CSS perspective

The CSS perspective property is used to adjust the position of a 3D element in relation to the user in order to provide a 3D perspective.

More specifically, the property adjusts the position of an element's child elements. Therefore, apply this property to an element's parent element in order to see the effect on the child element.

The perspective property defines the intensity of the 3D effect. This is because it defines how far the object is away from the user. So, a lower value will result in a more intensive 3D effect than a higher value. This is because the lower value indicates that the user is closer to the object. Therefore, perspective: 50px; will result in a more obvious 3D effect than perspective: 500px;.

Use this property in conjunction with the perspective-origin property, which determines the vanishing point for the 3D effect. By default, the vanishing point of the perspective property is at the center.


Possible Values

Specifies that no perspective transform is applied.
Specifies the distance from the user to the z=0 plane. It used to apply a perspective transform to the element and its content. If this value is 0 or a negative value, no perspective transform is applied.

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

Represents the value specified as the property's initial value.
Represents the computed value of the property on the element's parent.
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
Applies To
This property applies only to transformable elements.

In HTML, a transformable element is either:

  • a block-level or atomic inline-level element
  • or whose CSS display property computes to table-row, table-row-group, table-header-group, table-footer-group, table-cell, or table-caption

In SVG, a transformable element is an element which has the attributes transform, patternTransform or gradientTransform.

Computed Value
Absolute length or "none".
Yes (see example)

Example Code

Basic CSS

Working Example within an HTML Document

Try it

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.