Summary

The column-width CSS property suggests an optimal column width. This is not a absolute value, but a mere hint to the browser, which will adjust the width of the column around that suggested value, allowing 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.

  • Initial value auto
  • Applies to non-replaced block elements (except table elements), table-cell or inline-block elements
  • Inherited no
  • Media visual
  • Computed value the absolute length, zero or larger
  • Animatable yes, as a length
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

column-width: auto;

/* Different <length> values */
column-width: 6px;
column-width: 25em;
column-width: 0.3vw;

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

Values

<length>
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.
auto
Is a keyword indicating that the width of the column should be determined by other CSS properties, like column-count.

Formal syntax

<length> | auto

Examples

.content-box {
  border: 10px solid #000000;
  column-width: 300px;
}

Specifications

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.
Candidate Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (Yes)-webkit 1.5 (1.8)-moz 10 11.1 3.0 (522)-webkit
Intrinsic sizes Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported
on display: table-on, display: table-caption (Yes) 37 (37) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) 1.0 (1.8)-moz (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Intrinsic sizes Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported
on display: table-on, display: table-caption (Yes) 37.0 (37) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: Sebastianz,