There are many ways to align HTML elements with CSS. One of the most common things developers struggle with is trying to center an element in the middle of the page.

So in this post, I will be showing some of the most common ways to center an image both vertically and horizontally using different CSS properties.

I've gone over the CSS Position and Display properties in my previous post. If you you're not familiar with those properties,  I recommend checking out those posts before reading this article.

Centering an Image Horizontally

Let's begin with centering an image horizontally by using 3 different CSS properties.

Text-Align

The first way to center an image horizontally is using the text-align property. However, this method only works if the image is inside a block-level container such as a <div>:

<style>
  div {
    text-align: center;
  }
</style>

<div>
  <img src="your-image.jpg">
</div>

Margin: Auto

Another way to center an image is by using the margin: auto property (for left-margin and right-margin).

However, using margin: auto alone will not work for images. If you need to use margin: auto, there are 2 additional properties you must use as well.

The margin-auto property does not have any effects on inline-level elements. Since the <img> tag is an inline element, we need to convert it to a block-level element first:

img {
  margin: auto;
  display: block;
}

Secondly, we also need to define a width. So the left and right margins can take the rest of the empty space and  auto-align themselves, which does the trick (unless we give it a width of 100%):

img {
  width: 60%;
  margin: auto;
  display: block;
}

Display: Flex

The third way to center an image horizontally is by using display: flex. Just like we used the text-align property for a container, we use display: flex for a container as well.

However, using display: flex alone will not be enough. The container must also have an additional property called justify-content:

div {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
}

img {
  width: 60%;
}

The justify-content property works together with display: flex, which we can use to center the image horizontally.

Finally, the width of the image must be smaller than the width of the container, otherwise, it takes 100% of the space and then we can't center it.

Important: The display: flex property is not supported in older versions of browsers. See here for more details.

Centering an Image Vertically

Display: Flex

For vertical alignment, using display: flex is again really helpful.

Consider a case where our container has a height of 800px, but the height of the image is only 500px:

div {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
  height: 800px;
}

img {
  width: 60%;
  height: 500px;
}

Now, in this case, adding a single line of code to the container, align-items: center, does the trick:

div {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
  align-items: center;
  height: 800px;
}

The align-items property can position elements vertically if used together with display: flex.

Position: Absolute & Transform Properties

Another method for vertical alignment is by using the position and transform properties together. This one is a bit complicated, so let's do it step by step.

Step 1: Define Position Absolute

Firstly, we change the positioning behavior of the image from static to absolute:

div {
  height: 800px;
  position: relative;
  background: red;
}

img {
  width: 80%;
  position: absolute;
}

Also, it should be inside a relatively positioned container, so we add position: relative to its container div.

Step 2: Define Top & Left Properties

Secondly, we define the top and left properties for the image, and set them to 50%. This will move the starting point(top-left) of the image to the center of the container:

img {
  width: 80%;
  position: absolute;
  top: 50%;
  left: 50%;
}

Step 3: Define the Transform Property

But the second step has moved the image partially outside of its container. So we need to bring it back inside.

Defining a transform property and adding -50% to its X and Y axis does the trick:

img {
  width: 80%;
  position: absolute;
  top: 50%;
  left: 50%;
  transform: translate(-50%, -50%);
}

There are other ways to center things horizontally and vertically, but I've explained the most common ones. I hope this post helped you understand how to align your images in the center of the page.

If you want to learn more about Web Development, feel free to visit my Youtube Channel for more.

Thank you for reading!