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Relative container to match height of absolute child

Posted on 2009-05-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have an absolute div inside of a relative container. The height of the absolute child div is dynamic and will change depending on the content. I need the relative container's height to stretch with the height of the absolute child.

I have not been able to get this to work. I am hoping there is a simple css trick but javascript is also welcome.

Please help me to find a solution so that the absolute div doesn't stretch outside of the relative container.

Also, the absolute child has 3 divs inside it. Those divs contain the content that stretches.

Thank you in advance!!!
<style type="text/css">
.wrapper {
position:relative;
width:900px;
height:300px;
}
.child {
position:absolute;
top:0;
left:0;
width:100%;
height:100%;
}
.inner1 {
width:300px;
height:100%;
}
.inner2 {
width:300px;
height:100%;
}
.inner3 {
width:300px;
height:100%;
}
</style>
<div class="wrapper">
	<div class="child1">
		<div class="inner1">Content 1</div>
		<div class="inner2">Content 2</div>
		<div class="inner3">Content 3</div>
	</div>
</div>

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Question by:Shaye Larsen
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3 Comments
 
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
Brian Withun earned 2000 total points
ID: 24338159
Here's a mildly applicable discussion on the subject:

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum83/7551.htm

[exerpt]
...
What you're looking for is called "shrinkwrapping," a method of letting the width of an element be determined by the width of it's content
...
Option Two: Float the div. That's it. By floating an element but not giving it an explicit width, you trigger a "shrinkwrapping" behavior which will cause the floats' width to be content defined. However, note two things. One, the specs specifically indicate that floats should have explicit widths, so there may be hidden dangers. And two, you really have to be using content with a fixed width, such as a fixed-width table or an image, otherwise the browser may not be sure what to base the width on and you can get inconsistent results
...
[/exerpt]
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Author Comment

by:Shaye Larsen
ID: 24338264
Thanks!! Perfect! I removed the height of the main wrapper, set it to be 100%, then I made the wrapper float left. I also removed position absolute and just nested everything.

So my markup is as follows:
<style type="text/css">
.wrapper {
background:#DBDBDB;
position:relative;
width:900px;
height:100%;
float:left;
}
.child {
width:100%;
height:100%;
}
.inner1 {
width:300px;
height:100%;
float:left;
}
.inner2 {
width:300px;
height:100%;
float:left;
}
.inner3 {
width:300px;
height:100%;
float:left;
}
</style>
<div class="wrapper">
	<div class="child1">
		<div class="inner1">
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlk jdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlk jdhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlk jdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjd hljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjh lkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkj dhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkj dhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkj dhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjd hljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkj dhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhl kjdhl jskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkj dhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdh ljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlk jdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkj dhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjd hljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjd hljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlk jdhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjd hljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlk j dhljskjsf jf
		Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfj hlkjdhljskjsf jf Content 1 hsdl fjhsdl jfhsldk fjalfjhlkjdhljskjsf jf
		</div>
		<div class="inner2">Content 2</div>
		<div class="inner3">Content 3</div>
	</div>
</div>

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Author Closing Comment

by:Shaye Larsen
ID: 31579533
Thanks! For anyone who is interested see my follow up comment for full implementation.
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