CSS Grid Layout


The Presentation inside:

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CSS Grid Layout Rachel Andrew Generate, September 2015


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Rachel Andrew http://rachelandrew.co.uk @rachelandrew http://grabaperch.com


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The trouble with CSS layout • • Floats and clearfix hacks • Redundant markup and positioning oddities with display: table • White space issues with inline-block Absolute positioning means elements are taken out of document flow and risk overlaps


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The cost of taming layout methods • Developer hours spent learning non-obvious concepts. • Compromises in terms of document semantics in order to achieve responsive layouts. • Needing to lean on frameworks to help with complex math. • • Adding markup to create grids Using preprocessors to abstract layout hacks


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Flexbox? https://www.flickr.com/photos/zervas/2810241612


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Seeing Flexbox as the silver bullet for layout issues is likely to lead us down another path of layout hacks.


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We need a designed for purpose layout system for the sites and applications we develop today.


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CSS Grid Layout


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Our HTML consists of a div with a class of wrapper and six child elements. <div class="wrapper"> <div class="a">A</div> <div class="b">B</div> <div class="c">C</div> <div class="d">D</div> <div class="e">E</div> <div class="f">F</div> </div>


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To create a grid we use a new value of the display property. .wrapper { display: grid; display: grid }


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We describe the grid using the new properties: grid-template-columns grid-template-rows .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: 100px 10px 100px 10px 100px; grid-template-rows: auto 10px auto; }


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We position items using the new properties: grid-column-start
 grid-column-end
 grid-row-start
 grid-row-end .a { grid-column-start: 1; grid-column-end: 2; grid-row-start: 1; grid-row-end: 2; }


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To position an item bottom centre, I start at column line 3, this is the line after the gutter track. .b { grid-column-start: 3; grid-column-end: 4; grid-row-start: 3; grid-row-end: 4; }


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To span more tracks we just change the end row or column line. .b { grid-column-start: 3; grid-column-end: 6; grid-row-start: 3; grid-row-end: 4; }


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The longhand for linebased placement means up to 4 properties to position each element. .a { grid-column-start: 1; grid-column-end: 2; grid-row-start: 1; grid-row-end: 2; } .b { grid-column-start: 3; grid-column-end: 4; grid-row-start: 3; grid-row-end: 4; }


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Declare start and end values with grid-column and grid-row. Values are separated by a / symbol. .a { grid-column: 1 / 2; grid-row: 1 / 2; } .b { grid-column: 3 / 6; grid-row: 3 / 4; }


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Declare all 4 values using the grid-area property. .a { grid-area: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2; } .b { grid-area: 3 / 3 / 4 / 6; }


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Grid lines relate to writing mode. In a right to left language such as Arabic the first column line is the right-hand line.


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Grid Terminology


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Grid Lines Lines can be horizontal or vertical. They are referred to by number and can be named. Highlighted is Column Line 2.


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Grid Track A Grid Track is the space between two Grid Lines. Tracks can be horizontal or vertical (rows or columns). The highlighted Grid Track is between Row Lines 2 and 3.


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Grid Cell The smallest unit on our grid, a Grid Cell is the space between four Grid Lines. It’s just like a table cell. The highlighted Grid Cell is between row lines 2 and 3 and column lines 2 and 3.


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Grid Area Any area of the Grid bound by 4 Grid Lines. It can contain many Grid Cells. The highlighted Grid Area is between row lines 1 and 3, column lines 2 and 4.


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All examples can be found at http://gridbyexample.com. Use Chrome. Enable “Experimental Web Platform Features” flag.


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Line-based placement


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/layout9.html


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The HTML around my page content. The various areas of my page are child elements of a div with a class of wrapper. <div class="wrapper"> <header class="mainheader"></header> <div class="panel"></div> <div class="content"></div> </div>


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Declaring a grid on wrapper. The grid has three columns, and four rows. .wrapper { width: 100%; max-width: 960px; margin: 0 auto; display: grid; grid-template-columns: 30% 5% 65%; grid-template-rows: 40px auto 20px auto; }


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Positioning our elements using the grid-column and grid-row shorthand. This is all we need to do to create our layout. .mainheader { grid-column: 1 / 4; grid-row: 2 / 3; } .panel { grid-column: 1 / 2; grid-row: 4 / 5; } .content { grid-column: 3 / 4; grid-row: 4 / 5; }


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I can add a footer to this layout. <div class="wrapper"> <header class="mainheader"></header> <div class="panel"></div> <div class="content"></div> <footer class="mainfooter"></footer> </div>


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Positioning the footer between row lines five and six. .mainfooter { grid-column: 1 / 4; grid-row: 5 / 6; }


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Our grid only has 5 row lines specified - yet we placed an item between row lines 5 and 6. Grid creates an implicit grid line for us. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: 30% 5% 65%; grid-template-rows: 40px auto 20px auto; } .mainfooter { grid-column: 1 / 4; grid-row: 5 / 6; }


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Grid lines can be explicit or implicit • Explicit grid lines are those specified using gridtemplate-rows or grid-template-columns. • Implicit lines are created when you place something into a row or column track outside of the explicit grid. • You can specify a size with the grid-autocolumns and grid-auto-rows properties.


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Grid is “table like” however … • Unlike a table for layout Grid does not rely on your content being a particular order in the source.
 • Being entirely described in CSS we can move things around the Grid at different breakpoints, introduce or redefine a Grid for any breakpoint.


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Power and Responsibility • As with Flexbox you can use your ability to change how things are ordered for good or evil. • Good = creating the most accessible source order and using Grid to get the optimal display for each device. • Bad = using Grid as an excuse to forget about the source. • Terrible - stripping out semantic elements to make everything a child of the grid.


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Using Grid to order the page elements in a single column for narrow screen widths. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-rows: 10px auto 10px auto 10px auto 10px auto; } .mainheader { grid-row: 2 / 3; } .content { grid-row: 4 / 5; } .panel { grid-row: 6 / 7; } .mainfooter { grid-row: 8 / 9; }


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Redefine the Grid at minwidth 550 pixels. Position items as in the earlier example. @media (min-width: 550px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 30% 5% 65%; grid-template-rows: 40px auto 20px auto 20px auto; } .mainheader { grid-column: 1 / 4; grid-row: 2 / 3; } .panel { grid-column: 1 / 2; grid-row: 4 / 5; } .content { grid-column: 3 / 4; grid-row: 4 / 5; } .mainfooter { grid-column: 1 / 4; grid-row: 6 / 7; } }


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Named Grid Lines


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/layout10.html


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Name lines with the name in square brackets. Remember we name grid lines and not grid tracks. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-rows: 10px [row-header-start] auto [row-header-end] 10px [row-content-start] auto [row-content-end] 10px [row-panel-start] auto [row-panel-end] 10px [row-footer-start] auto [row-footer-end]; }


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Here we are positioning based on line numbers. .mainheader { grid-row: 2 / 3; } .content { grid-row: 4 / 5; } .panel { grid-row: 6 / 7; } .mainfooter { grid-row: 8 / 9; }


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Here we are positioning by named lines. .mainheader { grid-row: row-header-start / row-header-end ; } .content { grid-row: row-content-start / row-content-end; } .panel { grid-row: row-panel-start / row-panel-end ; } .mainfooter { grid-row: row-footer-start / row-footer-end; }


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Named Areas


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/layout11.html


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We assign a name to the elements on our page. I am doing this outside of any Media Queries. .mainheader { grid-area: header; } .content { grid-area: content; } .panel { grid-area: sidebar; } .mainfooter { grid-area: footer; }


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Describe the layout on the parent element using the grid-template-areas property. A period “.” indicates that this grid cell is empty. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-rows: 10px auto 10px auto 10px auto 10px auto; grid-template-areas: "." "header" "." "content" "." "sidebar" "." "footer"; }


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Redefining the template areas for the wider layout. @media (min-width: 550px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 30% 5% 65%; grid-template-rows: 2em auto 1em auto 1em auto; grid-template-areas: ". . ." "header header header" ". . ." "sidebar . content" ". . ." "footer footer footer" } }


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Another syntax change! The May 15th Editor’s Draft allows for multiple full stop characters to be used to indicate an empty cell. This means you can line up your ascii art more neatly. @media (min-width: 550px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 30% 5% 65%; grid-template-rows: 2em auto 1em auto 1em auto; grid-template-areas: "....... ...... ......." "header header header " "....... ...... ......." "sidebar ...... content" "....... ...... ......." "footer footer footer " } }


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Implicit Named Grid Lines


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Named grid areas create four implicit named lines. You can use these in the same way as lines you have explicitly named. .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 30% 5% 65%; grid-template-rows: 2em auto 1em auto 1em auto; grid-template-areas: ". . ." "header header header" ". . ." "sidebar . content" ". . ." "footer footer footer" } .test { z-index: 100; background-color: red; grid-column: content-start / content-end; grid-row: content-start / footer-end; }


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Items on the Grid can be layered using the z-index property.


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A 12 column, flexible grid


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The Bootstrap grid, and those in other frameworks relies on our describing the layout in the markup. <!-- Stack the columns on mobile by making one full-width and the other half-width --> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-8">.col-xs-12 .col-md-8</div> <div class="col-xs-6 col-md-4">.col-xs-6 .col-md-4</div> </div> <!-- Columns start at 50% wide on mobile and bump up to 33.3% wide on desktop --> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-6 col-md-4">.col-xs-6 .col-md-4</div> <div class="col-xs-6 col-md-4">.col-xs-6 .col-md-4</div> <div class="col-xs-6 col-md-4">.col-xs-6 .col-md-4</div> </div> <!-- Columns are always 50% wide, on mobile and desktop --> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-6">.col-xs-6</div> <div class="col-xs-6">.col-xs-6</div> </div>


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With CSS Grid Layout we describe the layout in the CSS and can redefine that description at any breakpoint.


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getskeleton.com


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You can use the repeat keyword to repeat all or part of the grid definition. This would create 4 200 pixel wide tracks, separated by a 20 pixel wide gutter track. grid-template-columns: repeat(4, 200px 20px);


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The fr unit is a flexible length that represents a fraction of the available space in the grid container. grid-template-columns: 5fr 1fr 10fr 1fr 5fr;


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We can give multiple grid lines the same name. This means we can use the span keyword to span n number of lines, rather than specifying a specific grid line. .wrapper { grid-template-columns: repeat(4, [col] 200px [gutter] 20px); } .content { grid-column: col 2 / span gutter 2; }


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The markup used to create the Grid using the Skeleton framework. Like the Bootstrap Grid and other similar frameworks it requires classes that describe the grid to be added to the markup. <div class="container"> <h1>Skeleton Grid</h1> <div class="example-grid"> <div class="row"> <div class="four columns">Four columns</div> <div class="four columns">Four columns</div> <div class="four columns">Four columns</div> </div> <div class="row"> <div class="eight columns">Eight columns</div> <div class="four columns">Four columns</div> </div> <div class="row"> <div class="three columns">Three columns</div> <div class="three columns">Three columns</div> <div class="three columns">Three columns</div> <div class="three columns">Three columns</div> </div> <div class="row"> <div class="six columns">Six columns</div> <div class="six columns">Six columns</div> </div> </div>


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When using CSS Grid Layout we have no need to describe our grid in markup. <div class="wrapper skeleton"> <h1 class="header">CSS Grid Layout Version</h1> <div class="box1">Four columns</div> <div class="box2">Four columns</div> <div class="box3">Four columns</div> <div class="box4">Eight columns</div> <div class="box5">Four columns</div> <div class="box6">Three columns</div> <div class="box7">Three columns</div> <div class="box8">Three columns</div> <div class="box9">Three columns</div> <div class="box10">Six columns</div> <div class="box11">Six columns</div> </div>


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Defining the 12 column grid. The repeat keyword repeats the pattern of columns or rows the number of times specified before the comma. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: repeat(11, [col] 4fr [gutter] 3.5fr ) [col] 4fr [gutter]; grid-template-rows: auto repeat(4, [row] auto [gutter] 15px); }


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Placing box1 on the grid. Multiple lines have the same name. This means we can use the span keyword. Here I place box1 starting at the first line named col, spanning to the 4th line named gutter. In the first row named row, spanning to the first line named gutter. .box1 { grid-column: col / span gutter 4; grid-row: row / span gutter; }


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Placing box8 on the grid. Starting on column line 7, spanning 3 gutter lines. In the 3rd row named row, spanning 1 gutter line. .box8 { grid-column: col 7 / span gutter 3; grid-row: row 3 / span gutter; }


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With Grid Layout we can easily span rows just like columns. .box1b { grid-column: col / span gutter 4; grid-row: row / span gutter 2; } .box2b { grid-column: col 5 / span gutter 4; grid-row: row / span gutter 3; }


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/layout12.html


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The header and footer span the full grid. The content and panel display side by side. .mainheader { grid-column: col / span gutter 12; grid-row: row /span gutter; } .mainfooter { grid-column: col / span gutter 12; grid-row: row 3 /span gutter; } .content { grid-column: col 5 / span gutter 8; grid-row: row 2 / span gutter; } .panel { grid-column: col / span gutter 4; grid-row: row 2 / span gutter; }


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/layout13.html


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The header and footer span the full grid. The content and panel display side by side. .mainheader { grid-column: col / span gutter 12; grid-row: row /span gutter; } .mainfooter { grid-column: col / span gutter 12; grid-row: row 3 /span gutter; } .content { grid-column: col 5 / span gutter 8; grid-row: row 2 / span gutter; } .panel { grid-column: col / span gutter 4; grid-row: row 2 / span gutter; }


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I change three values to make our panel extend to the foot of the page. .mainheader { grid-column: col / span gutter 12; grid-row: row /span gutter; } .mainfooter { grid-column: col 5 / span gutter 8; grid-row: row 3 /span gutter; } .content { grid-column: col 5 / span gutter 8; grid-row: row 2 / span gutter; } .panel { grid-column: col / span gutter 4; grid-row: row 2 / span gutter 2; }


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Grid Item Placement Algorithm


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“The following grid item placement algorithm resolves automatic positions of grid items into definite positions, ensuring that every grid item has a well-defined grid area to lay out into.” http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css-grid/#grid-item-placement-algorithm


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My markup is an unordered list with a class of wrapper. The first list item contains text. The rest an image. Two list items have a class of ‘wide’. <ul class="wrapper"> <li class="text"><p>…</p></li> <li><img src="../images/balloon1.jpg" alt="hot air <p>Balloons 1</p></li> <li><img src="../images/balloon2.jpg" alt="hot air <p>Balloons 2</p></li> <li><img src="../images/balloon3.jpg" alt="hot air <p>Balloons 3</p></li> <li class="wide"><img src="../images/balloon4.jpg" balloon" /> <p>Balloons 4</p></li> <li><img src="../images/balloon5.jpg" alt="hot air <p>Balloons 5</p></li> <li><img src="../images/balloon6.jpg" alt="hot air <p>Balloons 6</p></li> <li class="wide"><img src="../images/balloon7.jpg" balloon" /> <p>Balloons 7</p></li> <li><img src="../images/balloon8.jpg" alt="hot air <p>Balloons 8</p></li> </ul> balloon" /> balloon" /> balloon" /> alt="hot air balloon" /> balloon" /> alt="hot air balloon" />


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Narrow screen layout, before any media queries. A single column, single row grid. Grid layout will create implicit rows for any additional list items. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: 1fr; grid-template-rows: auto; grid-auto-flow: dense; }


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At a 460 pixel breakpoint we redefine the grid to have two equal columns. With grid-auto-flow set to dense gaps are not left in the grid if they can be filled. @media (min-width: 460px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr; } .text { grid-column: 1 / 3; } .wide { grid-column: auto / span 2; } }


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We move to 4 equal columns at 660 pixels. I position the li with a class of text between column lines 2 and 4, and row lines 1 and 3. @media (min-width: 660px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr 1fr 1fr; } .text { grid-column: 2 / 4; grid-row: 1 / 3; } }


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/layout8.html


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The complete CSS for this grid. .wrapper { display: grid; max-width: 960px; grid-template-columns: 1fr; grid-template-rows: auto; grid-auto-flow: dense; } @media (min-width: 460px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr; } .text { grid-column: 1 / 3; } .wide { grid-column: auto / span 2; } } @media (min-width: 660px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr 1fr 1fr; } .text { grid-column: 2 / 4; grid-row: 1 / 3; } }


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We change the value of grid-auto-flow to sparse. .wrapper { display: grid; max-width: 960px; grid-template-columns: 1fr; grid-template-rows: auto; grid-auto-flow: sparse; } @media (min-width: 460px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr; } .text { grid-column: 1 / 3; } .wide { grid-column: auto / span 2; } } @media (min-width: 660px) { .wrapper { grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr 1fr 1fr; } .text { grid-column: 2 / 4; grid-row: 1 / 3; } }


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We need to talk about Grid


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The Gutter Problem


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Defining the 12 column grid. We define Grid Tracks that will be used as columns, preceded by a line named ‘col’ and those used as gutters, preceded by a line named ‘gutter’. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: repeat(11, [col] 4fr [gutter] 3.5fr ) [col] 4fr [gutter]; grid-template-rows: auto repeat(4, [row] auto [gutter] 15px); }


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Column and Row gaps are now part of the Level 1 Grid Layout specification.


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Specifying gutters as grid tracks. .wrapper { display: grid; grid-template-columns: repeat(11, [col] 4fr [gutter] 3.5fr ) [col] 4fr [gutter]; grid-template-rows: auto repeat(4, [row] auto [gutter] 15px); }


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Specifying gutters with the new properties: grid-row-gap grid-column-gap .wrapper { display: grid; grid-column-gap: 1em; grid-row-gap: 1em; grid-template-columns: repeat(12, [col] 4fr ); grid-template-rows: auto; }


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Nested Grids and Subgrids


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In this markup the boxes e, f and g are children of the element with a class of d. <div class="wrapper"> <div class="box a">A</div> <div class="box b">B</div> <div class="box c">C</div> <div class="box d"> <div class="box e">E</div> <div class="box f">F</div> <div class="box g">G</div> </div> </div>


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To make box d a grid itself I declare a grid as normal then position the children of this element. They take their grid lines from the grid declared on box d. .d{ grid-column: col 3 / span gutter 2; grid-row: row 2; display: grid; grid-template-columns: 1fr 10px 1fr; grid-template-rows: auto 10px auto; } .e { grid-column: 1 / 4; grid-row: 1; } .f { grid-column: 1; grid-row: 3; } .g { grid-column: 3; grid-row: 3; }


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http://gridbyexample.com/examples/code/example21.html


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Declaring a subgrid


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In our existing layout we are creating a completely new grid on box d. .d{ grid-column: col 3 / span gutter 2; grid-row: row 2; display: grid; grid-template-columns: 1fr 10px 1fr; grid-template-rows: auto 10px auto; }


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If we declare that this grid is a subgrid, we can then position the children of this element on the same grid their parent is placed on. .d{ grid-column: col 3 / span gutter 2; grid-row: row 2; display: grid; grid-template-columns: subgrid; grid-template-rows: subgrid; }


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“The following features are at-risk, and may be dropped during the CR period: the subgrid value of grid-template-columns and grid-template-rows, and its component parts individually” http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css-grid/


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Without subgrid we create the potential for accessibility problems. Authors may remove semantic markup in order to use grid layout.


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http://fantasai.inkedblade.net/style/discuss/subgrid-markup/


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https://rachelandrew.co.uk/archives/2015/07/28/modern-css-layout-power-and-responsibility/


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Grid needs your feedback! Enable Experimental Web Platform Features in Chrome. Play with my examples and think up ways you would use Grid. Blog, make examples, point out problems. Follow the CSS Grid conversation on www-style by searching for [css-grid]. See the current issues in the Editor’s Draft http://dev.w3.org/ csswg/css-grid/#issues-index


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Browser Support All my examples work in Chrome unprefixed - you need to enable the Experimental Web Platform Features flag. You can also use Webkit nightlies, with the -webkit prefix. The work in Blink and Webkit is being done by Igalia, sponsored by Bloomberg. IE10 and up has support for the old syntax, with an -ms prefix. Grid is on the Edge backlog, marked as High Priority. Mozilla are currently implementing Grid in Firefox. There is a Polyfill under active development: https://github.com/ FremyCompany/css-grid-polyfill/


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All examples can be found at http://gridbyexample.com. Use Chrome. Enable “Experimental Web Platform Features” flag.


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Thank you! http://rachelandrew.co.uk/presentations/css-grid @rachelandrew


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