top button
Flag Notify
    Connect to us
      Facebook Login
      Site Registration

Facebook Login
Site Registration

What is the difference between position relative vs absolute in Css?

+1 vote

Please explain with some basic example.Am new to Css.

posted Jul 2, 2014 by Sidharth Malhotra

Share this question
Facebook Share Button Twitter Share Button LinkedIn Share Button

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

With CSS positioning, you can place an element exactly where you want it on your page.

When you are going to use CSS positioning, the first thing you need to do is use the CSS property position to tell the browser if you're going to use absolute or relative positioning.

Both Postion are having different features.In Css Once you set Position then you can able to use top,right,bottom,left attributes.

Before Setting the Position these attribites won't work.

Absolute Position

An absolute position element is positioned relative to the first parent element that has a position other than static. If no such element is found, the containing block is :

An element which is positioned absolute does not obtain any space in the document. This means that it does not leave an empty space after being positioned.

To position an element absolutely, the position property is set as absolute. You can subsequently use the properties left, right, top, and bottom to place the box.

As an example of absolute positioning, we choose to place 4 boxes in each corner of the document:


#box1 {
        top: 50px;
        left: 50px;

    #box2 {
        top: 50px;
        right: 50px;

    #box3 {
        bottom: 50px;
        right: 50px;

    #box4 {
        bottom: 50px;
        left: 50px;

Output for above code :
enter image description here

Relative Position

A relative positioned element is positioned relative to its normal position.

To position an element relatively, the property position is set as relative. The difference between absolute and relative positioning is how the position is being calculated.

The position for an element which is relatively positioned is calculated from the original position in the document. That means that you move the element to the right, to the left, up or down. This way, the element still obtains a space in the document after it is positioned.

As an example of relative positioning, we can try to position three pictures relatively to their original position on the page. Notice how the pictures leave empty spaces at their original positions in the document:


    #dog1 {
        left: 350px;
        bottom: 150px;
    #dog2 {
        left: 150px;
        bottom: 500px;

    #dog3 {
        left: 50px;
        bottom: 700px;

Output for above Code :

enter image description here

Video Link for Position Absolute VS Position Relative

answer Jul 3, 2014 by Madhavi Latha
Hi Madhavi,

Really awesome explanation.Thanks for your valuable update.It helps me a lot.
0 votes

Absolute positioning means that the element is taken completely out of the normal flow of the page layout. As far as the rest of the elements on the page are concerned, the absolutely positioned element simply doesn't exist. The element itself is then drawn separately, sort of "on top" of everything else, at the position you specify using the left, right, top and bottom attributes.

Using the position you specify with these attributes, the element is then placed at that position within it's last ancestor element which has a position attribute of anything other than static (static is the positioning elements use if they have no position attribute specified), or the document body (browser viewport) if no such ancestor exists.

For example, if I had this code:

  <div style="position:absolute; left: 20px; top: 20px;"></div>

...then the <div> would be positioned 20 px from the top of the browser viewport, and 20px from the left edge of same.

However, if I did something like this:

 <div id="outer" style="position:relative">
   <div id="inner" style="position:absolute; left: 20px; top: 20px;"></div>
answer Mar 10, 2016 by Ashish Kumar Khanna
Contact Us
+91 9880187415
#280, 3rd floor, 5th Main
6th Sector, HSR Layout
Karnataka INDIA.