Tutorial :How to get the height of a DIV considering inner element's margins?


Consider de following markup:

<div id="outerElement">      <div id="innerElement" style="border: 1px solid blue; background-color: #f0f3f5; margin-top: 100px">            TESTE      </div>  </div>  

I want to get the actual final height of outerElement using javascript. I noticed that if I remove the vertical margins from innerElement I am able to get what I want but I cannot alter styles from within the outerElement.

How do I do this?

Obs: I already tried height, scrollheight and offsetHeight in all browsers. Chrome gives me the expected value (including inner element's margins) for scrollHeight. All other browsers fail.


I'd use jQuery. Try using


And see if that does it.


Add clearfix, use jquery height() and remove the clearfix class again.

That's gonna work. : )


you could use jQuery:

$('#outerElement').height(); // gets the height of the div  $('#outerElement').outerHeight(); // gets the height of the div including margins and padding  $('#outerElement').innerHeight(); // gets the height of the div including padding  

one of those is bound to work.


Try using clientHeight

var outerElement = document.getElementById("outerElement");  if(outerElement.clientHeight) {  alert("Height is "+outerElement.clientHeight+"px");  }  else { alert("Old browser?"); }  

I know what you're thinking... "this won't work!" and alas, it doesn't... but if you do something like add a border to outerElement... even for just a moment...

var outerElement = document.getElementById("outerElement");  outerElement.style.border = "1px solid black";  var height = outerElement.clientHeight;  outerElement.style.border = "none";  alert("Height is "+height+"px");  

Not the most beautiful solution but it works, and if you can figure out why it works (I sure as hell don't know :P) you might be closer to a good solution...

Some older browsers may not support it though... you'd have to look into it; I can't list 'em.


ok also not pretty but this is how I do it (disclaimer: I stole this from somewhere once)

var height = elem.clientHeight + getBufferHeight(elem, true);    function getBufferHeight(elem, includeMargins) {      if (!elem.visible()) {          return 0;      }      //do new Number instead of parseFloat to avoid rounding errors       var result = 0;      if (includeMargins) {          result =                 new Number(elem.getStyle('marginTop').replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '')).ceil() +                new Number(elem.getStyle('marginBottom').replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '')).ceil();      }           result +=          new Number(elem.getStyle('borderBottomWidth').replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '')).ceil() +          new Number(elem.getStyle('borderTopWidth').replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '')).ceil() +              new Number(elem.getStyle('paddingTop').replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '')).ceil() +          new Number(elem.getStyle('paddingBottom').replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '')).ceil();                              return result;  }  


This is a tricky question as what do you discern as the "appropriate" height. The height of the content inside including borders, what about padding, or the actual margin use? In general browser act fairly consistent on most things, but quirksmode can clear up what you need. (As a hint, if you need the actual margin used, its gonna hurt).


I guess you should go throw all element properties and the make a sum only in this way you can know the exactly height... but in the case of the height is set it by for example clear:both property I dont think is posible to know the heigth of an Element.

A 3 sec thought could be something like:

var o document.getElementById('id').style;

    var total = ((o.height.split("px")[0] == "") ? 0 : o.height.split("px")[0]) +   ((o.marginTop.split("px")[0] == "") ? 0 : o.marginTop.split("px")[0]) +   ((o.marginBottom.split("px")[0] == "") ? 0 : o.marginBottom.split("px")[0]) +   ((o.paddingTop.split("px")[0] == "") ? 0 : o.paddingTop.split("px")[0]) +      ((o.borderTop.split("px")[0] == "") ? 0 : o.borderTop.split("px")[0]) +   ((o.borderBottom.split("px")[0] == "") ? 0 : o.borderBottom.split("px")[0])  

But I guess you must include also the document.getElementById('id').height value if have it.... is thougth but can help..

best =)


WARNING WARNING clientHeight almost works but doesn't include margins :(

Just thought I'd add that I've been trying this today, and while nahumsilva & plodder almost have it right (nahumsilva's version appears to be more cross-browser {plodder's doesn't appear to work in Chrome/WebKit, but I'm no expert on these things}), they've both missed that an element may have computed style elements that aren't defined by it's own style.

This was driving me nuts - I was wondering where my <p> elements were getting an extra 16px of margin height - until I realised it was coming from the computed style.

So, long story short, an approach like nahumsilva / plodder worked for me, with the added proviso that you should get the element's computed style with window.getComputedStyle( element, null ), which returns a CSSStyleDeclaration object (like element.style). element.offsetHeight / element.clientHeight should give you the height without margins, so the whole thing looks like:

var cstyle = window.getComputedStyle( element, null );  var elementHeight = element.offsetHeight +  Number( cstyle.marginBottom.replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '') ) +  Number( cstyle.marginTop.replace(/[^\d\.]/g, '') );  


try $("#myelementId").outerHeight( true )


If you can set the outer div to style display : inline-block; then scrollHeight will include the margins of child elements.

It will also work if you set style display : flex; (supported by IE 9+)


This answer may be a little obvious, but if you already know the margin, why not just manually add it to the height?

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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