The grid-auto-flow CSS property controls how the auto-placement algorithm works, specifying exactly how auto-placed items get flowed into the grid.

Try it


/* Keyword values */
grid-auto-flow: row;
grid-auto-flow: column;
grid-auto-flow: dense;
grid-auto-flow: row dense;
grid-auto-flow: column dense;

/* Global values */
grid-auto-flow: inherit;
grid-auto-flow: initial;
grid-auto-flow: revert;
grid-auto-flow: revert-layer;
grid-auto-flow: unset;

This property may take one of two forms:

  • a single keyword: one of row, column, or dense.
  • two keywords: row dense or column dense.



Items are placed by filling each row in turn, adding new rows as necessary. If neither row nor column is provided, row is assumed.


Items are placed by filling each column in turn, adding new columns as necessary.


"dense" packing algorithm attempts to fill in holes earlier in the grid, if smaller items come up later. This may cause items to appear out-of-order, when doing so would fill in holes left by larger items.

If it is omitted, a "sparse" algorithm is used, where the placement algorithm only ever moves "forward" in the grid when placing items, never backtracking to fill holes. This ensures that all of the auto-placed items appear "in order", even if this leaves holes that could have been filled by later items.

Formal definition

Initial valuerow
Applies togrid containers
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

grid-auto-flow = 
[ row | column ] ||


Setting grid auto-placement


<div id="grid">
  <div id="item1"></div>
  <div id="item2"></div>
  <div id="item3"></div>
  <div id="item4"></div>
  <div id="item5"></div>
<select id="direction">
  <option value="column">column</option>
  <option value="row">row</option>
<input id="dense" type="checkbox" />
<label for="dense">dense</label>


#grid {
  height: 200px;
  width: 200px;
  display: grid;
  gap: 10px;
  grid-template: repeat(4, 1fr) / repeat(2, 1fr);
  grid-auto-flow: column; /* or 'row', 'row dense', 'column dense' */

#item1 {
  background-color: lime;
  grid-row-start: 3;

#item2 {
  background-color: yellow;

#item3 {
  background-color: blue;

#item4 {
  grid-column-start: 2;
  background-color: red;

#item5 {
  background-color: aqua;



CSS Grid Layout Module Level 2
# grid-auto-flow-property

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also