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Padding in CSS allows you to control the space between the content of an element and its border. It provides internal spacing, helping to improve readability and create visually appealing designs. Let’s explore how to use CSS padding to control spacing within elements.

Padding Property

The padding property is used to define the padding around an element. It can have values in pixels (px), percentages (%), or other length units. You can set different padding values for each side of an element (top, right, bottom, left), or use shorthand notation to set them simultaneously.

Individual Padding:

div {
  padding-top: 10px;
  padding-right: 20px;
  padding-bottom: 15px;
  padding-left: 30px;

Shorthand Padding:

p {
  padding: 5px 10px 5px 10px;

The shorthand notation follows the order: top, right, bottom, left. In the example above, all sides have a padding of 5px except for the top and bottom, which have a padding of 10px.

Padding and Content Box

The padding is added to the content area of an element, increasing the space inside the border. It does not affect the size of the element itself. When specifying the width or height of an element, the padding is added to the overall dimensions.

Padding and Background

The background color or background image of an element extends to include the padding area. This ensures that the background covers the entire visible space, including the padding.


CSS padding allows you to control the spacing within elements, creating space between the content and the border. By using individual padding properties or shorthand notation, you can adjust the padding to achieve the desired spacing. Understanding how padding interacts with the content box and background is essential for creating visually appealing and well-structured designs. Experiment with different padding values to achieve the desired layout and enhance the readability and aesthetics of your web pages.

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