Overflow hidden or auto with visible

January 15th, 2016 - Bonn

We were trying to make a container overflow in the x axis and not in the y axis, without adding scrollbars. Turns out you can’t do it with overflow-x/overflow-y properties.

According to the W3C spec:

The computed values of ‘overflow-x’ and ‘overflow-y’ are the same as their specified values, except that some combinations with ‘visible’ are not possible: if one is specified as ‘visible’ and the other is ‘scroll’ or ‘auto’, then ‘visible’ is set to ‘auto’.

This explains that something like

overflow-x: visible;
overflow-y: scroll;

turns into

overflow-x: auto;
overflow-y: auto;

However that’s not our case. In http://www.brunildo.org/test/Overflowxy2.html there are some tests, seems that in Safari, Opera, and in our test also chrome, visible becomes auto also when combined with hidden. Also in IE7, IE8 visible becomes hidden when combined with hidden.

In general, when we use visible for one axis, the other one turns into auto.


See the Pen obeaqJ by Fernando Sainz (@fsainz) on CodePen.