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: -webkit-flex;
  -webkit-flex-direction: column-reverse;
  display: flex;
  flex-direction: column-reverse;
}

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

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

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support

29

21 -webkit-

12

12 -webkit-

201

18 — 202

49 -webkit-

44 -webkit- 3

11

10 -ms-

12.1

15 -webkit-

9

7 -webkit-

FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support

29

21 -webkit-

29

25 -webkit-

Yes

Yes -webkit-

?

12.1

15 -webkit-

? ?

1. Since Firefox 28, multi-line flexbox is supported.

2. 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.

3. 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.

See also