Mastering CSS Grid: Understanding the grid-column-start Property

In this tutorial, we will delve into one of the most powerful tools in modern web design – the CSS Grid Layout. Specifically, we’ll focus on understanding and using the grid-column-start property.

What is grid-column-start?

The grid-column-start property in CSS is used to define where an element’s column starts within a grid layout. It allows you to control how your elements are positioned horizontally within the grid.

Syntax and Usage

.item {
  grid-column-start: line;

In this syntax, ‘line’ refers to a number that indicates at which vertical line the column should start. The numbering begins from 1 for leftmost line and increases as you move towards right.

Span Number

.item {
  grid-column-start: span number;

You can also use the ‘span’ keyword followed by a number with grid-column-start. This tells the browser that your item should span across multiple columns starting from its initial position. For example, if you want an item to span across three columns, you would write:

.item {
  grid-column-start: span 3;


.item {
  grid-column-start: auto;

If you set grid-column-start to ‘auto’, it means that placement of items will be handled automatically by browser based on other properties like grid-auto-flow.

A Practical Example:

.grid-container {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: auto auto auto;

.item1 {
  grid-column-start: 1;

.item2 {
  grid-column-start: span 2;

<div class="grid-container">
  <div class="item1">This item starts at the first column.</div>
  <div class="item2">This item spans two columns.</div>

In this example, .item1 will start at the first column of the grid. .item2 will span across two columns starting from its initial position.


The CSS Grid Layout and its properties like grid-column-start offer a powerful way to control layout on your web pages. With practice, you can create complex layouts with ease. Happy coding!

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