Subsequent Gen CSS: @container

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Chrome is experimenting with @container, a property inside the CSS Working Group Containment Stage 3 spec being championed by Miriam Suzanne of Oddbird, and a bunch of engineers throughout the online platform. @container brings us the power to fashion parts primarily based on the dimensions of their guardian container.

The @container API isn’t steady, and is topic to syntax modifications. If you happen to strive it out by yourself, it’s possible you’ll encounter a number of bugs. Please report these bugs to the suitable browser engine!

Bugs: Chrome | Firefox | Safari

You may consider these like a media question (@media), however as an alternative of counting on the viewport to regulate types, the guardian container of the factor you’re concentrating on can modify these types.

Container queries would be the single greatest change in internet styling since CSS3, altering our perspective of what “responsive design” means.

Now not will the viewport and person agent be the one targets we’ve got to create responsive format and UI types. With container queries, parts will have the ability to goal their very own dad and mom and apply their very own types accordingly. Which means that the identical factor that lives within the sidebar, physique, or hero might look utterly totally different primarily based on its obtainable measurement and dynamics.

@container in motion

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On this instance, I’m utilizing two playing cards inside a guardian with the next markup:

<div class=”card-container”>
<div class=”card”>
<determine> … </determine>
<div class=”meta”>
<span class=”time”>…</span>
<div class=”notes”>
<p class=”desc”>…</p>
<div class=”hyperlinks”>…</div>

Then, I’m setting containment (the include property) on the guardian on which I’ll be querying the container types (.card-container). I’m additionally setting a relative grid format on the guardian of .card-container, so its inline-size will change primarily based on that grid. That is what I’m querying for with @container:

.card-container {
include: format inline-size;
width: 100%;

Now, I can question for container types to regulate types! That is similar to how you’ll set types utilizing width-based media queries, utilizing max-width to set types when a component is smaller than a sure measurement, and min-width when it’s bigger.

/* when the guardian container is smaller than 850px,
take away the .hyperlinks div and reduce the font measurement on
the episode time marker */

@container (max-width: 850px) {
.hyperlinks {
show: none;

.time {
font-size: 1.25rem;

/* … */

/* when the guardian container is smaller than 650px,
lower the .card factor’s grid hole to 1rem */

@container (max-width: 650px) {
.card {
hole: 1rem;

/* … */

Container Queries + Media Queries

Among the best options of container queries is the power to separate micro layouts from macro layouts. You may fashion particular person parts with container queries, creating nuanced micro layouts, and magnificence whole web page layouts with media queries, the macro format. This creates a brand new stage of management that permits much more responsive interfaces.

Right here’s one other instance that exhibits the facility of utilizing media queries for macro format (i.e. the calendar going from single-panel to multi-panel), and micro format (i.e. the date format/measurement and occasion margins/measurement shifting), to create a gorgeous orchestra of queries.

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Container Queries + CSS Grid

Certainly one of my private favourite methods to see the affect of container queries is to see how they work inside a grid. Take the next instance of a plant commerce UI:

No media queries are used on this web site in any respect. As a substitute, we’re solely utilizing container queries together with CSS grid to show the buying card element in several views.

Within the product grid, the format is created with grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fit, minmax(230px, 1fr));. This creates a format that tells the playing cards to take up the obtainable fractional area till they hit 230px in measurement, after which to circulation to the following row. Try extra grid tips at

Then, we’ve got a container question that types the playing cards to tackle a vertical block format when they’re lower than 350px huge, and shifts to a horizontal inline format by making use of show: flex (which has an inline circulation by default).

@container (min-width: 350px) {
.product-container {
padding: 0.5rem 0 0;
show: flex;

/* … */

Which means that every card owns its personal responsive styling. This yet one more instance of the place you may create a macro format with the product grid, and a micro format with the product playing cards. Fairly cool!


So as to use @container, you first have to create a guardian factor that has containment. So as to take action, you’ll have to set include: format inline-size on the guardian. You should utilize inline-size since we at present can solely apply container queries to the inline axis. This prevents your format from breaking within the block route.

Setting include: format inline-size creates a brand new containing block and new block formatting context, letting the browser separate it from the remainder of the format. Now, we will question!


Presently, you may solely use the inline axis to set container question types. So as to make grid youngsters work with @container, you’ll want so as to add a wrapper factor. Whereas it’s not preferrred in the intervening time, you may nonetheless get the consequences you need.

Attempt it out

You may experiment with the @container property in Chromium right now, by navigating to: chrome://flags in Chrome Canary and turning on the #experimental-container-queries flag.

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