Why is a div with “display: table-cell;” not affected by margin?

I have div elements next to each other with display: table-cell;.

I want to set margin between them, but margin: 5px has no effect. Why?

My code:

<div style="display: table-cell; margin: 5px; background-color: red;">1</div>
<div style="display: table-cell; margin: 5px; background-color: green;">1</div>


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Method 1


From the MDN documentation:

[The margin property] applies to all elements except elements with
table display types other than table-caption, table and inline-table

In other words, the margin property is not applicable to display:table-cell elements.


Consider using the border-spacing property instead.

Note it should be applied to a parent element with a display:table layout and border-collapse:separate.

For example:


<div class="table">
    <div class="row">
        <div class="cell">123</div>
        <div class="cell">456</div>
        <div class="cell">879</div>


.table {display:table;border-collapse:separate;border-spacing:5px;}
.row {display:table-row;}
.cell {display:table-cell;padding:5px;border:1px solid black;}

See jsFiddle demo

Different margin horizontally and vertically

As mentioned by Diego Quirós, the border-spacing property also accepts two values to set a different margin for the horizontal and vertical axes.

For example

.table {/*...*/border-spacing:3px 5px;} /* 3px horizontally, 5px vertically */

Method 2

You can use inner divs to set the margin.

<div style="display: table-cell;">
   <div style="margin:5px;background-color: red;">1</div>
<div style="display: table-cell; ">
  <div style="margin:5px;background-color: green;">1</div>

JS Fiddle

Method 3

Table cells don’t respect margin, but you could use transparent borders instead:

div {
  display: table-cell;
  border: 5px solid transparent;

Note: you can’t use percentages here… 🙁

Method 4

If you have div next each other like this

<div id="1" style="float:left; margin-right:5px">

<div id="2" style="float:left">


This should work!

Method 5

I was also looking how to use display: table-cell; (so to make equal height) and also have left-margin. No proposed solutions worked for me. So I came to my dump workaround – I just added one more span with display: table-cell; with width of the size required margin. Not elegant but it works.

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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