CSS: 3 Columns Page Layout

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here's how to create a 3-columns layout using CSS.

CSS 3 columns layout 7466
CSS 3 columns layout. (see raw HTML rendered example)

Here's the HTML code:

<div id="main">…</div>
<div id="panel-left" class="mypanel">…</div>
<div id="panel-right" class="mypanel">…</div>

Here's CSS code:

#main {

#panel-left {

#panel-right {

div.mypanel {

Create 3 div tags, and set each's width.

For the main container, set margin-left and margin-right. This will fix the main panel into a narrow central column.

For the left panel, specify a width that is the same as the main's margin-left, and, specify position:absolute; left:0. This will fix the panel on the left side with a fixed width. Similar for the right pane.

You can also add padding. [see CSS Margin vs Padding]

Any text that is not in one of the main or panel div container, will be left on the bottom.

CSS Basics

  1. Basics
  2. Tag Matching Tutorial
  3. Selector Syntax
  4. Units


  1. Color Syntax
  2. Color Names
  3. Opacity
  4. Linear Gradient
  5. Radial Gradient


  1. font-family
  2. Standard Web Fonts
  3. font-size
  4. Meaning of Font Size
  5. Font Weight
  6. Chinese Font Names

Box Model

  1. Border
  2. Outline
  3. Margin vs Padding
  4. Box Sizing


  1. Layout Tutorial
  2. Display Property
  3. Position: static, relative, fixed, absolute
  4. Pure CSS Table
  5. Tabbed Menu
  6. 3 Columns Page Layout
  7. Multi-Column Layout for Text Flow
  8. Fix Element to Window
  9. Centering
  10. Flowing List
  11. z-index
  12. Text Over Image
  13. Text Flow Around Image
  14. OverFlow, Scrollbar


  1. 2D Transform
  2. Transition
  3. Animation

Line Wrap, Justification

  1. Line Wrap
  2. Text Alignment, Justification
  3. Match first-letter and first-line
  4. “:before”, “:after”
  5. Text Decoration: Underline, Overline, Line-Through
  6. Letter Spacing, Word Spacing

Box Decoration

  1. Box Shadow
  2. Text Shadow
  3. Round Corners
  4. Background Image
  5. Image Rollover


  1. Computed Style
  2. Pseudo Class vs Pseudo Element
  3. Media Query
  4. Variable
  5. calc
  6. Reset
  7. user-select
  8. Data URI Scheme
  9. protocol-relative URL
  10. Default Unit
  11. Declaring Character Set in CSS File
  12. Jargons Explained: Tag, Element, Node, Object, Attribute, Property, Method
  13. Display Table on Small Screen
  14. Fixed Aspect Ratio
  15. Add Icon to Links
  16. Progress Bar Example

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