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Why would anyone allow structural errors in the HTML code. Personally I'm going to start switching to XHTML, http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/, so structure gets even more important.
In your case I think you could just add a closing center tag (which by the way is not part of HTML4) to fix the issue. Another idea is to add the default layout to the element that you don't want to center.
From: Chen Bechor
Sent: June 8, 1999
Subject: Re:Docking Bar Bug in IE 5
The main idea behind floating elements is using a div for the entire body.inneHTML (contentDiv) and another div for the floating / docking element (toolbar) .
If the contentDiv html code contains a <CENTER> tag with no ending (</CENTER>) , after applying the floating capabilities - the contentDiv is shifted to the right!!!
Because I have no access to the source of the original HTML page - I can't fix the misuse of the "center" tag.
The bug I am describing is only relevant to IE 5 browsers-