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    overflow

    Summary

    The overflow property specifies whether to clip content, render scrollbars or just display content when it overflows its block level container.

    Using the overflow property with a value different to visible (its default) will create a new block formatting context. This is technically necessary — if a float intersected with the scrolling element it would forcibly rewrap the content. The rewrap would happen after each scroll step, leading to a slow scrolling experience.

    Note: When programmatically setting scrollTop on the relevant HTML element, even when overflow has the hidden value an element may still need to scroll.

    • Initial value visible
    • Applies to non-replaced block-level elements and non-replaced inline-block elements
    • Inherited no
    • Media visual
    • Computed value as specified
    • Animatable no
    • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

    Syntax

    /* Content is not clipped */
    overflow: visible;
    
    /* Content is clipped, with no scrollbars */
    overflow: hidden;
    
    /* Content is clipped, with scrollbars */
    overflow: scroll;
    
    /* Let the browser decide */
    overflow: auto;
    
    overflow: inherit;
    

    Values

    visible
    Default value. Content is not clipped, it may be rendered outside the content box.
    hidden
    The content is clipped and no scrollbars are provided.
    scroll
    The content is clipped and desktop browsers use scrollbars, whether or not any content is clipped. This avoids any problem with scrollbars appearing and disappearing in a dynamic environment. Printers may print overflowing content.
    auto
    Depends on the user agent. Desktop browsers like Firefox provide scrollbars if content overflows.

    Mozilla Extensions

    -moz-scrollbars-none
    Use overflow:hidden instead.
    -moz-scrollbars-horizontal
    Use of overflow-x and overflow-y is preferred.
    -moz-scrollbars-vertical
    Use of overflow-x and overflow-y is preferred.
    -moz-hidden-unscrollable
    Is intended mainly for internal use and by themes. Disables scrolling of XML root elements and <html>, <body> by arrow keys and mouse wheel.

    Formal syntax

    visible | hidden | scroll | auto

    Examples

    p {  
         width: 12em;
         height: 6em;
         border: dotted;
         overflow: visible; /* content is not clipped */ 
    }
    

    visible (default)
    Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

    p { overflow: hidden; /* no scrollbars are provided */ }
    

    overflow: hidden
    Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

    p { overflow: scroll; /* always show scrollbars */ }
    

    overflow: scroll
    Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

    p { overflow: auto; /* append scrollbars if necessary */ }
    

    overflow: auto
    Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

    Specifications

    Specification Status Comment
    CSS Basic Box Model
    The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
    Working Draft No change.
    CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
    The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
    Recommendation  

    Browser compatibility

    Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
    Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 4.0 7.0 1.0 (85)
    Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
    Basic support ? 1.0 (1) ? ? ?

    Firefox (Gecko) Notes

    Through Firefox 3.6 (Gecko 1.9.2), the overflow property is incorrectly applied to table-group elements (<thead> , <tbody> , <tfoot>). This behavior is corrected in later versions.

    Internet Explorer Notes

    Internet Explorer 4 to 6 enlarges an element with overflow:visible (default value) to fit the content inside it. height/width behaves like min-height/min-width.

    See also

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