The abs() CSS function contains one calculation, and returns the absolute value of the argument, as the same type as the input.

The abs(A) statement will return A if A’s numeric value is positive or 0⁺. Otherwise it will return the value of -1 * A.


/* property: abs(expression) */
width: abs(20% - 100px);

The abs() function takes only one expression as its argument.

Formal syntax



Positive variables

The abs() function can be used to ensure that a value is always positive. In the following example a CSS custom property --font-size is used as the value of font-size. Wrapping this custom property in abs() will convert a negative value to a positive one.

h1 {
  font-size: abs( var( --font-size ) );

Control gradient angle of direction

You can also control the gradient direction using abs() function. In the following example, with an angle of -45deg the gradient would start red and transition to blue. By using abs() to make the value positive, the gradient will start blue and transition to red.

div {
  --deg: -45deg;
  background-image: linear-gradient( abs( var( --deg ) ), blue, red);


Specification Status Comment
CSS Values and Units Module Level 4
The definition of 'abs()' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Initial definition

Browser compatibility

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See also