How To Place Self with Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework that provides developers with a set of predefined classes to build responsive, mobile-first designs quickly. One of the many utilities it offers is the ability to control the placement of an element along both the vertical and horizontal axes using the Flexbox or Grid layout. In this article, we’ll explore how to use the place-self utility in Tailwind CSS to align items individually within their container.

Understanding place-self

The place-self CSS property is a shorthand for the align-self and justify-self properties. It allows you to align an item on both the block (vertical) and inline (horizontal) axes at once. This property is useful when you’re working with Flexbox or Grid layouts and you want to position a specific child element differently from others in the same container.


Before you can use the place-self utility in Tailwind CSS, make sure you have the following:

  • Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Tailwind CSS installed in your project (refer to the official installation guide)
  • A project set up with a Flexbox or Grid container

Using place-self with Tailwind CSS

To use the place-self utility with Tailwind CSS, you need to apply the corresponding classes to the element you want to align. Tailwind provides a set of place-self classes that map to various combinations of the align-self and justify-self values.


The general syntax for the place-self utility in Tailwind CSS is as follows:

<div class="place-self-{value}">
  <!-- Your content here -->

Replace {value} with the desired combination of vertical and horizontal alignment. The possible values are auto, start, end, center, stretch.


Here are some examples of how to use the place-self utility in Tailwind CSS:

Center an Item

To center an item both vertically and horizontally within its container:

<div class="flex h-64 w-full items-center justify-center bg-gray-200">
  <div class="place-self-center p-4 bg-blue-500 text-white">
    Centered Item

Align to Start

To align an item to the start of both axes:

<div class="grid h-64 w-full bg-gray-200">
  <div class="place-self-start p-4 bg-blue-500 text-white">
    Start Aligned Item

Align to End

To align an item to the end of both axes:

<div class="grid h-64 w-full bg-gray-200">
  <div class="place-self-end p-4 bg-blue-500 text-white">
    End Aligned Item

Stretch an Item

To stretch an item to fill the container:

<div class="grid h-64 w-full bg-gray-200">
  <div class="place-self-stretch p-4 bg-blue-500 text-white">
    Stretched Item

Customizing place-self

Tailwind CSS allows you to customize your configuration file to add additional place-self classes if needed. To do this, you can edit the tailwind.config.js file and extend the theme:

module.exports = {
  theme: {
    extend: {
      placeSelf: {
        'custom-value': 'your-custom-value',


The place-self utility in Tailwind CSS is a powerful tool for aligning items within their container. By understanding how to use this utility, you can have precise control over the placement of individual elements in Flexbox and Grid layouts. Remember to consult the Tailwind CSS documentation for more details and advanced usage.

Experiment with different place-self values to see how they affect the alignment of elements in your design. With practice, you’ll be able to create complex layouts with ease using Tailwind CSS.


What do you think?