The flex-direction CSS property specifies 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.

Formal syntax

row | row-reverse | column | column-reverse

Example

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

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.

Specifications

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

Initial valuerow
Applies toflex containers
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 29
Full support 29
Full support 21
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Edge Full support 12
Full support 12
Full support 12
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Firefox Full support 20
Notes
Full support 20
Notes
Notes Since Firefox 28, multi-line flexbox is supported.
No support 18 — 20
Disabled
Disabled From version 18 until version 20 (exclusive): this feature is behind the layout.css.flexbox.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
Full support 49
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Full support 44
Prefixed Disabled
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Disabled From version 44: this feature is behind the layout.css.prefixes.webkit preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
IE Full support 11
Full support 11
Full support 10
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -ms-
Opera Full support 12.1
Full support 12.1
Full support 15
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Safari Full support 9
Full support 9
Full support 7
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
WebView Android Full support 4.4
Full support 4.4
Full support Yes
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Chrome Android Full support 29
Full support 29
Full support 25
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Edge Mobile Full support Yes
Full support Yes
Full support Yes
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Firefox Android ? Opera Android Full support 12.1
Full support 12.1
Full support 15
Prefixed
Prefixed Requires the vendor prefix: -webkit-
Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.
User must explicitly enable this feature.
User must explicitly enable this feature.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.

See also