CSS overflow


CSS Overflow

The overflow property specifies whether to clip content or to add scrollbars when the content of an element is too big to fit in a specified area.

The overflow property has the following values:

  • visible - Default. The overflow is not clipped. It renders outside the element's box
  • hidden - The overflow is clipped, and the rest of the content will be invisible
  • scroll - The overflow is clipped, but a scrollbar is added to see the rest of the content
  • auto - If overflow is clipped, a scrollbar should be added to see the rest of the content

Note: The overflow property only works for block elements with a specified height.


overflow: visible

By default, the overflow is visible, meaning that it is not clipped and it renders outside the element's box:


                          .example-overflow-1 {
                            width: 200px;
                            height: 50px;
                            background-color: #eee;
                            overflow: visible;
                          }
                      

                          <div class="example-overflow-1">You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the
                              layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.</div>
                      

Live preview

You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.

overflow: hidden

With the hidden value, the overflow is clipped, and the rest of the content is hidden:


                              .example-overflow-2 {
                                width: 200px;
                                height: 50px;
                                background-color: #eee;
                                overflow: hidden;
                              }
                          

                              <div class="example-overflow-2">You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the
                                  layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.</div>
                          

Live preview

You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.

overflow: scroll

Setting the value to scroll, the overflow is clipped and a scrollbar is added to scroll inside the box. Note that this will add a scrollbar both horizontally and vertically (even if you do not need it):


                                      .example-overflow-3 {
                                        width: 200px;
                                        height: 50px;
                                        background-color: #eee;
                                        overflow: scroll;
                                      }
                                  

                                      <div class="example-overflow-3">You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the
                                          layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.</div>
                                  

Live preview

You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.

overflow-x and overflow-y

The overflow-x and overflow-y properties specifies whether to change the overflow of content just horizontally or vertically (or both):

overflow-x specifies what to do with the left/right edges of the content.
overflow-y specifies what to do with the top/bottom edges of the content.


                      .example-overflow-4 {
                        width: 200px;
                        height: 100px;
                        background-color: #eee;
                        overflow-y: scroll;
                      }
                                      

                                          <div class="example-overflow-4">You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the
                                              layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.</div>
                                      

Live preview

You can use the overflow property when you want to have better control of the layout. The overflow property specifies what happens if content overflows an element's box.

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Michal Szymanski
Co-Founder at MDBootstrap & BrandFlow. Entrepreneur, web developer, UI/UX designer, marketing analyst. Dancer and nerd in one.