The CSS align-items property defines how the browser distributes space between and around flex items along the cross-axis of their container. This means it works like justify-content but in the perpendicular direction.

The difference to the align-content property is that align-items specifies the alignment of the items within the current flex container's line, whereas align-content specifies the alignment of the lines themselves.

Syntax

/* Basic keywords */ 
align-items: normal; 
align-items: stretch; 

/* Positional alignment */ 
/* align-items does not take left and right values */
align-items: center; /* Pack items around the center */ 
align-items: start; /* Pack items from the start */ 
align-items: end; /* Pack items from the end */ 
align-items: flex-start; /* Pack flex items from the start */ 
align-items: flex-end; /* Pack flex items from the end */ 
align-items: self-start; 
align-items: self-end; 

/* Baseline alignment */
align-items: baseline; 
align-items: first baseline; 
align-items: last baseline; /* Overflow alignment (for positional alignment only) */ 
align-items: safe center; 
align-items: unsafe center; 

/* Global values */ 
align-items: inherit; 
align-items: initial; 
align-items: unset;

Values

normal
The effect of this keyword is dependent of the layout mode we are in:
  • In absolutely-positioned layouts, the keyword behaves like start on replaced absolutely-positioned boxes, and as stretch on all other absolutely-positioned boxes.  
  • In static position of absolutely-positioned layouts, the keyword behaves as stretch.
  • For flex items, the keyword behaves as stretch.
  • For grid items, this keyword leads to a behavior similar to the one of stretch, except for boxes with an aspect ratio or an intrinsic sizes where it behaves like start.
  • The property doesn't apply to block-level boxes, and to table cells.
flex-start
The cross-start margin edge of the flex item is flushed with the cross-start edge of the line.
flex-end
The cross-end margin edge of the flex item is flushed with the cross-end edge of the line.
center
The flex item's margin box is centered within the line on the cross-axis. If the cross-size of the item is larger than the flex container, it will overflow equally in both directions.
start
The item is packed flush to each other toward the start edge of the alignment container in the appropriate axis.
end
The item is packed flush to each other toward the end edge of the alignment container in the appropriate axis.
center
The items are packed flush to each other toward the center of the of the alignment container.
self-start
The items is packed flush to the edge of the alignment container of the start side of the item, in the appropriate axis.
self-end
The item is packed flush to the edge of the alignment container of the end side of the item, in the appropriate axis.
baseline
first baseline
last baseline
All flex items are aligned such that their flex container baselines align. The item with the largest distance between its cross-start margin edge and its baseline is flushed with the cross-start edge of the line.
stretch
Flex items are stretched such as the cross-size of the item's margin box is the same as the line while respecting width and height constraints.
safe
If the size of the item overflows the alignment container, the item is instead aligned as if the alignment mode were start.
unsafe
Regardless of the relative sizes of the item and alignment container, the given alignment value is honored.

Formal syntax

normal | stretch | <baseline-position> | [ <overflow-position>? <self-position> ]

where
<baseline-position> = [ first | last ]? baseline
<overflow-position> = unsafe | safe
<self-position> = center | start | end | self-start | self-end | flex-start | flex-end

Example

CSS

#container {
  height:200px;
  width: 240px;
  align-items: center; /* Can be changed in the live sample */
  background-color: #8c8c8c;
}

.flex {
  display: flex;
  flex-wrap: wrap;
}

.grid {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fill, 50px);
}

div > div {
  box-sizing: border-box;
  border: 2px solid #8c8c8c;
  width: 50px;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}

#item1 {
  background-color: #8cffa0;
  min-height: 30px;
}

#item2 {
  background-color: #a0c8ff;
  min-height: 50px;
}

#item3 {
  background-color: #ffa08c;
  min-height: 40px;
}

#item4 {
  background-color: #ffff8c;
  min-height: 60px;
}

#item5 {
  background-color: #ff8cff;
  min-height: 70px;
}

#item6 {
  background-color: #8cffff;
  min-height: 50px;
  font-size: 30px;
}

select {
  font-size: 16px;
}

.row {
  margin-top: 10px;
}

HTML

<div id="container" class="flex">
  <div id="item1">1</div>
  <div id="item2">2</div>
  <div id="item3">3</div>
  <div id="item4">4</div>
  <div id="item5">5</div>
  <div id="item6">6</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
  <label for="display">display: </label>
  <select id="display">
    <option value="flex">flex</option>
    <option value="grid">grid</option>
  </select>
</div>

<div class="row">
  <label for="values">align-items: </label>
  <select id="values">
    <option value="normal">normal</option>
    <option value="flex-start">flex-start</option>
    <option value="flex-end">flex-end</option>
    <option value="center" selected>center</option>
    <option value="baseline">baseline</option>
    <option value="stretch">stretch</option>

    <option value="start">start</option>
    <option value="end">end</option>
    <option value="self-start">self-start</option>
    <option value="self-end">self-end</option>
    <option value="left">left</option>
    <option value="right">right</option>

    <option value="first baseline">first baseline</option>
    <option value="last baseline">last baseline</option>

    <option value="safe center">safe center</option>
    <option value="unsafe center">unsafe center</option>
    <option value="safe right">safe right</option>
    <option value="unsafe right">unsafe right</option>
    <option value="safe end">safe end</option>
    <option value="unsafe end">unsafe end</option>
    <option value="safe self-end">safe self-end</option>
    <option value="unsafe self-end">unsafe self-end</option>
    <option value="safe flex-end">safe flex-end</option>
    <option value="unsafe flex-end">unsafe flex-end</option>
  </select>
</div>

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Box Alignment Module Level 3
The definition of 'align-items' in that specification.
Working Draft Update to latest syntax definitions.
CSS Flexible Box Layout Module
The definition of 'align-items' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibility

 

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support211

12

12 -webkit-

202

49 -webkit-

18 —?3

48 -webkit- 4

11512.17 -webkit-
first baseline and last baseline ? ?45 ? ? ?
start and end ? ?45 ? ? ?
left and right ? ?45 ? ? ?
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support4.4 ?

Yes

Yes -webkit-

202

49 -webkit-

18 —?3

48 -webkit- 4

12.17 -webkit- ?
first baseline and last baseline ? ? ?45 ? ? ?
start and end ? ? ?45 ? ? ?
left and right ? ? ?45 ? ? ?

1. Older versions of the specification treat absolute positioned children as though they are a 0 by 0 flex item. Later specification versions take the children out of the flow and set their positions based on align and justify properties. Chrome implements the new behavior beginning with Chrome 52.

2. Multi-line flexbox has been supported since Firefox 28.

3. From version 18: this feature is behind the layout.css.flexbox.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.

4. From version 48: this feature is behind the layout.css.prefixes.webkit preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.

5. In Internet Explorer 10 and 11, if column flex items have align-items: center; set on them and their content is too large, then they will overflow the bounds of their container. See Flexbug #2.

 

See also