CSS - Grid


grid 1)is a CSS layout system that provides a mechanism:

With grid, you can easily defines layout that requires horizontal and vertical alignment such as the below form2)


  • Two axis location (Flex has only one)
  • Space distribution is two dimensional (Flex focuses on space distribution within an axis)




A grid container 4) is the container element that has the display value set to:

  • grid 5)
  • or inline-grid 6)
#grid  {
  display: grid;

It contains the grid.


The grid is defined 7) with the following three properties:

  • grid-template-rows,
  • grid-template-columns,
  • and grid-template-areas

They define the grid of a grid container by specifying its explicit grid tracks.

The grid property 8) is a shorthand that sets all of three explicit grid properties

Example: the following grid declares a grid with :

  • four named areas: H, A, B, and F.
  • the first column sized to fit its contents (auto),
  • the second column taking up the remaining space (1fr).
  • rows default to auto (content-based) sizing;
  • the last row given a fixed size of 30px.
main {
  grid: "H    H "
        "A    B "
        "F    F " 30px
  /     auto 1fr;


A grid area 9) is a logical space name:

The grid area are defined using:

  • the grid-template-areas 10) property
  • or the grid shorthand


  • The below statement defined:
    • two areas: area1 and area2
    • and their space in the grid (ie mapping to grid cells)
#grid  {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-areas: ". area1"
                       "area2 area1"
                       ". area1";
  • The following declares a grid with:
    • three rows and 5 evenly-sized columns
    • the middle row taking up all remaining space (and at least enough to fit its contents).
main {
  grid: auto 1fr auto / repeat(5, 1fr);
  min-height: 100vh;


You can specify the position where the element should go, using :

Longhand properties shorthand equivalent full shorthand equivalent
grid-row-end 11)
grid-row 12) grid-area 13)
grid-column-end 14)
grid-column 15) grid-area 16)
  • The number unit is the line number. ie 2 means the line 2
  • The value auto will place the item into the next available empty grid cell (growing the grid if there’s no space left) driven by the auto-placement algorithm.
  • It's possible to position absolutely an item inside its area in the grid 17)


Placement grid-area grid-row, grid-column grid-row-start/end, grid-column-start/end
Place into named grid area a
grid-area: a;
grid-row: a; 
grid-column: a;
grid-row-start: a; 
grid-row-end: a; 
grid-column-start: a; 
grid-column-end: a;
Auto-place into next empty area
grid-area: auto;
grid-row: auto;  
grid-column: auto;
Place into row 2, column 4
grid-area: 2 / 4;
grid-row: 2; 
/* Place item in the second row. */
grid-column: 4; 
/* Place item in the fourth column. */
Place into column 3, span all rows
grid-area: 1 / 3 / -1;
grid-row: 1 / -1; 
grid-column: 3;
/* 1st grid row line = top of grid container */
grid-row-start: 1; 
/* span all rows */
grid-row-end: -1;
/* 3rd grid col line */
grid-column-start: 3;
/* right padding edge */ 
grid-column-end: auto; 
Place using named lines
grid-area: header-start / 
sidebar-start / 
footer-end / 
grid-row: header-start / footer-end; 
grid-column: sidebar-start / sidebar-end;

In css, you would apply them in rule block. Example in a 2 columns x 3 rows.

#stats    { grid-column: 1; grid-row: 2; align-self: start; }
#controls { grid-column: 2; grid-row: 3; justify-self: center; }


Sizing a grid means sizing the tracks. See the tracks definition section to know how to size a grid.


The grid item 19) are:

As of Grid level 1, only the direct children of the container become grid items and can then be placed on the grid


A grid cell 20) is the intersection of:

  • a grid row
  • and a grid column.

It is the smallest unit of the grid that can be referenced when positioning grid items.


Grid track 21) is a generic term for:

  • a grid column
  • or grid row

It's the space between any two adjacent lines on the grid.

The below properties define grid tracks:

  • the grid-template-columns
  • and grid-template-rows properties. .

They controls how wide or tall the column or row may grow.

The sizing calculation is done by the grid sizing algorithm

Example of a Grid with two columns and three rows. 22)

#grid {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: 150px 1fr;  /* two columns */
  grid-template-rows: 50px 1fr auto; /* three rows  */


  • Columns:
    • The first column is fixed at 150px.
    • The second column uses flexible sizing (It will take the remaining available width space of the grid container). Example:
      • If the grid container is 200px wide, the second column is 50px wide.
      • If the grid container is 100px wide, the second column is 0px (any content in the column will overflow)
  • Rows:
    • The first row is fixed at 50px.
    • The second column is flexible
    • The third column sized to content
  • The only rows and columns that will grow or shrink are not set with a fix length or auto value.
  • This same properties can be used to give a name to a line
  • The grid layout is a content-based minimum sizing (ie the min-width and min-height are set to auto) and therefore it may lead to an overflow. See this dedicated page for a detailed explanation: How to solve a CSS grid overflow ?.


grid lines can be referred to by:

  • their numerical index,
  • their name (Multiple lines with the same name establish a named set of grid lines)

The following code 23) names the lines in the grid with the sizing properties. (Some of the lines have multiple names)

#grid {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: [first nav-start] 150px [main-start] 1fr [last];
  grid-template-rows: [first header-start] 50px [main-start] 1fr [footer-start] 50px [last];

Alignement / Space Distribution

The sized grid is aligned 24) 25) according to the grid container’s:

  • align-content
  • and justify-content properties.


  • Example 1:
    • the grid is centered vertically, and aligned to the right edge of its grid container
.grid {
  display: grid;
  grid: 12rem 12rem 12rem 12rem / 10rem 10rem 10rem 10rem;
  justify-content: end;
  align-content: center;

gridgrid container

  • Example 2:
    • justifies all columns by distributing any extra space among them,
    • centers the grid in the grid container when it is smaller than 100vh.
main {
  grid: auto-flow 1fr / repeat(auto-fill, 5em);
  min-height: 100vh;
  justify-content: space-between;
  align-content: safe center;


By default, a grid item has a span of 1. 26)

Different spans can be given explicitly:

  • Starts in the 2nd row, spans 5 rows down (ending in the 7th row).
.three {
  grid-row: 2 / span 5;
  • Ends in the 7th row, spans 5 rows up (starting in the 2nd row).
.four {
  grid-row: span 5 / 7;
  • Span from line “first” to line “middle”.
.five {
  grid-column: first / middle;
  • Span between the 5th and 7th lines named “text”. (Multiple lines with the same name establish a named set of grid lines)
.six {
  grid-row: text 5 / text 7;

Media Query

This example 27) shows how it's possible to change the layout with different media query.

@media (orientation: portrait) {
  #grid {
    display: grid;
    grid-template-areas: "title stats"
                         "score stats"
                         "board board"
                         "ctrls ctrls";

@media (orientation: landscape) {
#grid {
    display: grid;
    /* Different positions in the layout */
    grid-template-areas: "title board"
                         "stats board"
                         "score ctrls";


floating is ignored



Devtool visualization

The browser devtool have option to visualize the grid.

For instance, on chrome:

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