The columns CSS property is a shorthand property allowing to set both the column-width and the column-count properties at the same time.

Initial valueas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Applies tonon-replaced block elements (except table elements), table-cell or inline-block elements
Computed valueas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Animatableas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Canonical orderorder of appearance in the formal grammar of the values


columns: 1em;
columns: 1;
columns: auto;
columns: 1 auto;
columns: auto 12em;
columns: auto auto;


Is a <length> value giving a hint of the optimal width of the column. The actual column width may be wider (to fill the available space), or narrower (only if the available space is smaller than the specified column width). The length must be strictly positive or the declaration is invalid.
Is a strictly positive <integer> describing the ideal number of columns into which the content of the element will be flowed. If the column-width is also set to a non-auto value, it merely indicates the maximum allowed number of columns.

Formal syntax

<'column-width'> || <'column-count'>


.content-box {
  border: 10px solid #000000;


Specification Status Comment
CSS Multi-column Layout Module
The definition of 'columns' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (Yes) -webkit 9 (9) -moz 10


15 -webkit

3.0 (522)-webkit
on display: table-caption (Yes) 37 (37) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Unprefixed 50.0        
Feature Android Android Webview Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support 2.1 -webkit ? 22.0 (22) -moz 10


32 -webkit

3.2 -webkit ?
on display: table-caption (Yes) ? 37.0 (37) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) ?
Unprefixed No support 50.0         50.0

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: jpmedley,