CSS animation-play-state

The CSS animation-play-state property allows you to specify whether an animation is running or paused.

An animation that is running can be paused by setting the animation-play-state property to paused. To continue running the animation, the property can be set to running.

This property can be used by scripts - such as JavaScript - to run/pause an animation or to find out what state the animation is currently in (i.e. running or paused).

A paused animation will continue to display the current value of the animation in a static state, as if the time of the animation is constant. When a paused animation is resumed, it restarts from the current value, not necessarily from the beginning of the animation.

Syntax

CSS Syntax:

animation-play-state: [ running | paused ] [, [ running | paused ] ]*

JavaScript Syntax:

object.style.animationPlayState=<state>

Possible Values

running
Plays the animation.
paused
Pauses the animation.

In addition, all CSS properties also accept the following CSS-wide keyword values as the sole component of their property value:

initial
Represents the value specified as the property's initial value.
inherit
Represents the computed value of the property on the element's parent.
unset
This value acts as either inherit or initial, depending on whether the property is inherited or not. In other words, it sets all properties to their parent value if they are inheritable or to their initial value if not inheritable.

Basic Property Information

Initial Value
running
Applies To
All elements, and the :before and :after pseudo elements
Inherited?
No
Media
Visual

Example Code

Basic CSS

animation-play-state: paused;

JavaScript

Here's an example of a script that can be used to change the animation play state:

document.getElementById("springy").style.animationPlayState="Paused";

Working Example within an HTML Document

<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Example</title>
<style>
.springy-text {
  color: darkslateblue;
  animation-name: springy-text;
  animation-duration: 1s;
  animation-timing-function: ease-in;
  animation-delay: 0s;
  animation-iteration-count: infinite;
  animation-direction: alternate-reverse;
  animation-play-state: running;
  animation-fill-mode: backwards;
}
@keyframes springy-text {
  0%   {
    letter-spacing: 1.2em;
    color: thistle;
  }
  100%   {
    letter-spacing: 0.1em;
    color: darkslateblue;
  }
}
</style>

<!-- Script to pause/start the animation -->
<script>
  function togglePlayState(newState) {
    document.getElementById("springy").style.animationPlayState=newState;
  }
</script>

<h3 class="springy-text" id="springy">Animations!</h3>
<button onclick="togglePlayState('Paused');">Pause Animation</button>
<button onclick="togglePlayState('Running');">Continue Animation</button>

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CSS Specifications

Browser Support

The following table provided by Caniuse.com shows the level of browser support for this feature.

Vendor Prefixes

For maximum browser compatibility many web developers add browser-specific properties by using extensions such as -webkit- for Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera (newer versions), -ms- for Internet Explorer, -moz- for Firefox, -o- for older versions of Opera etc. As with any CSS property, if a browser doesn't support a proprietary extension, it will simply ignore it.

This practice is not recommended by the W3C, however in many cases, the only way you can test a property is to include the CSS extension that is compatible with your browser.

The major browser manufacturers generally strive to adhere to the W3C specifications, and when they support a non-prefixed property, they typically remove the prefixed version. Also, W3C advises vendors to remove their prefixes for properties that reach Candidate Recommendation status.

Many developers use Autoprefixer, which is a postprocessor for CSS. Autoprefixer automatically adds vendor prefixes to your CSS so that you don't need to. It also removes old, unnecessary prefixes from your CSS.

You can also use Autoprefixer with preprocessors such as Less and Sass.