2 Spots Available for July Apply Now

All Definitions

Align Self

Short Definition

A property that allows the default alignment (or the one specified by align-items) to be overridden for individual flex items.


Align Self is a CSS property used in Flexbox and CSS Grid layouts to control the alignment of individual flex or grid items along the cross-axis, which is perpendicular to the main axis.

It allows a single item to override the alignment set by the container’s Align Items property.

When should you use Align Self?

You should use Align Self when:

  • You need to adjust the alignment of a specific item within a Flexbox or Grid container without affecting other items.
  • You want to create unique alignment for one or more items that differ from the general alignment of other items in the container.
  • You are dealing with complex layouts that require fine-tuned control over the positioning of individual elements.

How should you use Align Self?

To use the Align Self property, apply it to individual flex or grid items and choose one of the following values:

  • auto: The item inherits the align-items value of its parent container.
  • flex-start: Aligns the item to the start of the cross-axis.
  • flex-end: Aligns the item to the end of the cross-axis.
  • center: Centers the item along the cross-axis.
  • baseline: Aligns the item such that its baseline aligns with the baselines of other items.
  • stretch: Stretches the item to fill the container along the cross-axis (default value).

Example using Flexbox:

.container {
  display: flex;
  height: 400px; /* Example height for visualization */
  align-items: center; /* Centers all items vertically within the container */

.item {
  width: 100px;
  height: 100px;
  background-color: lightblue;
  margin: 10px;

.item-special {
  align-self: flex-start; /* Aligns this item to the start of the cross-axis */

Example using CSS Grid:

.container {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(3, 1fr); /* Three equal columns */
  height: 400px; /* Example height for visualization */
  align-items: center; /* Centers all items vertically within each grid row */

.item {
  background-color: lightcoral;
  border: 1px solid #000;
  padding: 20px;

.item-special {
  align-self: flex-end; /* Aligns this item to the end of the cross-axis */

What is a real-world example of Align Self in action?

A real-world example of Align Self in action is a product listing page where most product images are centered vertically, but a special promotional product image is aligned to the top of its container to draw attention. By using align-self: flex-start; for the promotional product, you can ensure it stands out from the rest.

What are some precautions to take when working with Align Self?

When working with Align Self, consider the following precautions:

  1. Understand the Cross-Axis: Ensure you correctly identify the cross-axis, as Align Self only affects alignment along this axis.
  2. Consistency: Use Align Self sparingly to maintain a consistent and harmonious layout. Overusing it can lead to a disjointed design.
  3. Item Flexibility: Ensure that the items you align individually have the flexibility to adjust their positioning without causing layout issues.

What are the advantages of using Align Self?

  • Individual Control: Provides precise control over the alignment of specific items within a Flexbox or Grid container.
  • Flexibility: Allows for unique positioning of items without affecting the overall alignment of other items.
  • Enhanced Layouts: Helps create more dynamic and visually interesting layouts by allowing individual items to stand out.

What are the limitations of using Align Self?

  • Cross-Axis Only: Align Self only affects alignment along the cross-axis, so it does not control alignment along the main axis.
  • Potential Inconsistency: Overuse of Align Self can lead to inconsistent and visually cluttered designs.

What are common mistakes to avoid with Align Self?

  • Misidentifying the Cross-Axis: Failing to correctly identify the cross-axis can lead to unexpected alignment results.
  • Overusing Align Self: Using Align Self excessively can disrupt the visual harmony and consistency of the layout.
  • Ignoring Item Flexibility: Not considering the flexibility of items can result in alignment issues, especially with fixed-size elements.

How does Align Self compare to similar technologies or methods?

  • Align Self vs. Align Items: Align Items sets the alignment for all items within a container, while Align Self allows individual items to override this setting.
  • Align Self vs. Justify Self: Justify Self is used in CSS Grid to align items along the main axis, whereas Align Self aligns items along the cross-axis.
  • Align Self vs. Align Content: Align Content aligns multiple lines or rows within the container along the cross-axis, whereas Align Self aligns individual items.

What are best practices for Align Self?

  • Use Sparingly: Apply Align Self selectively to maintain a cohesive and harmonious layout.
  • Combine with Other Properties: Use in conjunction with Align Items, Justify Content, and other alignment properties for comprehensive layout control.
  • Test Across Devices: Regularly test your layouts on different devices and screen sizes to ensure consistent and desired alignment.
  • Maintain Readability: Ensure that the use of Align Self enhances, rather than detracts from, the readability and usability of your content.

What resources are available for learning more about Align Self?

  • MDN Web Docs: Comprehensive documentation on Align Self for Flexbox and Grid layouts.
  • CSS-Tricks: Articles and tutorials on using Flexbox and Grid properties, including Align Self.
  • W3Schools: Tutorials and examples of CSS alignment properties.
  • Flexbox Froggy: An interactive game that helps you learn Flexbox properties, including Align Self.
  • Grid Garden: An interactive game for learning CSS Grid properties, including alignment.

By understanding and applying these aspects of the Align Self property, you can create more precise, flexible, and visually appealing layouts in your web design projects.

Keep Learning

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

The percentage of users who click on a specific link out of the total users who view a page or ad.

Breadcrumb Navigation

A secondary navigation system that shows a user’s location in a site’s hierarchy. It is meant to help users understand their location within a website

Align Items

A property that aligns flex items along the cross axis (flex-start, flex-end, center, baseline, stretch).

Color Theory

The study of how colors interact and the visual effects of color combinations.


A rotating set of images or content used to showcase featured items or information.


A set of web development techniques using many web technologies on the client-side to create asynchronous web applications.


A graphical display at the top of a webpage, often used for advertising or important announcements.

Column Reverse

The flex direction where flex items are laid out vertically from bottom to top.


A CSS layout model designed for one-dimensional layouts, providing efficient space distribution and alignment of items within a container.

Ready to take your business to the next level?

Expand your reach and grow your business with our seamless integration of web design and expert SEO strategies. Apply now to secure your spot.

increase sales webflow project