The grid-auto-flow CSS property controls how the auto-placement algorithm works, specifying exactly how auto-placed items get flowed into the grid.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
grid-auto-flow: row;
grid-auto-flow: column;
grid-auto-flow: dense;
grid-auto-flow: row dense;
grid-auto-flow: column dense;

/* Global values */
grid-auto-flow: inherit;
grid-auto-flow: initial;
grid-auto-flow: unset;

This property may take one of two forms:

  • a single keyword: one of row, column, or dense.
  • two keywords: row dense or column dense.

Values

row
Is a keyword specifying that the auto-placement algorithm places items, by filling each row in turn, adding new rows as necessary. If neither row nor column is provided, row is assumed.
column
Is a keyword specifying that the auto-placement algorithm places items, by filling each column in turn, adding new columns as necessary.
dense
Is a keyword specifying that the auto-placement algorithm uses a “dense” packing algorithm, which attempts to fill in holes earlier in the grid, if smaller items come up later. This may cause items to appear out-of-order, when doing so would fill in holes left by larger items.

If it is omitted, a “sparse” algorithm is used, where the placement algorithm only ever moves “forward” in the grid when placing items, never backtracking to fill holes. This ensures that all of the auto-placed items appear “in order”, even if this leaves holes that could have been filled by later items.

Formal syntax

[ row | column ] || dense

Example

HTML Content

<div id="grid">
  <div id="item1"></div>
  <div id="item2"></div>
  <div id="item3"></div>
  <div id="item4"></div>
  <div id="item5"></div>
</div>
<select id="direction" onchange="changeGridAutoFlow()">
  <option value="column">column</option>
  <option value="row">row</option>
</select>
<input id="dense" type="checkbox" onchange="changeGridAutoFlow()">
<label for="dense">dense</label>

CSS Content

#grid {
  height: 200px;
  width: 200px;
  display: grid;
  grid-gap: 10px;
  grid-template: repeat(4, 1fr) / repeat(2, 1fr);
  grid-auto-flow: column;  /* or 'row', 'row dense', 'column dense' */
}

#item1 {
  background-color: lime;
  grid-row-start: 3;
}

#item2 {
  background-color: yellow;
}

#item3 {
  background-color: blue;
}

#item4 {
  grid-column-start: 2;
  background-color: red;
}

#item5 {
  background-color: aqua;
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Grid Layout
The definition of 'grid-auto-flow' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Initial valuerow
Applies togrid 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 AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 57
Full support 57
Full support 29
Disabled
Disabled From version 29: this feature is behind the Enable experimental Web Platform features preference. To change preferences in Chrome, visit chrome://flags.
Edge Full support 16Firefox Full support 52
Full support 52
Full support 40
Disabled
Disabled From version 40: this feature is behind the layout.css.grid.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
IE No support NoOpera Full support 44
Full support 44
Full support 28
Disabled
Disabled From version 28: this feature is behind the Enable experimental Web Platform features preference.
Safari Full support 10.1WebView Android Full support 57Chrome Android Full support 57
Full support 57
Full support 29
Disabled
Disabled From version 29: this feature is behind the Enable experimental Web Platform features preference. To change preferences in Chrome, visit chrome://flags.
Edge Mobile Full support 16Firefox Android Full support 52
Full support 52
Full support 40
Disabled
Disabled From version 40: this feature is behind the layout.css.grid.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
Opera Android Full support 44Safari iOS Full support 10.3Samsung Internet Android Full support 6.0

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
User must explicitly enable this feature.
User must explicitly enable this feature.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: wbamberg,