flex-direction

The flex-direction CSS property sets how flex items are placed in the flex container defining the main axis and the direction (normal or reversed).

Note that the values row and row-reverse are affected by the directionality of the flex container. If its dir attribute is ltr, row represents the horizontal axis oriented from the left to the right, and row-reverse from the right to the left; if the dir attribute is rtl, row represents the axis oriented from the right to the left, and row-reverse from the left to the right.

Syntax

/* The direction text is laid out in a line */
flex-direction: row;

/* Like <row>, but reversed */
flex-direction: row-reverse;

/* The direction in which lines of text are stacked */
flex-direction: column;

/* Like <column>, but reversed */
flex-direction: column-reverse;

/* Global values */
flex-direction: inherit;
flex-direction: initial;
flex-direction: unset;

Values

The following values are accepted:

row
The flex container's main-axis is defined to be the same as the text direction. The main-start and main-end points are the same as the content direction.
row-reverse
Behaves the same as row but the main-start and main-end points are permuted.
column
The flex container's main-axis is the same as the block-axis. The main-start and main-end points are the same as the before and after points of the writing-mode.
column-reverse
Behaves the same as column but the main-start and main-end are permuted.

Accessibility concerns

Using the flex-direction property with values of row-reverse or column-reverse will create a disconnect between the visual presentation of content and DOM order. This will adversely affect users experiencing low vision navigating with the aid of assistive technology such as a screen reader. If the visual (CSS) order is important, then screen reader users will not have access to the correct reading order.

Formal definition

Initial valuerow
Applies toflex containers
Inheritedno
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

row | row-reverse | column | column-reverse

Examples

Reversing flex container columns and rows

HTML

<h4>This is a Column-Reverse</h4>
<div id="content">
  <div class="box" style="background-color:red;">A</div>
  <div class="box" style="background-color:lightblue;">B</div>
  <div class="box" style="background-color:yellow;">C</div>
</div>
<h4>This is a Row-Reverse</h4>
<div id="content1">
  <div class="box1" style="background-color:red;">A</div>
  <div class="box1" style="background-color:lightblue;">B</div>
  <div class="box1" style="background-color:yellow;">C</div>
</div>

CSS

#content {
  width: 200px;
  height: 200px;
  border: 1px solid #c3c3c3;
  display: flex;
  flex-direction: column-reverse;
}

.box {
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
}

#content1 {
  width: 200px;
  height: 200px;
  border: 1px solid #c3c3c3;
  display: flex;
  flex-direction: row-reverse;
}

.box1 {
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Flexible Box Layout Module
The definition of 'flex-direction' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also