If you are like me you have ran into this issue many times. You want to add a border to the bottom of an element but you don’t want it to be under 100% of the element. You just want it to be under a bit of it. My first thought was maybe CSS would let you establish a width for border-bottom… No such luck. You can go in to the HTML and add another element below the element you want to have the border-bottom and give it a background that is the color you want the border to be and then set the width and height, which is what I have done for years.

Skip straight to the code.

This always left me asking a question…
Can this be done in css?

Which led me to the answer…
Not really.

There isn’t a way to declare the length of a border, but I found a pretty slick work around using nothing but CSS.

Instead of adding a border to the element you are trying to effect add a pseudo element of :after and give it a border-bottom and set the width. Done.

What would that look like?
Here is an example of what it could look like:


How exactly does that work?

Let’s say you are trying to add a border-bottom to an element with the class of “page-title“. Your code would look like this.

.page-title:after {
    content: ""; /* This is necessary for the pseudo element to work. */ 
    display: block; /* This will put the pseudo element on its own line. */
    margin: 0 auto; /* This will center the border. */
    width: 50%; /* Change this to whatever width you want. */
    padding-top: 20px; /* This creates some space between the element and the border. */
    border-bottom: 1px solid black; /* This creates the border. Replace black with whatever color you want. */

If you have enjoyed this post please checkout “Part 2” where I explain how to add some animation with pure css.

That is all there is to it! I hope this helps.

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Part 2

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