Fix Your CSS

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Now that IE7 has overtaken IE6 in usage it has become more common to find authors trying to use position:fixed in their layouts. Therefore in this article we will try to address some common problems and misconceptions when using position:fixed (we will not be covering the background-attached “fixed” property but you can find out more about that here if you are interested.).

Note that position:fixed doesn’t work in IE6 and under so you will need to be using another browser although we will try to accommodate IE6 with some alternate styling.

Fixed to What?

Fixed positioning varies from other positioned elements in that the element is always placed in relation to the viewport and not a local stacking context. Even if you add position:relative to a parent of the fixed element it is still placed in relation to the viewport.

This can present problems if you want to place the fixed element inside a centered layout and then place it at a certain position within that centered layout.

In order to have a positioned element inside a centered layout you can simply let it occupy its normal position in the flow and not specify any position values for top, bottom, left or right at all. This will enable the element to become fixed at that point while the rest of the content scrolls.

We’ll work through some simple examples to show this in effect.

We’ll start with this simple Example

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