Css – How to make an inline-block element fill the remainder of the line


Is such a thing possible using CSS and two inline-block (or whatever) DIV tags instead of using a table?

The table version is this (borders added so you can see it):

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<table style="width:100%;">
<td style="border:1px solid black;width:100px;height:10px;"></td>
<td style="border:1px solid black;height:10px;"></td>

It produces a left column with a FIXED WIDTH (not a percentage width), and a right column that expands to fill THE REMAINING SPACE on the line. Sounds pretty simple, right? Furthermore, since nothing is "floated", the parent container's height properly expands to encompass the height of the content.

I've seen the "clear fix" and "holy grail" implementations for multi-column layouts with fixed-width side column, and they suck and they're complicated. They reverse the order of elements, they use percentage widths, or they use floats, negative margins, and the relationship between the "left", "right", and "margin" attributes are complex. Furthermore, the layouts are sub-pixel sensitive so that adding even a single pixel of borders, padding, or margins will break the whole layout, and send entire columns wrapping to the next line. For example, rounding errors are a problem even if you try to do something simple, like put 4 elements on a line, with each one's width set to 25%.

I've tried using "inline-block" and "white-space:nowrap;", but the problem is I just can't get the 2nd element to fill the remaining space on the line. Setting the width to something like "width:100%-(LeftColumWidth)px" will work in some cases, but performing a calculation in a width property is not really supported.

Best Solution

See: http://jsfiddle.net/qx32C/36/

.lineContainer {
    overflow: hidden; /* clear the float */
    border: 1px solid #000
.lineContainer div {
    height: 20px
.left {
    width: 100px;
    float: left;
    border-right: 1px solid #000
.right {
    overflow: hidden;
    background: #ccc
<div class="lineContainer">
    <div class="left">left</div>
    <div class="right">right</div>

Why did I replace margin-left: 100px with overflow: hidden on .right?

EDIT: Here are two mirrors for the above (dead) link: