The column-width CSS property specifies the minimum column width. The number of columns will be the maximum number of columns that can fit without any column having a width less than the column-width value. The actual column width may be smaller than the value of column-width if the width of the container is smaller.

This allows you to achieve scalable designs that fit different screen sizes. Especially in presence of the column-count CSS property which has precedence, to set an exact column width, all length values must be specified. In horizontal text these are width, column-width, column-gap, and column-rule-width.


/* Keyword value */
column-width: auto;

/* Different <length> values */
column-width: 60px;
column-width: 15.5em;
column-width: 3.3vw;

/* Global values */
column-width: inherit;
column-width: initial;
column-width: unset;

The column-width property is specified as one of the values listed below.


Is a <length> value giving a hint of the optimal width of the column. The actual column width may be wider (to fill the available space), or narrower (only if the available space is smaller than the specified column width). The length must be strictly positive or the declaration is invalid.
The width of the column is determined by other CSS properties, such as column-count.

Formal syntax

<length> | auto



<p class="content-box">
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


.content-box {
  column-width: 100px;



Specification Status Comment
CSS Writing Modes Module Level 3
The definition of 'column-width' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Adds intrinsic sizes via the keywords min-content, max-content, fill-available, and fit-content.
CSS Multi-column Layout Module
The definition of 'column-width' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition.

Initial valueauto
Applies toBlock containers except table wrapper boxes
Computed valuethe absolute length, zero or larger
Animation typea length
Canonical orderper grammar

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support


Yes -webkit-


12 -webkit-


1.5 -moz-

1011.13 -webkit-
Intrinsic sizes No ? No No No No
On display: table-caption Yes Yes37 Yes Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support Yes


Yes -webkit-


Yes -webkit-


4 -moz-

Yes Yes


Yes -webkit-

Intrinsic sizes No ? ? No No No ?
On display: table-caption Yes50 Yes37 Yes Yes5.0