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    I have a layout that contains absolute and relative divs within a overall relative container div.
    When the outside relative container div has a border around it, all the internal divs position well. When I remove the border (it was temporary only), positioning breaks. and absolute divs become “place” inside the next relative div below them.

    Here are some links that may help show the issue:
    (border around outercontainer. All positions well)
    (border commented out. Throws top abolute divs logo & phone off)

    Here is a graphic of the overall div structure:

    Any suggestions?
    (and yes, I know this is still quite rough regarding overall style. And no, I didn’t choose these fonts… so bear with me on that stuff :) )

    Tx, Tami


    yes, in the links above:
    CSS files are identical, but I commented out the “border” for the #outercontainer div on the “testnoborder” example…


    No, that #pagecontainer has a shadow that I do not want in the top area. Adding padding adds the shadow all the way to the top.

    I can make the div absolute, but then my page’s bottom margin gets cropped off.


    Frankly, I’m of the opinion that the use of positioning should be limited to ‘special’ effects that can’t be done any other way.

    Using them to position everything means, IMO, that the coder hasn’t grasped the proper way HTML flows.

    Also, they are a b*tch to maintain / update.

    On looking at the link given, there is really nothing in there that requires any element positioning at all. A couple of floats maybe (which isn’t the same thing) but otherwise, nada.


    Though I agree with @ChrisP and @PaulieD that it is probably be better to do things in a different way, the easiest fix in my opinion would be to change that yellow border to a transparent one:

    border:solid 2px transparent;


    I agree @PaulieD, but prject is inherited and client not certain of positioning of top area at this point. I wound up separating the two containers, so that #pagecontainer is not nested within the other container which contains the absolute positioning. Not elegant, but simpler and easier manage updates.

    IMO, I rarely use absolute positioning on most work.
    Thanks guys.


    I can answer your question. Your basic markup was like this: #outercontainer, then two child divs that were taken out of the document flow because they were position: absolute. The next element was the #pagecontainer which has a top margin of 117px. This top margin extends outside of its parent (#outercontainer) unless one of couple things happen. The first two are either a top padding, or top border on the parent – you had placed a top border to temporarily outline elements. The other way is to change the block formatting context of the parent. Any of these changes will force the element’s top margin to begin at the top of the parent instead of extending outside. So, how do you change the BFC of the element? Simple – add overflow: hidden; to #outercontainer

    Now, that you know the why, I have to agree with Paulie, I don’t think I would have used absolute positioning here. I’m not as reserved as Paulie with regards to AP, but I would have gone with floats here.

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