Display:inline not working

I'm fairly new to html and css.

I learned the basics and a few advanced techniques but, i have been having a problem with lists for a long time and would like to know how i could possibly fix my problem.

Here's the idea.

I'm making an online shop but i want to avoid positioning every single images,texts,links using a different id.

I had this idea, I would put my li inside a div so that way, everything inside my list would be stuck inside this box, make a class positioning my text,links,images properly, use display:inline and et voila, i can create an entire page of products using only a class.

The problem is display:inline isn't working.

I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out on this one.

This is a bad example but, you understand the principle.

<!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">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>
<style type="text/css">
    #nav_bar {margin:0px;padding:0px;list-style-type:none;text-align:center;}
    .nav_button {background-color:purple;width:100px;height:50px;}
    .nav_button:hover {background-color:pink;}
    .nav_button li {display:inline;} /* Not working ?!? */
    .nav_button a {position:relative;color:white;text-decoration:none;top:13px;}

    <table style="width:600px;margin:0 auto;">
                <ul id="nav_bar">
                    <div class="nav_button"> <li> <a href="#">Home</a> </li> </div>
                    <div class="nav_button"> <li> <a href="#">Contact us</a> </li> </div>
                    <div class="nav_button"> <li> <a href="#">Shipping</a> </li> </div>
                    <div class="nav_button"> <li> <a href="#">About us</a> </li> </div>


display:inline is very limited and doesn't allow any block-level styling to added to it. You're better off using display:inline-block or using float:left. Keep in mind that if you use floats then you need to set the overflow of the parent element to overflow:auto (use visible for IE < 8) and this should work. Use inline-block first.

The reason it's not working is because you are using it insidea a div and that div element has only li element , the inline property would work if you have more than one li elements under a div.

Try this

<ul id="nav_bar">
    <li class="nav_button"> <a href="#">Home</a> </li>
    <li class="nav_button"> <a href="#">Contact us</a> </li>
    <li class="nav_button"> <a href="#">Shipping</a> </li>
    <li class="nav_button" > <a href="#">About us</a> </li>

and for css

#nav_bar .nav_button {display:inline-block;}

or alternatively you can also use :

#nav_bar .nav_button {float:left;width:40px;}/*you will need to specify the width*/

if you use the float method make sure you are using a element specified with clear:both; in the end.

note that : if the parent element width is too short to display horizantally then

ul {
width: 20px;
display: inline;

will not work.

also under li element if you have display:block; statement such as

display: inline;
li a{
display: block;

not work.

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