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How to Float Elements in Bootstrap: Bootstrap Float Right+

Float in web design is important because it serves the purpose of positioning elements similar to how text wraps around images in a print layout. In vanilla CSS, the float property allows you to position elements on your web page. The CSS float property has five valid values: left, right, both, none, and inherit. Bootstrap float right and right are incredibly useful for making attractive web pages.

Type of Positioning in Web Design

In web design, there are two types of positioning: absolute and floating. When we apply the CSS float property, elements act similarly to images in a print layout, with text flowing around them.

Start with Bootstrap

Creating websites and web applications that are both visually stunning and device responsive is not only for a seamless user experience but also for improved aesthetics for the website or web application. To properly navigate through this, developers utilize tools that allow them to optimize the process and also enhance final results. Developers utilize frameworks like Bootstrap that allow them to have seamless designs through efficient processes.

Bootstrap is a diverse, widely used, and efficient frontend web development framework that allows you to create responsive and aesthetically pleasing web applications efficiently. It is a front-end development framework that is free and open source for building websites and web applications. Its collection of template design syntax enables the responsive development of mobile-first websites.

Bootstrap is the most popular web development framework, which includes all the necessary components for developing responsive websites; developers just need to add the code to a pre-made grid system. JavaScript, cascading style sheets (CSS), and hypertext markup language (HTML) form the foundation of the Bootstrap framework.

Setting up Bootstrap in your Dev Environment

There are three main methods you can use to set up Bootstrap in your development environment.

  1. The first option is by CDN (Content Delivery Network) in your html scripts. This is the easiest way to set up Bootstrap. In your HTML document, add the following code to the <head> and <body> sections:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html lang="en">
    <head>
        <link href="<https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/bootstrap@5.5.0/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css>" rel="stylesheet">
    </head>
    <body>
        <script src="<https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/bootstrap@5.5.0/dist/js/bootstrap.min.js>"></script>
    </body>
  2. The second option is to download Bootstrap directly from the official website and add it to your project folder. Download the zip folder from Bootstrap and extract the compiled code into your project folder. The compiled data contains compiled and minified CSS bundles and the Compiled and minified JavaScript plugins. Then, access the framework in your HTML script with the following script. The link in the head section and script in the body section access the framework like so:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html lang="en">
      <head>
        <title>Test</title>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
      </head>
      <body>
        <h1>Welcome to the Bootstrap World</h1>
    
        <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
      </body>
    </html>
  3. The third option is to install Bootstrap via the NPM installer. Open your terminal for your Node.js project and input the following command:

    npm install bootstrap@5.3.2
    
    

Floating Elements in Web Development

In web development elements in a section might be needed to be placed in various positions either based on design preference or device dimensions. A floating element is a positioning property that allows an element to be different from the normal document flow and moved to either the left or right position, allowing other elements to flow around it. Floating elements are frequently used in layouts and to achieve specific design goals and responsiveness.

Image source: CSS Tricks

Take a look at this video on YouTube detailing all you need to know about the float classes in Bootstrap:

Importance of Responsive Floating in Your Projects

Let’s explore the importance of responsive floating in your projects.

  • Responsiveness to various screen dimensions: Responsive float utilities allow you to create layouts that can be adapted to various devices like as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. By adjusting the float properties based on screen dimensions you can ensure that your layout retains the design appeal.

  • Enhanced User experience: Responsive designs allow you to have readable and uniform layouts, that enhance user experience. You can adjust float utilities for various screen sizes to increase their readability and usefulness.
  • Fluid grid systems: Fluid grid systems and responsive float utilities when combined allow you to create layouts that resize in proportion to the screen size. This method makes it easier for your websites or web applications to accommodate various screen widths while keeping the grid layout consistent.

  • Consistency across devices: Responsive float utilities allow you to maintain a consistent design across a variety of devices, preserving the brand identity and user experience regardless of the device used by the user.

  • SEO benefits: Mobile responsive websites are frequently given preference in search results by search engines. Optimizing layouts for mobile devices with responsive float tools can help improve a website’s search engine rankings.

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CSS Float Property

The CSS float property specifies whether an element should be floated to the left, right, or not floated at all. It is a common practice in web development to create layouts that allow items to wrap around one another.

.select{
  float: left |right | inherit | none
}
  • left: The element will be floated to the left.

  • right: The element will be floated to the right.

  • inherit: The element inherits the float value from its parent element.

  • none: The element will not be floated, and it stays in the normal document flow.

In Bootstrap the float property plays an important role in creating the grid system. The float property allows you to decide where a div should be floated.

Basics of Floating

Now let’s dive into the basics of floating exploring the basics of utility classes for floating elements. Bootstrap provides utility classes that can be used to apply floating to elements. These utility classes simplify the process of styling and positioning elements within your layout.

The Utility classes utilized for floating elements in Bootstrap are:

  • .float-start: Floating an element to the left.

  • .float-end: Floating an element to the right.

  • .float-none: Disabling floating for an element.

  • .float-start: This class floats an element to the left.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
</head>
<body>
  <div style="height: 200px;" class="bg-primary">
    <div style="height: 150px; width: 150px;" class="bg-warning float-start">Floating element</div>
  </div>
  <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
</body>
</html>
  • .float-end: This class floats an element to the right.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
</head>
<body>
  <div style="height: 200px;" class="bg-primary">
    <div style="height: 150px; width: 150px;" class="bg-secondary float-end">Floating element</div>
  </div>
  <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
</body>
</html>
  • .float-none: This class removes floats from an element. This utility class is useful when you don’t want an element to float to the left or right and remain within the normal document flow.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
</head>
<body>
  <div style="height: 400px;" class="bg-primary">
    <div style="height: 170px; width: 150px;" class="bg-warning float-start">Floating element left</div>
    <div style="height: 170px; width: 150px;" class="float-none">Element is on the left (default) (float removed) </div>
  </div>
  <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

What is Float-Right in Bootstrap?

Float-right is a class utility in Bootstrap that is utilized with float-end. The class is used to apply the CSS float: right; property, which allows an element to float to the right of its containing element. The float-right class is one of the Bootstrap float utility classes, that are intended to simplify the styling, responsiveness, and positioning of elements within a layout. Float-right is one of Bootstrap’s float utility classes and is designed to be responsive. This makes it easier to adapt design layouts to different screen sizes, that work across multiple devices.

How To Make Something Float-Right in CSS?

The float property in CSS allows you to float an element to the right. To accomplish this, simply specify the float property in your CSS style and assign it to a div class in your HTML code.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <style>
    .float-right {
      float: right !important;
    }
    .main {
      background-color: red;
    }
    .bg-primary {
      background-color: #007bff;
    }
    .bg-secondary {
      background-color: #6c757d;
    }
  </style>
</head>
<body>
  <div style="height: 400px;" class="container main">
    <div style="height: 200px; width: 300px;" class="float-right bg-primary">Floating element to the right</div>
    <div style="height: 200px; width: 300px;" class="bg-secondary">Non-floated element</div>
  </div>
</body>
</html>

These classes float an element to the left or right, or disable floating, based on the current viewport size using the CSS float property.

In the code snippet above, !important is included to avoid specificity issues. These use the same viewport breakpoints as grid system. Note that float utilities have no effect on flex items. Use .float-end to float an element to the right of its container.

Responsive Floating

Responsive variations also exist for each float value. Float left on viewports sized SM (small) or wider Float left on viewports sized MD (medium) or wider Float left on viewports sized LG (large) or wider Float left on viewports sized XL (extra-large) or wider Show code This is a mobile version of the documentation. View this website on the desktop to copy & edit the source code of the component.

This means you can change how elements float depending on whether users are using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. It allows you to have a layout that adapts and looks great on any device! Bootstrap has classes that allow you to add responsive floating to your elements.

These classes, for example, .float-sm-end, .float-md-end, and others, let you dictate how elements should float based on the screen size. The “sm,” “md,” “lg“, “xl“, and “xxl” refer to different breakpoints or screen size categories.

  • .float-sm-end: Small or wider viewports

  • .float-md-end: Medium or wider viewports

  • .float-lg-end: Large or wider viewports

  • .float-xl-end: Extra-large or wider viewports

  • .float-xxl-end: Extra extra large or wider viewports

  <!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
  <style>
    /* Custom Styles for Demonstration Purposes */
    .custom-box {
      height: 400px;
      width: 300px;
      padding: 10px;
      margin: 10px;
      text-align: center;
      font-size: 14px;
      line-height: 1.5;
    }
  </style>
  <title>Responsive Float Examples</title>
</head>
<body>
    <div class="container">
      <div class="custom-box float-sm-end bg-primary">Float on Small Screens to right </div>
    </div>
  <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
</body>
</html>
  <!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
  <style>
    /* Custom Styles for Demonstration Purposes */
    .custom-box {
      height: 400px;
      width: 300px;
      padding: 10px;
      margin: 10px;
      text-align: center;
      font-size: 14px;
      line-height: 1.5;
    }
  </style>
  <title>Responsive Float Examples</title>
</head>
<body>
    <div class="container">
      <div class="custom-box float-md-start bg-primary">Float on Medium Screens to left </div>
    </div>
  <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

Clearing Floats

When you have floated elements inside a container, it can sometimes cause layout issues because the container does not fully encompass its floated children. The clearfix helper is an effective technique for addressing this issue and ensuring that the container expands to the height of the floated children.

The clearfix helper plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the layout, especially with floated elements. clearfix is particularly valuable when working with complex layouts that involve floated elements with varying heights.

Now let’s explore how to use the clearfix on the parent element. In Bootstrap clearfix is included as part of the class utilities to help assist with potential float issues You can use it on a parent element to ensure that floated children’s elements are properly cleared. Here is how you can use the clearfix class.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.css" />
  <title>Clearing Floats with Bootstrap</title>
</head>
<body>
  <div class="container clearfix">
    <div style= "width: 150px; height: 150px;" class="float-start bg-primary">Float to the Left</div>
    <div style= "width: 150px; height: 150px;" class="float-end  bg-secondary">Float to the Right</div>
  </div>
  <!-- Include Bootstrap JS (optional) -->
  <script src="js/bootstrap.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

The floated elements (float-start and float-end) demonstrate the show the clearfix helper in maintaining the layout within Bootstrap’s framework.

Let’s delve into the significance of the clearfix class:

Ensuring Proper Rendering

  • Containing Floated Elements: When you float elements, they are taken out of the normal document flow, and without proper containment, their parent container might not expand to the height of the floated elements.

  • Preventing Container Collapse: Applying the clearfix class ensures that the container containing floated elements doesn’t collapse to a height of zero. T

  • Maintaining Document Flow: The clearfix class ensures that floated elements don’t interfere with the document flow. It allows subsequent elements to be positioned as if the floated elements were still part of the normal flow, preventing content overlap or misalignment.

Preventing Layout Issues

  • Overcoming Float Behavior: Floats can lead to layout problems like container collapse, where the container doesn’t properly contain its floated children. The clearfix class solves this issue by clearing the floats and allowing the container to adapt its height accordingly.

  • Avoiding Overlapping Content: Without the clearfix class, floated elements can extend beyond their container, causing overlapping with other content.

  • Responsive Design Support: In responsive design, where layouts adapt to different screen sizes, the clearfix class ensures that containers adjust to the presence of floated elements.

Support Classes

Bootstrap includes a comprehensive set of support classes for floating elements, allowing you to easily control their alignment and positioning within the layout. Here’s a list of some important support classes:

Basic Float Classes

  • .float-start: Floats an element to the left. It is useful to position an element to the left within its containing element.

  • .float-end: Floats an element to the right. This class positions an element to the right within its containing element.

  • .float-none: Removes the float property from an element. This class is used to clear any existing float and return the element to the normal document flow.

Responsive Float Start

.float-sm-start: Float left on small screens or wider.

.float-md-start: Float left on medium screens or wider.

.float-lg-start: Float left on large screens or wider.

.float-xl-start: Float left on extra-large screens or wider.

.float-xxl-start: Float left on extra-extra-large screens or wider. Responsive Float End:

.float-sm-end: Float right on small screens or wider.

.float-md-end: Float right on medium screens or wider.

.float-lg-end: Float right on large screens or wider.

.float-xl-end:.float-xxl-end: Float right on extra-extra-large screens or wider.

.float-sm-none: No float on small screens or wider.

.float-md-none: No float on medium screens or wider.

.float-lg-none: No float on large screens or wider.

.float-xl-none: No float on extra-large screens or wider.

.float-xxl-none: No float on extra-extra-large screens or width.

Here are all the support classes;

  • .float-left

  • .float-right

  • .float-none

  • .float-sm-left

  • .float-sm-right

  • .float-sm-none

  • .float-md-left

  • .float-md-right

  • .float-md-none

  • .float-lg-left

  • .float-lg-right

  • .float-lg-none

  • .float-xl-left

  • .float-xl-right

  • .float-xl-none

Different Methods For Floating Elements In Bootstrap

The table below summarizes the main methods for floating elements in Bootstrap using the various utility classes. The table highlights the difference between global and responsive floats and how .clearfix helps manage floated elements.

MethodClassDescription
Basic Float.float-startFloat element to the left
.float-endFloat element to the right
.float-noneRemove float from element
Responsive Float.float-{breakpoint}-{start/end/none}Float based on viewport width
.float-sm-startFloat left on small screens
.float-md-endFloat right on medium screens
Clearing Floats.clearfixClear floats in a container

Comparison

  • Basic float classes apply float consistently across all viewports.

  • Responsive float classes allow float behavior to change on different breakpoint widths.

  • Clearing floats with .clearfix prevents layout issues like container collapse.

  • Bootstrap includes float utilities for alignment, responsiveness, and clearing floats.

  • Using the appropriate float method allows flexible, responsive layouts.

FAQs

  • What is float right in Bootstrap? To float an element to the right in Bootstrap, use the class .float-right. It uses the CSS float: right property to position the element on the right side of its container.

  • Does Bootstrap use float? Yes, Bootstrap uses the float property for some of its utility classes.

  • How do I move right in Bootstrap? To move an element to the right in Bootstrap, you use the utility class .float-end. This class applies the float: right; property to the element and positioning it on the right side within its container.

  • How do you stick to the right in Bootstrap? To make an element “stick” or align to the right in Bootstrap, you can use the utility classes such as .float-end. The .float-end class floats the element to the right.

  • How do you push an element to the left in Bootstrap? To position an element on the left in Bootstrap, you can use the utility class .float-start. This class applies the float: left; property to the element, and positioning it on the left side within its container and accounts.

What You Have Learned

In this article, we explored floating elements in Bootstrap, you gained an understanding of the fundamentals and best practices for working with floated elements.

First, you learned how to set up Bootstrap in your development environment through CDNs, downloaded source files, or npm. Next, you covered core concepts like the float property in CSS and how Bootstrap utilizes floating for layouts and alignment. The article explained Bootstrap’s utility classes for basic floats, responsive floats, and clearing floats. You now understand how to float elements to the left or right, make floats responsive to breakpoint widths, and prevent layout issues with clearfixes.

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Emmanuel Uchenna

Emmanuel Uchenna

Emmanuel is an experienced and enthusiastic software developer and technical writer with 4+ proven years of professional experience. He focuses on full-stack web development. He is fluent in React, TypeScript, VueJS, and NodeJS and familiar with industry-standard technologies such as version control, headless CMS, and JAMstack. He is passionate about knowledge sharing.