visibility

The visibility CSS property shows or hides an element without changing the layout of a document. The property can also hide rows or columns in a <table>.

To both hide an element and remove it from the document layout, set the display property to none instead of using visibility.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
visibility: visible;
visibility: hidden;
visibility: collapse;

/* Global values */
visibility: inherit;
visibility: initial;
visibility: unset;

The visibility property is specified as one of the keyword values listed below.

Values

visible
The element box is visible.
hidden
The element box is invisible (not drawn), but still affects layout as normal. Descendants of the element will be visible if they have visibility set to visible. The element cannot receive focus (such as when navigating through tab indexes).
collapse
  • For <table> rows, columns, column groups, and row groups, the row(s) or column(s) are hidden and the space they would have occupied is removed (as if display: none were applied to the column/row of the table). However, the size of other rows and columns is still calculated as though the cells in the collapsed row(s) or column(s) are present. This value allows for the fast removal of a row or column from a table without forcing the recalculation of widths and heights for the entire table.
  • Collapsed flex items are hidden, and the space they would have occupied is removed.
  • For XUL elements, the computed size of the element is always zero, regardless of other styles that would normally affect the size, although margins still take effect.
  • For other elements, collapse is treated the same as hidden.

Accessibility concerns

Using a visibility value of hidden on an element will remove it from the accessibility tree. This will cause the element and all its descendant elements to no longer be announced by screen reading technology.

Interpolation

Visibility values are interpolated between visible and not-visible. One of the start or ending values must therefore be visible or no interpolation can happen. The value is interpolated as a discrete step, where values of the timing function between 0 and 1 map to visible and other values of the timing function (which occur only at the start/end of the transition or as a result of cubic-bezier() functions with y values outside of [0, 1]) map to the closer endpoint.

Notes

  • Support for visibility: collapse is missing or partially incorrect in some modern browsers. It may not be correctly treated like visibility: hidden on elements other than table rows and columns.
  • visibility: collapse may change the layout of a table if the table has nested tables within the cells that are collapsed, unless visibility: visible is specified explicitly on nested tables.

Formal definition

Initial valuevisible
Applies toall elements
Inheritedyes
Computed valueas specified
Animation typea visibility

Formal syntax

visible | hidden | collapse

Examples

Basic example

HTML

<p class="visible">The first paragraph is visible.</p>
<p class="not-visible">The second paragraph is NOT visible.</p>
<p class="visible">The third paragraph is visible. Notice the second paragraph is still occupying space.</p>

CSS

.visible {
  visibility: visible;
}

.not-visible {
  visibility: hidden;
}

Table example

HTML

<table>
  <tr>
    <td>1.1</td>
    <td class="collapse">1.2</td>
    <td>1.3</td>
  </tr>
  <tr class="collapse">
    <td>2.1</td>
    <td>2.2</td>
    <td>2.3</td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>3.1</td>
    <td>3.2</td>
    <td>3.3</td>
  </tr>
</table>

CSS

.collapse {
  visibility: collapse;
}

table {
  border: 1px solid red;
}

td {
  border: 1px solid gray;
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Flexible Box Layout Module
The definition of 'visibility' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Defines the collapse value as it applies to flex items.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'visibility' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also