The whole lot You Must Know Concerning the Hole After the Record Marker | CSS-Methods







I used to be studying “Inventive Record Styling” on Google’s weblog and observed one thing odd in one of many code examples within the ::marker part of the article. The built-in checklist markers are bullets, ordinal numbers, and letters. The ::marker pseudo-element permits us to model these markers or change them with a customized character or picture.

::marker {
  content material: url('/marker.svg') ' ';

The instance that caught my consideration makes use of an SVG icon as a customized marker for the checklist objects. However there’s additionally a single area character (" ") within the CSS worth subsequent to the url() perform. The aim of this area appears to be to insert a niche after the customized marker.

After I noticed this code, I instantly puzzled if there was a greater technique to create the hole. Appending an area to content material feels extra like a workaround than the optimum answer. CSS supplies margin and padding and different normal methods to area out parts on the web page. Might none of those properties be used on this scenario?

First, I attempted to substitute the area character with a correct margin:

::marker {
  content material: url('/marker.svg');
  margin-right: 1ch;

This didn’t work. Because it seems, ::marker solely helps a small set of principally text-related CSS properties. For instance, you may change the font-size and coloration of the marker, and outline a customized marker by setting content material to a string or URL, as proven above. However the margin and padding properties are not supported, so setting them has no impact. What a disappointment.

Might it actually be {that a} area character is the one technique to insert a niche after a customized marker? I wanted to seek out out. As I researched this subject, I made a couple of fascinating discoveries that I’d wish to share on this article.

Including padding and margins

First, let’s affirm what margin and padding do on the <ul> and <li> parts. I’ve created a check web page for this goal. Drag the related sliders and observe the impact on the spacing on either side of the checklist marker. Tip: Use the Reset button liberally to reset all controls to their preliminary values.

Word: Browsers apply a default padding-inline-left of 40px to <ol> and <ul> parts. The logical padding-inline-left property is equal to the bodily padding-left property in writing methods with a left-to-right inline path. On this article, I’m going to make use of bodily properties for the sake of simplicity.

As you may see, padding-left on <li> will increase the hole after the checklist marker. The opposite three properties management the spacing to the left of the marker, in different phrases, the indentation of the checklist merchandise.

Discover that even when the checklist merchandise’s padding-left is 0px, there’s nonetheless a minimal hole after the marker. This hole can’t be decreased with margin or padding. The precise size of the minimal hole depends upon the browser.

First three properties: UL margin-left, UL padding-left, LI margin-left. Fourth property: LI padding-left.
The primary three properties push all the checklist merchandise (together with the marker) to the proper. The fourth property pushes solely the checklist merchandise’s content material to the proper.

To sum up, the checklist merchandise’s content material is positioned at a browser-specific minimal distance from the marker, and this hole could be additional elevated by including a padding-left to <li>.

Subsequent, let’s see what occurs after we place the marker inside the checklist merchandise.

Shifting the marker contained in the checklist merchandise

The list-style-position property accepts two key phrases: outdoors, which is the default, and inside, which strikes the marker contained in the checklist merchandise. The latter is helpful for creating designs with full-width checklist objects.

A grocery list. Each item has a thin bottom border that extends from the left to the right edge of the list.
The checklist marker is positioned contained in the checklist merchandise, in order that the checklist merchandise’s backside border can prolong to the left fringe of the checklist field

If the marker is now inside the checklist merchandise, does this imply that padding-left on <li> now not will increase the hole after the marker? Let’s discover out. On my check web page, activate list-style-position: inside through the checkbox. How are the 4 padding and margin properties affected by this modification?

As you may see, padding-left on <li> now will increase the spacing to the left of the marker. Which means that we’ve misplaced the power to extend the hole after the marker. On this scenario, it might be helpful to have the ability to add margin-right to the ::marker itself, however that doesn’t work, as we’ve established above.

The four properties: UL margin-left, UL padding-left, LI margin-left, LI padding-left.
All 4 properties push all the checklist merchandise to the proper. The minimal hole can’t be elevated by normal means.

Moreover, there’s a bug in Chromium that causes the hole after the marker to triple after switching to inside positioning. By default, the size of the hole is about one-third of the textual content measurement. So at a default font-size of 16px, the hole is about 5.5px. After switching to inside, the hole grows to the complete 16px in Chrome. This bug impacts the disc, circle, and sq. markers, however not ordinal quantity markers.

The next picture exhibits the default rendering of out of doors and inside-positioned checklist markers throughout three main browsers on macOS. To your comfort, I’ve horizontally aligned all checklist objects on their markers to make it simpler to check the variations in hole sizes.

Six list items with varying gaps between the marker and text.
Solely Firefox maintains the identical hole measurement between the 2 marker positioning modes. This may be thought-about a browser interoperability (interop) concern.

To sum up, switching to list-style-position: inside introduces two issues. We will now not enhance the hole through padding-left on <li>, and the hole measurement is inconsistent between browsers.

Lastly, let’s see what occurs after we change the default checklist marker with a customized marker.

Switching to a customized marker

There are two methods to outline a customized marker:

  • list-style-type and list-style-image properties
  • content material property on the ::marker pseudo-element

The content material property is extra highly effective. For instance, it permits us to make use of the counter() perform to entry the checklist merchandise’s ordinal quantity (the implicit list-item counter) and embellish it with customized strings.

Sadly, Safari doesn’t help the content material property on ::marker but (WebKit bug). Because of this, I’m going to make use of the list-style-type property to outline the customized marker. You may nonetheless use the ::marker selector to model the customized marker declared through list-style-type. That side of ::marker is supported in Safari.

Any Unicode character can probably function a customized checklist marker, however solely a small set of characters even have “Bullet” of their official identify, so I believed I’d compile them right here for reference.

Character Title Code level CSS key phrase
Bullet U+2022 disc
Triangular Bullet U+2023
Hyphen Bullet U+2043
Black Leftwards Bullet U+204C
Black Rightwards Bullet U+204D
Inverse Bullet U+25D8
White Bullet U+25E6 circle
Reversed Rotated Floral Coronary heart Bullet U+2619
Rotated Heavy Black Coronary heart Bullet U+2765
Rotated Floral Coronary heart Bullet U+2767
Circled White Bullet U+29BE
⦿ Circled Bullet U+29BF

Word: The CSS sq. key phrase doesn’t have a corresponding “Bullet” character in Unicode. The character that comes closest is the Black Small Sq. (▪️) emoji (U+25AA).

Now let’s see what occurs after we change the default checklist marker with list-style-type: "•" (U+2022 Bullet). This is identical character because the default bullet, so there shouldn’t be any main rendering variations. On my check web page, activate the list-style-type possibility and observe any adjustments to the marker.

As you may see, there are two important adjustments:

  1. There is no such thing as a longer a minimal hole after the marker.
  2. The bullet has turn into smaller, as if it had been rendered at a smaller font-size.

In line with CSS Counter Types Degree 3, the default checklist marker (disc) ought to be “just like • U+2022 BULLET”. It appears that evidently browsers enhance the scale of the default bullet to make it extra legible. Firefox even makes use of a particular font, -moz-bullet-font, for the marker.

:marker selected in the inspector. Fonts used: -moz-bullet-font.
The “Fonts” pane in Firefox’s DOM inspector reveals the particular font.

Can the small measurement drawback be mounted with CSS? On my check web page, activate marker styling and observe what occurs once you change the font-size, line-height, and font-family of the marker.

As you may see, rising the font-size causes the customized marker to turn into vertically misaligned, and this can’t be corrected by reducing the line-height. The vertical-align property, which may simply repair this drawback, will not be supported on ::marker.

However did you discover that altering the font-family may cause the marker to turn into larger? Strive setting it to Tahoma. This might probably be a good-enough workaround for the small-size drawback, though I haven’t examined which font works greatest throughout the main browsers and working methods.

You might also have observed that the Chromium bug doesn’t happen anymore once you place the marker contained in the checklist merchandise. Which means that a customized marker can function a workaround for this bug. And this leads me to the principle drawback, and the rationale why I began researching this subject. Should you outline a customized marker and place it contained in the checklist merchandise, there isn’t a hole after the marker and no technique to insert a niche by normal means.

  1. There is no such thing as a minimal hole after customized markers.
  2. ::marker doesn’t help padding or margin.
  3. padding-left on <li> doesn’t enhance the hole, for the reason that marker is positioned inside.


Right here’s a abstract of all the important thing information that I’ve talked about within the article:

  1. Browsers apply a default padding-inline-start of 40px to <ul> and <ol> parts.
  2. There’s a minimal hole after built-in checklist markers (disc, decimal, and so forth.). There is no such thing as a minimal hole after customized markers (string or URL).
  3. The size of the hole could be elevated by including a padding-left to <ul>, however provided that the marker is positioned outdoors the checklist merchandise (the default mode).
  4. Customized string markers have a smaller default measurement than built-in markers. Altering the font-family on ::marker can enhance their measurement.


Wanting again on the code instance from the start of the article, I feel I perceive now why there’s an area character within the content material worth. There may be simply no higher technique to insert a niche after the SVG marker. It’s a workaround that’s wanted as a result of no quantity of margin and padding can create a niche after a customized marker that’s positioned contained in the checklist merchandise. A margin-right on ::marker may simply do it, however that’s not supported.

Till ::marker provides help for extra properties, net builders will typically don’t have any selection however to cover the marker and emulate it with a ::earlier than pseudo-element. I had to try this myself just lately as a result of I couldn’t change the marker’s background-color. Hopefully, we received’t have to attend too lengthy for a extra highly effective ::marker pseudo-element.


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