The Art of Centering Images in HTML & CSS: Techniques and Best Practices

Centering images on a web page can be tricky, but it's also a crucial part of aesthetic design. Whether you run an eCommerce store or a personal blog, knowing how to center images can make your content look more polished and professional.

Considerations When Centering Images

Before diving into the technical aspects of centering images, it's important to consider the design implications. Think about the layout of your page and how centered images may affect the structure. Specifically, it's essential to determine if you need to center block elements or inline elements.

Centering Inline vs. Block Elements

Inline elements flow with the text, while block elements take up an entire row or column. With inline elements, the usual way of centering is by using the <center> tag. When it comes to block elements (like images), you'll need to utilize CSS. Centering block elements requires additional calculations because the browser needs to know the height and width of the element before it can position it in the center.

Understanding HTML and CSS When Centering an Image

Before we dive into the specifics of how to center an image, let's first review the two main approaches to centering an image in HTML and CSS.

Centering Images with the Deprecated <center> Tag

The easiest but least recommended method for centering images is to use the <center> tag. This tag has been deprecated, which means it is no longer in use due to poor code quality and accessibility issues. However, it functions and will center image with the following code:

            <img src=\"example.jpg\" alt=\"An example image\">

Centering Images with CSS

The recommended method for centering images is to use CSS. CSS provides greater flexibility when it comes to formatting and design, and you can use it to center both inline and block elements.

How to Center an Image in CSS

Let's delve into the two ways to center an image using CSS: horizontal and vertical centering.

How to Horizontally Center an Image

The following is the CSS code to horizontally align images:

        .image-container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: center;

The code creates a container called <div class=\"image-container\">, which centers the image using the CSS flexbox property. This approach works well for block elements.

If you're centering an inline element like a logo, you would use this code:

        .logo {
            display: block;
            margin: auto;

This code creates an inline element that is aligned to the center of its container, with the margin shorthand property setting the top and bottom margin to zero and the left and right margin to auto.

How to Vertically Center an Image

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to center an image vertically with CSS alone. However, you can use a combination of CSS and HTML to achieve what you need.

        .container {
            display: table-cell;
            vertical-align: middle;

The code creates a container called <div class=\"container\"> that uses the <table> methodology to align its contents vertically by using <td> tags to support the aligning of contents. On the image itself, you can use the following CSS to center it:

            img {
            margin: 0 auto;

Creating Your Layouts

Centering images is only one piece of the puzzle. It's also important to consider the placement and overall design of your page. Be sure to experiment with different layouts to determine what works best for your content and brand identity.

With this knowledge, you're now equipped to center images on your webpage like a pro. Remember to use the latest methodologies and best practices, and your content will look polished and professional.

Happy designing!