clip property CSS Reference

Definition and Usage

The clip CSS property defines what portion of an element is visible. The clip property applies only to elements with position:absolute.

  • Initial auto
  • Applies to absolutely positioned elements
  • Inherited no
  • Media visual
  • Computed Value auto if specified as auto, otherwise a rectangle with four values, each of which is auto if specified as auto or the computed length otherwise
  • Animatable yes, as a rectangle
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


Formal syntax: <shape> | auto
clip: rect(1px, 10em, 3rem, 2ch)
clip: auto
clip: inherit


A rectangular <shape> of the form
rect(<top>, <right>, <bottom>, <left>)   /* standard syntax */
rect(<top> <right> <bottom> <left>)      /* backwards compatible syntax */
where <top> and <bottom> specify offsets from the inside top border edge of the box, and <right>, and <left> specify offsets from the inside left border edge of the box — that is, the extent of the padding box.
<top>, <right>, <bottom>, and <left> may either have a <length> value or auto. If any side's value is auto, the element is clipped to that side's inside border edge.
The element does not clip (default value). Note that this is distinct from rect(auto, auto, auto, auto), which does clip to the inside border edges of the element.


p { border:dotted;  position:relative; }
#img2 {
  position:absolute;  left:263px;
  clip: rect(40px, 200px, 150px, 30px);
  /* standard syntax, unsupported by Internet Explorer 4-7 */
#img3 {
  position: absolute; left:526px;
  clip: rect(40px  200px  150px  30px);
  /* non-standard syntax, but supported by all major browsers including Firefox and IE */


Desktop browsers

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.0) 4.0 7.0 1.0 (85)
Older versions of Safari (up to at least 5.1.7) incorrectly interpret clip: auto as clip: rect(auto, auto, auto, auto).
Correct comma syntax supported in this version. Version 8 and below incorrectly interpret clip: auto as clip: rect(auto, auto, auto, auto).

Mobile browsers

Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support NA NA NA NA NA

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