Xy Grid

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The Foundation XY Grid is huge advancement in Grids. It’s inspired by CSS Grid, but uses Flexbox under the hood which is supported by browsers now. This mean you can take advantage of Flexbox, equal height containers, auto and shrink sizing, vertical and horizontal layouts (hence the XY. I´m using the new XY-Grid from now on, but I´m not really clear about the class 'grid-container'. The grid-container just marks the max-width of the Foundation-Grid, am I right? For what case do I need the class 'grid-container full'? I do have the same output just without it. I mean, if I do it that way.

Get ready to learn how to approach the age old question faced by many a CSS practitioner:
'How do I center a div?'

Use Cases Covered#

  1. Vertically and Horizontally (XY)
  2. Vertical Centering (Y)
  3. Horizontal Centering (X)

Vertically and Horizontally (XY)#

The holy grail: vertical and horizontal centering, aka centering along both the x-axis and the y-axis.

XY Grid Solution#

The most modern and easiest way is with the following two lines of CSS:

We are centered!


Collapse of child grid using auto-fit or auto-fill

Given a child grid that uses the following styles:

The child grid will collapse in on itself, in this case down to the min part of minmax, due to the justify-content set in the place-content shorthand.

The fix is two-fold: switch the grid centering technique to use place-items instead of place-content, and then to specifically define that the child grid should be:

Or whatever you'd prefer as a width value to create space for the grid columns.

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3

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XY Flexbox Solution#

Alternatively, you can use the very slightly more verbose Flexbox version:


Flexbox has a slightly different behavior when a second item is added since flex items default to placement along the x-axis:

...Sort of!

One way to resolve this is by adding:


Alternatively, wrap the children in a single element, especially if you don't want them to be affected by the outer flexbox alignment.

If a child element uses grid with auto-fit or auto-fill it will encounter the same issue as when the parent container is grid as described previously.

XY Alternative Flexbox Solution#

margin: auto is unique for flexbox, and in the case you have only one child item, you can do the following:

The auto behavior for flex children, unlike childfren of block elements, can also be applied vertically which allows this solution to work.

XY Centering for Block Elements#

If you are unable to switch to grid or flexbox layout, here's a modern solution to this classic problem.

Ensure the child elements are wrapped in a containing element for the following to work:

Me too!

This combo works because when a percentage value is supplied to a translate definition, it based the percentage on the computed width (translateX) or height (translateY). In this example, we use shorthand to apply both x and y values to translate().

Absolute positioning takes an element out of normal document flow after which we can apply precise values (as needed) to control its positioning in the document, or in this case, relative to the parent with the required position: relative on the parent element.

After absolutely positioning the child from the top 50% and left 50%, which is 50% of the parent's height and width, respectively, we then use translate(-50%, -50%) to pull the child back up 50% of its own height and back left 50% of its own width. This results in a centered appearance that scales with the content.


Because we've used absolute posoitioning, there's a chance the content will grow to overflow the parent, even if like in the demo the parent has a min-width which typically grows with the content except for absolute children.

The fix for this is: use grid or flexbox :) Or prepare to create #allthemediaqueries.

Vertical Centering (Y)#

Solutions for centering vertically, aka on the y-axis.

Y Grid Solution#

We only need one property to vertically align in grid:

Me too!

Use of align-content is scalable for multiple child elements.

It also works if we switch the default grid axis to x with:

Me too!

Y Flexbox Solution#

Flexbox items can be vertically aligned with:

Me too!


If you switch the default axis by adding flex-direction: column this solution fails.

Hmm, me too...

A huge cuplprit of issues when dealing with flexbox is missing that flipping the default axis flips the associated properties.

For column, or y-axis flex layout, instead of align-items we now need to use:

Me too!

Y Centering for Block Elements#

If possible, switch the layout model and use flex or grid.

Otherwise, much like the XY solution, we'll use absolute positioning and transform, but only apply to translateY to move the child 50% of its height.

Xy Grid Maker

Me too!

See XY Centering for Block Elements to learn why this works.

Horizontal Centering (X)#

Xy Grid Autocad Electrical

Solutions for centering horizontally, aka on the x-axis.

X Grid Solution#

The justify- properties are for x-axis alignment:

Me too!

Again, this holds up if we switch the default axis with:

Me too!

Xy Grid Python

X Flexbox Solution#

To center along the x-axis, which is the default flexbox axis for child item alignment, use:

Me too!



At this point, you know what's coming - this will fail for flex-direction: column.

We'll fix it by using the following instead of justify-content:

Me too!

X Centering for Block Elements#

This is the classic solution, although it must be placed on each element you wish to center individually.

For the demo, I've also set a max-width since by default block elements take up the full-width of their container, which visually opposes the centering.

Me too!

X Centering for Dynamically Positioned Elements#

The use case here is for components like dropdown menus or tooltips when there is a requirement for centering of items of dynamic/unknown width relative to the associated trigger.

We'll use a method similar to Y Centering for Block Elements, but using left and translateX properties:

Me too!

Another OptiMA innovation! Smaller XY Axis dry erase boards from OptiMA Graphics.

These are still our very best quality, dry erase boards with an imprint of an X/Y axis grid but they're made on a slightly smaller board size 32' x 45½' so they can ship by UPS. A traditional 4x4 board is too large to ship by UPS and has to ship truck adding the shipping expense to your order. When you're on a tight budget these smaller XY grid boards make perfect sense.

These smaller XY boards are an OptiMA exclusive. No other company can offer them because only OptiMA makes our boards with the OptiPrint™ method. Everyone else has to rely on older technology of making boards using stock fused porcelain; this makes them unable to alter the size of the board or the design of the grid. So we make these in house we can improve our OptiPrints™ boards however we want which allows us to offer you a smaller quality XY grid board like these.

You get a quality board too with an outstanding writing surface. The boards won't leave behind any type of ghosted image and will erase clean every time. Each board comes with a nice satin anodized aluminum trim, a full-length marker tray and installation hardware. Select from either a magnetic or a slightly less expensive non-magnetic writing surface. Magnetic surfaces will allow you to use magnetic accessories.

Xy Grid Image

So keep some money in your budget and purchase our slightly smaller 32' tall x 45½' wide board instead. School purchase orders are gladly accepted.