How do I get a div to float to the bottom of its container? – Dev

The best answers to the question “How do I get a div to float to the bottom of its container?” in the category Dev.


I have floated images and inset boxes at the top of a container using float:right (or left) many times. Now, I need to float a div to the bottom right corner of another div with the normal text wrap that you get with float (text wrapped above and to the left only).

I thought this must be relatively easy even though float has no bottom value but I haven’t been able to do it using a number of techniques and searching the web hasn’t come up with anything other than using absolute positioning but this doesn’t give the correct word wrap behaviour.

I had thought this would be a very common design but apparently it isn’t. If nobody has a suggestion I’ll have to break my text up into separate boxes and align the div manually but that is rather precarious and I’d hate to have to do it on every page that needs it.


A way to make it work is the following:

  • Float your elements left like normal
  • Rotate the parent div 180 degrees using



  • Now rotate all the elements that float left (give them a class) 180 degrees to put them straight again. Voila! they float to the bottom.


Set the parent div to position: relative, then the inner div to…

position: absolute; 
bottom: 0;

…and there you go 🙂


I have acheived this in JQuery by putting a zero width strut element above the float right, then sizing the strut (or pipe) according to parent height minus floated child’s height.

Before js kicks in I am using the position absolute approach, which works but allows text flow behind. Therefore I switch to position static to enable the strut approach.
(header is the parent element, cutout is the one i want bottom right, and pipe is my strut)

$("header .pipe").each(function(){


    position: relative; 

header img.cutout{
header .pipe{


The pipe must come 1st, then the cutout, then the text in the HTML order.


After struggling with various techniques for a couple of days I have to say that this appears to be impossible. Even using javascript (which I don’t want to do) it doesn’t seem possible.

To clarify for those who may not have understood – this is what I am looking for: in publishing it is quite common to layout an inset (picture, table, figure, etc.) so that its bottom lines up with the bottom of the last line of text of a block (or page) with text flowing around the inset in a natural manner above and to the right or left depending on which side of the page the inset is on. In html/css it is trivial to use the float style to line up the top of an inset with the top of a block but to my surprise it appears impossible to line up the bottom of the text and inset despite it being a common layout task.

I guess I’ll have to revisit the design goals for this item unless anyone has a last minute suggestion.