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

/* 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;

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

Syntax

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

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support

57

291

16

52

402

No

44

283

10.1
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic support

57

57

291

16

52

402

No

44

10.3

1. From version 29: this feature is behind the Enable experimental Web Platform features preference. To change preferences in Chrome, visit chrome://flags.

2. 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.

3. From version 28: this feature is behind the Enable experimental Web Platform features preference.

See also

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