>
        <td class='presentation'>thin, medium or thick</td>
        <td class='presentation'>The width of the keyword
          values are UA dependent,
          but the following holds: <b>'thin' <= 'medium'
            <= 'thick'</b>. </td>
        <td class='presentation'>1</td>
        <td class='presentation'>length</td>
        <td class='presentation'>With this you specify a
          value with a <b>unit identifier</b>. </td>
        <td class='presentation'>1</td>
        <td class='presentation'>inherit</td>
        <td class='presentation'>Will inherit the value from
          parent specification. This property value is new
          with CSS 2.</td>
        <td class='presentation'>2</td>

Javascript access:

// To SET values ([o] is the target object)
[o].style.width="width value"
// To GET values you must first get the computed style object
// To get that object in IE or Opera:
var cStyle=[o].currentStyle;
// To get that object in Firefox, Chrome or Safari (w3c-type):
var cStyle=window.getComputedStyle([o],null)
// To GET the property value:
var value=cStyle.width;
// IE and Opera will return a value in units as used with a Set.
// Firefox will return a calculated float value in pixel (px).
// Chrome or Safari will return a calculated int value in pixel (px).
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