CSS column-gap

The CSS column-gap property allows you to specify the size of the gap between columns in your multi-column layout.

You can specify your column gap to be normal (i.e. normal) or to be a specific size (e.g., a value of 30px would create a column gap of 30 pixels).

Syntax

column-gap: <length> | normal

Possible Values

<length>
Specifies the width of the gap. For example, 40px would create a column gap of 40 pixels. Cannot be a negative value.
normal
Defines that the column gap will be determined by the browser/user agent.

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
See individual properties
Applies To
non-replaced block-level elements (except table elements), table cells, and inline-block elements
Inherited?
No
Media
Visual
Animatable
Yes (see example)

Example Code

Basic CSS

column-gap: 30px;

Working Example within an HTML Document

<!doctype html>
<title>Example</title>
<style>
.multicol {
  background: beige;
  padding: 10px;
  width: 360px;

  /* Safari and Chrome */
  -webkit-column-count: 3;
  -webkit-column-gap: 50px;

  /* Firefox */
  -moz-column-count: 3; 
  -moz-column-gap: 50px;

  /* CSS3 */
  column-count: 3; 
  column-gap: 50px;
}
</style>
<div class="multicol">
  <h3>Column-gap Example</h3>
  <p>If I told you the world&#8217;s largest garbage dump was almost twice the size of continental United States would you believe me?</p>
  <p>Well, that&#8217;s how big the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is. The <em>Great Pacific Garbage Patch</em> is the collective name for two gigantic masses of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean. The two masses are known as the <em>Western Pacific Garbage Patch</em> and the <em>Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch</em>.</p>
</div>

Try it with the Online Editor

This example uses vendor prefixes for the multi-column layout due to lack of browser support for the official standard at the time of writing.

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.