Understanding CSS Overflow Property: auto, hidden, scroll, visible

The CSS overflow property is a crucial tool in your web design arsenal. It specifies what should happen if content overflows an element’s box. This could be due to the content being too big or the box being too small.


The ‘auto’ value is quite handy when dealing with overflowing content. When you set overflow:auto;, the browser will automatically manage the overflow for you. If the content fits within its container, nothing happens. But if it doesn’t fit, scrollbars will appear to allow users to scroll and view all of the content.

div {
  overflow: auto;


If you want to hide any extra content that spills out of its container, use overflow:hidden;. The excess content will simply be clipped off and won’t be accessible or visible to users.

div {
  overflow: hidden;


The ‘scroll’ value forces scrollbars on the element regardless of whether they’re needed or not. Even if all your content fits perfectly inside its container, setting overflow:scroll; will still show inactive scrollbars.

div {
  overflow: scroll;


This is actually the default value for most elements. When set to ‘visible’, no clipping occurs and any overflowing content will render outside of its containing box.

div {
  overflow: visible;

In Conclusion:

The CSS overflow property is a powerful tool for managing how content behaves when it exceeds its container’s boundaries. Whether you want to hide the excess, provide scrollbars, or let it spill out, there’s an overflow value that can meet your needs.

Remember to always test your designs on different screen sizes and devices to ensure the best user experience!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *