visibility property CSS Reference

Definition and Usage

The visibility CSS property has two purposes:

  • The hidden value hides an element but leaves space where it would have been.
  • The collapse value hides rows or columns of a table. It also collapses XUL elements.
  • Initial visible
  • Applies to all elements
  • Inherited yes
  • Media visual
  • Computed Value as specified
  • Animatable yes, as a visibility
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


Formal syntax: visible | hidden | collapse
visibility: visible
visibility: hidden
visibility: collapse
visibility: inherit


Default value, the box is visible.
The box is invisible (fully transparent, nothing is drawn), but still affects layout.  Descendants of the element will be visible if they have visibility:visible (this doesn't work in IE up to version 7).
For table rows, columns, column groups, and row groups the row(s) or column(s) are hidden and the space they would have occupied is (as if display: none were applied to the column/row of the table). However, the size of other rows and columns is still calculated as though the cells in the collapsed row(s) or column(s) are present. This was designed for fast removal of a row/column from a table without having to recalculate widths and heights for every portion of the table. For XUL elements, the computed size of the element is always zero, regardless of other styles that would normally affect the size, although margins still take effect. For other elements, collapse is treated the same as hidden.


Visiblity values are interpolable between visible and not-visible. One of the start or ending value must therefore be visible or no interpolation can happen. If one of the values is visible, interpolated as a discrete step where values of the timing function between 0 and 1 map to visible and other values of the timing function (which occur only at the start/end of the transition or as a result of cubic-bezier() functions with y values outside of [0, 1]) map to the closer endpoint.


p        { visibility: hidden; }    /* paragraphs won't be visible */
p.showme { visibility: visible; }   /* except of these with class showme */
tr.col   { visibility: collapse; }  /* table rows with class col will collapse */


The support for visibility:collapse is missing or partially incorrect in some modern browsers. In many cases it may not be correctly treated like visibility:hidden on elements other than table rows and columns.

visibility:collapse may change the layout of a table if the table has nested tables within the cells that are collapsed, unless visibility:visible is specified explicitly on nested tables.


Desktop browsers

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 4.0 4.0 1.0

Mobile browsers

Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 1.0 1.0 (1.0) 6.0 6.0 1.0

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