Computed value

The computed value of a CSS property is the value that is transferred from parent to child during inheritance. It is calculated from the specified value by:

  1. Handling the special values inherit, initial, revert, revert-layer, and unset.
  2. Doing the computation needed to reach the value described in the "Computed value" line in the property's definition table.

The computation needed to reach a property's computed value typically involves converting relative values (such as those in em units or percentages) to absolute values. For example, if an element has specified values font-size: 16px and padding-top: 2em, then the computed value of padding-top is 32px (double the font size).

However, for some properties (those where percentages are relative to something that may require layout to determine, such as width, margin-right, text-indent, and top), percentage-specified values turn into percentage-computed values. Additionally, unitless numbers specified on the line-height property become the computed value, as specified. The relative values that remain in the computed value become absolute when the used value is determined.

Note: The getComputedStyle() DOM API returns the resolved value, which may either be the computed value or the used value, depending on the property.


Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 2 (CSS 2.2) Specification
# computed-value

See also