backface-visibility

The backface-visibility CSS property sets whether the back face of an element is visible when turned towards the user.

An element's back face is a mirror image of its front face. Though invisible in 2D, the back face can become visible when a transformation causes the element to be rotated in 3D space. (This property has no effect on 2D transforms, which have no perspective.)

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
backface-visibility: visible;
backface-visibility: hidden;

/* Global values */
backface-visibility: inherit;
backface-visibility: initial;
backface-visibility: revert;
backface-visibility: unset;

The backface-visibility property is specified as one of the keywords listed below.

Values

visible
The back face is visible when turned towards the user.
hidden
The back face is hidden, effectively making the element invisible when turned away from the user.

Formal definition

Initial valuevisible
Applies totransformable elements
Inheritedno
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

visible | hidden

Examples

Cube with transparent and opaque faces

This example shows a cube with transparent faces, and one with opaque faces.

HTML

<table>
  <tr>
    <th><code>backface-visibility: visible;</code></th>
    <th><code>backface-visibility: hidden;</code></th>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>
      <div class="container">
        <div class="cube showbf">
          <div class="face front">1</div>
          <div class="face back">2</div>
          <div class="face right">3</div>
          <div class="face left">4</div>
          <div class="face top">5</div>
          <div class="face bottom">6</div>
        </div>
      </div>
      <p>
        Since all faces are partially transparent,
        the back faces (2, 4, 5) are visible
        through the front faces (1, 3, 6).
      </p>
    </td>
    <td>
      <div class="container">
        <div class="cube hidebf">
          <div class="face front">1</div>
          <div class="face back">2</div>
          <div class="face right">3</div>
          <div class="face left">4</div>
          <div class="face top">5</div>
          <div class="face bottom">6</div>
        </div>
      </div>
      <p>
        The three back faces (2, 4, 5) are
        hidden.
      </p>
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

CSS

/* Classes that will show or hide the
   three back faces of the "cube" */
.showbf div {
  backface-visibility: visible;
}

.hidebf div {
  backface-visibility: hidden;
}

/* Define the container div, the cube div, and a generic face */
.container {
  width: 150px;
  height: 150px;
  margin: 75px 0 0 75px;
  border: none;
}

.cube {
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
  perspective: 550px;
  perspective-origin: 150% 150%;
  transform-style: preserve-3d;
}

.face {
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  width: 100px;
  height: 100px;
  border: none;
  line-height: 100px;
  font-family: sans-serif;
  font-size: 60px;
  color: white;
  text-align: center;
}

/* Define each face based on direction */
.front {
  background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);
  transform: translateZ(50px);
}

.back {
  background: rgba(0, 255, 0, 1);
  color: black;
  transform: rotateY(180deg) translateZ(50px);
}

.right {
  background: rgba(196, 0, 0, 0.7);
  transform: rotateY(90deg) translateZ(50px);
}

.left {
  background: rgba(0, 0, 196, 0.7);
  transform: rotateY(-90deg) translateZ(50px);
}

.top {
  background: rgba(196, 196, 0, 0.7);
  transform: rotateX(90deg) translateZ(50px);
}

.bottom {
  background: rgba(196, 0, 196, 0.7);
  transform: rotateX(-90deg) translateZ(50px);
}

/* Make the table a little nicer */
th, p, td {
  background-color: #EEEEEE;
  margin: 0px;
  padding: 6px;
  font-family: sans-serif;
  text-align: left;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification
CSS Transforms Module Level 2 (CSS Transforms 2)
# backface-visibility-property

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also