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CSS overflow Property

The overflow property controls what happens to content that is too big to fit into an area.

The options include clipping, showing scrollbars, or displaying the content flowing out of its container.

CSS Demo: overflow

overflow: visible;
overflow: hidden;
overflow: scroll;
overflow: auto;

The overflow property is a shorthand that sets the following properties in a single declaration:

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

Technical Details

Default value visible
Applies to block-elements, flex containers, and grid containers
Inherited no
Computed value as specified
Animatable no See animatable properties.
Version CSS2
JavaScript syntax object.style.overflow = "auto" Demo

CSS Syntax:

overflow: visible|hidden|scroll|auto|initial|inherit;


The following example shows how to use overflow property:

Run code

Browser compatibility

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the overflow property:

overflow 1 1 7 1 4

Property Values

The following table describes the values of overflow property:

Value Description
visible Content is not clipped and may be rendered outside the padding box. (This is default)
hidden Content is clipped if necessary to fit the padding box. No scrollbars are provided
scroll Content is clipped if necessary to fit the padding box, but a scroll bar is added to see the rest of the content
auto If overflow is clipped, a scroll bar should be added to see the rest of the content
initial Sets this property to its default value
inherit Inherits this property from its parent element

See also

CSS Overflow tutorial

CSS overflow-x property

CSS overflow-y property