How to use the calc() function in CSS?

Published August 22, 2020

The calc() function is used to dynamically calculate CSS property values.

You can pass any valid CSS units as arguments to the calc() function.

For example, you can use an expression to substract 50px - 20px.

h1 {
  margin: calc(50px - 20px); // the value calculated will be 30px

You can use any valid CSS property values like px, percentage, number, em, vw, rem, etc.

One of the best usecases i have found with the calc() css function is to center the container element like this,

// centering the container
.container {
  width: calc(100% - 50px);
  margin: 0 auto;

The width of the container is calculated to the full width of the viewing device and then 50px is subtracted from 100%.

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