column-width property CSS Reference

Definition and Usage

The column-width CSS property suggests an optimal column width. This is not a absolute value but a mere hint. Browser will adjust the width of the column around that suggested value, allowing to achieve scalable designs that fit different screen size. Especially in presence of the column-count CSS property which has precedence, to set an exact column width, all length values must be specified. In horizontal text these are width, column-width, column-gap, and column-rule-width.

  • Initial auto
  • Applies to non-replaced block or table elements, table-cell or inline-block elements
  • Inherited no
  • Media visual
  • Computed Value the absolute length, zero or larger
  • Animatable yes, as a length
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


Formal syntax: <length> | auto
column-width: auto
column-width: 6px     /* Different <length> values */
column-width: 25em
column-width: 0.3vw
column-width: inherit


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 keyword indicating that the width of the column should be determined by other CSS properties, like column-count.


.content-box {
  border: 10px solid #000000;
  column-width: 300px;


Desktop browsers

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (Yes)-webkit 1.5 (1.8)-moz 10 11.1 3.0 (522)-webkit
Intrinsic sizes Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported

Mobile browsers

Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support NA (Yes) NA NA NA
Intrinsic sizes Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported

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