How To Justify Items with Tailwind CSS

Justifying items in CSS is a common task when you’re working with layouts. It refers to the alignment of items along the inline (or row) axis of their container. Tailwind CSS, a utility-first CSS framework, provides a set of classes to easily justify items within a flex or grid container. In this article, we’ll explore how to use Tailwind to justify items in your web projects.

Understanding Justify Content vs. Justify Items

Before we dive into the specifics of Tailwind, it’s important to differentiate between justify-content and justify-items properties in CSS:

  • justify-content is used with Flexbox and controls the alignment of all items within the container along the main axis.
  • justify-items is used with CSS Grid and aligns items inside their grid area along the row axis.

Tailwind provides utility classes for both properties, but in this article, we’ll focus on justify-items.

Setting Up Tailwind CSS

To use Tailwind’s justify items classes, you first need to have Tailwind CSS installed in your project. If you haven’t already set up Tailwind, you can follow the official installation guide.

Using Justify Items Classes in Tailwind

Once Tailwind is set up, you can start using the utility classes to justify items within a grid container. Here are the classes provided by Tailwind for justify-items:

  • justify-items-start – aligns items to the start of the row axis.
  • justify-items-end – aligns items to the end of the row axis.
  • justify-items-center – aligns items at the center of the row axis.
  • justify-items-stretch – stretches items to fill the entire row axis (default behavior).

Example Usage

Let’s see how these classes can be applied in a practical example:

<div class="grid grid-cols-3 gap-4 justify-items-center">
  <div class="bg-blue-500 p-4">Item 1</div>
  <div class="bg-red-500 p-4">Item 2</div>
  <div class="bg-green-500 p-4">Item 3</div>

In the example above, we have a grid container with three columns, and we’re using justify-items-center to center all the items within their respective grid areas.

Responsive Justify Items

Tailwind CSS is mobile-first, which means you can also apply different justification at different breakpoints. For example, if you want to justify items to the center on mobile devices but to the end on larger screens, you can do the following:

<div class="grid grid-cols-3 gap-4 justify-items-center md:justify-items-end">
  <!-- Grid items -->

In this case, justify-items-center will apply by default, and md:justify-items-end will apply from the md breakpoint and up.

Customizing Justify Items Classes

Tailwind’s default configuration may not include all possible justify-items values. If you need a value that isn’t provided out of the box, you can extend Tailwind’s configuration file to add custom utility classes.

Here’s how you can add a custom justify-items class:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    extend: {
      justifyItems: {
        'custom-value': 'custom-value',
  plugins: [],

Replace 'custom-value' with the actual CSS value you need, and then use justify-items-custom-value in your HTML.


Justifying items with Tailwind CSS is straightforward thanks to its utility-first approach. By using the provided classes, you can quickly align items within a grid container to create the desired layout. Remember to consider responsive design and customize Tailwind’s configuration if necessary to meet your project’s requirements.

For more information on Tailwind CSS and its utilities, check out the official documentation.

By mastering the use of justify-items in Tailwind, you’ll be able to create complex layouts with ease, ensuring that your web applications are both functional and visually appealing.


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