CSS column-span


The CSS column-span property allows content to span across multiple columns on a multi-column layout. This can be useful if you have a heading or other element within the multicol layout that needs to span across all columns.

An element that spans across multiple columns is called a spanning element.

The examples on this page include browser-specific properties that start with extensions such as -webkit-, -moz-, etc. This is for browser compatibility reasons. See the bottom of this article for more on this.


column-span: none | all

Possible Values

Specifies that the element does not span across multiple columns.
Specifies that the element should span across all columns. Therefore, it becomes a spanning element.


Initial Value
Applies To
block-level elements, except floating and absolutely positioned elements

Example Code

column-span: all; /* W3C */
-webkit-column-span: all; /* Safari & Chrome */
-moz-column-span: all; /* Firefox */
-ms-column-span: all; /* Internet Explorer */
-o-column-span: all; /* Opera */
Note that this example includes various CSS extensions in addition to the W3C CSS3 property. This is for browser compatibility.

Browser Compatibility

At the time of writing, CSS3 was still under development and browser support for many CSS3 properties was limited or non-existent. 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.

Be aware that if you choose to use the proprietary CSS extensions in a live environment, your code will not pass any W3C CSS validation, as the browser-specific properties are not valid W3C properties.

Many of the CSS3 examples on this website include these browser specific properties. If they weren't included, most of the examples wouldn't work for most users (at least, not until possibly years after the article was written).

The major browser manufacturers are working to support the W3C properties, and eventually, you will be able to omit these browser-specific properties.