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Thanks for the reply. I find your description a bit enigmatic but it does lead to some interesting new insight. However, display: inline-block doesn’t seem to be needed and setting margin to -50% only appears to work until a much larger text is inside the span :

Pen with a whole bunch of text

Strangely enough the conclusion can be drawn that merely this also works for centering (provided text-align: center is applied) :

span {
margin: -100%

Still kinda left with a big question mark… And link to a doc describing this is very welcome. But I’m possibly missing something very basic.

Edit – I guess not resetting margin and padding on Codepen here isn’t the greatest idea. Gonna have to rethink…