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3 Column CSS Layout (fluid width - fixed width - fluid width) Body Height 100%

Posted on 2008-06-25
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Last Modified: 2008-07-02
I'm having a problem with my CSS layout. I am trying to do a simple 3-column layout with a left-center-right design. Left column has a fluid width. Center column has a fixed width of 800px. Right column has a fluid width.

In my design, the center div will have a varying height depending on the page. I need the other two columns (left and right) to set themselves to be 100% of the height of the center column at all times. So, if the content within the center column changes, the left and right column should adjust to be 100% height of the center column.

I have tried to put height: 100% in the body tag, but this does not work. The only way I can get it to work is by specifying a static height for the center column (height: 800px).


My question:
Assuming that my center div will constantly change height, what is the best way to have my left and right columns automatically adjust themselves to the height of the center column?

Please see my complete page css below.

Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer!

=)







<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<title>html</title>
<style type="text/css">
body {
	/*height:800px;*/
	margin-left: 0px;
	margin-top: 0px;
	margin-right: 0px;
	margin-bottom: 0px;
}
#col_left {
	height:100%;
	width: 49.9%;
	margin-right: -400px;
	float: left;
 
}
#col_left .liner {
	height:100%;
	background-color:#E4E2D8;
	background-image:url(images/background_left1.gif);
	background-repeat:repeat-y;
	background-position:right;
	margin-right: 400px;
	border-right: solid 1px #000000;
}
#col_right {
	height:100%;
	width: 49.9%;
	margin-left: -400px;
	float: left;
}
#col_right .liner {
	height:100%;
	background-color:#E4E2D8;
	background-image:url(images/background_right1.gif);
	background-repeat:repeat-y;
	background-position:left;
	margin-left: 400px;
	border-left: solid 1px #000000;
}
#col_center {
	height:100%;
	width: 800px;
	float: left;
	border-bottom: solid 1px #000000;
}
 
</style>
</head>
<body>
 <div id="col_left">
   <div class="liner">Left (fluid width)</div>
</div>
 <div id="col_center">
       Center- (static: 800 pixels wide)
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
         <br />
 </div>
<div id="col_right">
   <div class="liner">Right (fluid width)</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

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Question by:ChimneySupply
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2 Comments
 
LVL 111

Accepted Solution

by:
Ray Paseur earned 1500 total points
ID: 21868641
Some good info here:
http://www.sitepoint.com/newsletter/viewissue.php?id=3&issue=70

And here:
http://www.dave-woods.co.uk/?p=144

A good idea might be to use a footer that is 100% width of the three columns.  The sitepoint newsletter might be just the trick.  

HTH, ~Ray
0
 

Author Comment

by:ChimneySupply
ID: 21916643
Ray -

Thank you very much for the articles. the first article (sitepoint.com) seemed to solve it for me. I created a simple Javascript function that reads the height of the center div, then sets the left and right div height to match.

Thanks again!

=)
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