Adam Zerner Adam Zerner - 3 months ago 11
CSS Question

Why is my textarea higher up than its neighbor?

Picture:

enter image description here



.left {
border: 1px solid red;
}
textarea {
border: 1px solid blue;
}
.parent {
border: 1px solid green;
}

<div class='parent'>
<span class='left'>
<span>one</span>
<span>two</span>
</span>
<textarea></textarea>
</div>





Codepen

Answer

Why is my textarea higher up than it's neighbor?

It's not.

Let me explain.

First, a bit of background:

Your span and textarea elements are (by default) inline elements.

Browsers normally provide a little bit of whitespace underneath inline elements for descenders.

To understand descenders...

Look at this line of text. Notice there are no letters that breach the baseline.

Now look at the following sentence:

By just crossing the bridge he probably got away.

Note the letters "y", "j", "p" and "g". These letters breach the baseline and are known in typography as "descenders".

The gap you're seeing is not margin or padding, but simply the browser providing room to accommodate these lowercase letters. In short, this is called baseline alignment.

So why, somebody might ask, does the browser provide this space for textarea, img, input and other inline elements, that don't need space for descenders?

Because the browser adjusts for the possibility that you may have text before or after one of those elements on the same line.

Now, to your image and code...

On first glance it clearly appears that the textarea is higher up than the span element. But if you take a closer look...

enter image description here

...you'll see they are perfectly aligned. Both span and textarea are providing space for descenders.

enter image description here

The borders you've added contribute to the appearance of misalignment because the textarea border wraps a clearly delineated box while excluding descender space, but the span border wraps the text and the descender space. If you remove the red border the misalignment is less pronounced.

In terms of a solution, here are two options:

  1. Add vertical-align: bottom to the textarea rule, OR
  2. Add display: block to the textarea rule.

More info:

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