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Spacing

Bootstrap includes a wide range of shorthand responsive margin and padding utility classes to modify an element’s appearance.

Assign responsive-friendly margin or padding values to an element or a subset of its sides with shorthand classes. Includes support for individual properties, all properties, and vertical and horizontal properties. Classes are built from a default Sass map ranging from .25rem to 3rem.


Notation

Spacing utilities that apply to all breakpoints, from xs to xl, have no breakpoint abbreviation in them. This is because those classes are applied from min-width: 0 and up, and thus are not bound by a media query. The remaining breakpoints, however, do include a breakpoint abbreviation.

The classes are named using the format {property}{sides}-{size} for xs and {property}{sides}-{breakpoint}-{size} for sm, md, lg, and xl.

Where property is one of:

  • m - for classes that set margin
  • p - for classes that set padding

Where sides is one of:

  • t - for classes that set margin-top or padding-top
  • b - for classes that set margin-bottom or padding-bottom
  • l - for classes that set margin-left or padding-left
  • r - for classes that set margin-right or padding-right
  • x - for classes that set both *-left and *-right
  • y - for classes that set both *-top and *-bottom
  • blank - for classes that set a margin or padding on all 4 sides of the element

Where breakpoint is one of:

  • sm
  • md
  • lg
  • xl

Where size is one of:

  • 0 - for classes that eliminate the margin or padding by setting it to 0
  • 1 - (by default) for classes that set the margin or padding to $spacer-x * .25 or $spacer-y * .25
  • 2 - (by default) for classes that set the margin or padding to $spacer-x * .5 or $spacer-y * .5
  • 3 - (by default) for classes that set the margin or padding to $spacer-x or $spacer-y
  • 4 - (by default) for classes that set the margin or padding to $spacer-x * 1.5 or $spacer-y * 1.5
  • 5 - (by default) for classes that set the margin or padding to $spacer-x * 3 or $spacer-y * 3
(You can add more sizes by adding entries to the $spacers Sass map variable.)

Examples

Here are some representative examples of these classes:

.mt-0 {
  margin-top: 0 !important;
}

.ml-1 {
  margin-left: ($spacer-x * .25) !important;
}

.px-2 {
  padding-left: ($spacer-x * .5) !important;
  padding-right: ($spacer-x * .5) !important;
}

.p-3 {
  padding: $spacer-y $spacer-x !important;
}

Responsive spacing

The above mentioned notation includes the breakpoint value and as such allows us to apply spacing responsively. It means that you can condition spacing of elements depending on the type of display used - similarly to logic found in display property.

Let's say you want to prepare a fully responsive navbar. Some elements within may require setting them a bit further apart by applying additional margin - with .ml-3, for example. All looks good while the containing element stays horizonal, but once the viewport gets narrower and the .nav-items align vertically, the spacing utility used becomes obsolete (as the item is pushed to the right and stands out). The solution here is setting a responsive spacing utility - one that appears only when you really want it to.

Consider the table below:

Screen Size Class
Appears on all .ml-3
Appears only on xs .ml-3 .ml-sm-0
Appears only on sm .ml-sm-3 .ml-md-0
Appears only on md .ml-md-3 .ml-lg-0
Appears only on lg .ml-lg-3 .d-xl-0
Appears only on xl .ml-xl-3

This is a regularly spaced paraph.

And this one has left margin visible on xs, sm and md displays.

<p>This is a regularly spaced paraph.</p>
<p class="ml-5 ml-md-0">And this one has left margin visible on <code>xs</code>, <code>sm</code> and <code>md</code> displays.</p>

Horizontal centering

Additionally, Bootstrap also includes an .mx-auto class for horizontally centering fixed-width block level content—that is, content that has display: block and a width set—by setting the horizontal margins to auto.

Centered element
<div class="mx-auto" style="width: 200px;">
  Centered element
</div>