CSS Overflow Module Level 4

Editor’s Draft,

Specification Metadata
This version:
https://drafts.csswg.org/css-overflow-4/
Latest published version:
https://www.w3.org/TR/css-overflow-4/
Previous Versions:
Issue Tracking:
Inline In Spec
GitHub Issues
Editors:
L. David Baron (Mozilla)
Florian Rivoal (On behalf of Bloomberg)

Abstract

This module contains the features of CSS relating to new mechanisms of overflow handling in visual media (e.g., screen or paper). In interactive media, it describes features that allow the overflow from a fixed size container to be handled by pagination (displaying one page at a time). It also describes features, applying to all visual media, that allow the contents of an element to be spread across multiple fragments, allowing the contents to flow across multiple regions or to have different styles for different fragments.

CSS is a language for describing the rendering of structured documents (such as HTML and XML) on screen, on paper, in speech, etc.

Status of this document

This is a public copy of the editors’ draft. It is provided for discussion only and may change at any moment. Its publication here does not imply endorsement of its contents by W3C. Don’t cite this document other than as work in progress.

GitHub Issues are preferred for discussion of this specification. When filing an issue, please put the text “css-overflow” in the title, preferably like this: “[css-overflow] …summary of comment…”. All issues and comments are archived, and there is also a historical archive.

This document was produced by the CSS Working Group (part of the Style Activity).

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

This document is governed by the 1 March 2017 W3C Process Document.

1. Introduction

Note: At the time of writing, [CSS-OVERFLOW-3] is not completely finalized yet. To avoid accidental divergences and maintenance overhead, This specification is written as a delta specification over css-overflow Level 3. Once the level 3 specification is final, its content will be integrated into this specification, which will then replace it. Until then, this specification only contains additions and extensions to level 3.

In CSS Level 1 [CSS1], placing more content than would fit inside an element with a specified size was generally an authoring error. Doing so caused the content to extend outside the bounds of the element, which would likely cause that content to overlap with other elements.

CSS Level 2 [CSS21] introduced the overflow property, which allows authors to have overflow be handled by scrolling, which means it is no longer an authoring error. It also allows authors to specify that overflow is handled by clipping, which makes sense when the author’s intent is that the content not be shown. This was further refined in the CSS Overflow Module Level 3 [CSS-OVERFLOW-3].

However, scrolling is not the only way to present large amounts of content, and may even not be the optimal way. After all, the codex replaced the scroll as the common format for large written works because of its advantages.

This specification introduces a mechanism for Web pages to specify that an element of a page should handle overflow through pagination rather than through scrolling.

This specification also extends the concept of overflow in another direction. Instead of requiring that authors specify a single area into which the content of an element must flow, this specification allows authors to specify multiple fragments, each with their own dimensions and styles, so that the content of the element can flow from one to the next, using as many as needed to place the content without overflowing.

In both of these cases, implementations must break the content in the block-progression dimension. Implementations must do this is described in the CSS Fragmentation Module [CSS3-BREAK].

2. Types of overflow

copy level 3 content when final

3. Overflow properties

copy level 3 content when final

4. Reserving space for the scrollbar: the scrollbar-gutter property

The space between the inner border edge and the outer padding edge which user agents may reserve to display the scrollbar is called the scrollbar gutter.

The scrollbar-gutter property gives control to the author over the presence of scrollbar gutters separately from the ability to control the presence of scrollbars provided by the overflow property.

Name: scrollbar-gutter
Value: auto | [ stable | always ] && both? && force?
Initial: auto
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: n/a
Media: visual
Computed value: specified value
Canonical order: per grammar
Animation type: discrete

This property affects the presence of scrollbar gutters placed at the inline start edge or inline end edge of the box.

The presence of a scrollbar gutter at the block start edge and block end edge of the box cannot be controlled in this level, and is determined the same way as the presence of scrollbar gutters placed at the inline start edge or inline end edge of the box when scrollbar-gutter is auto.

Scrollbars which by default are placed over the content box and do not cause scrollbar gutters to be created are called overlay scrollbars. Such scrollbars are usually partially transparent, revealing the content behind them if any. Their appearance and size may vary based on whether and how the user is interacting with them.

Scrollbars which are always placed in a scrollbar gutter, consuming space when present, are called classic scrollbars. Such scrollbars are usually opaque.

Whether classic scrollbars or overlay scrollbars are used is UA defined.

The appearance and size of the scrollbar is UA defined.

Whether scrollbars appear on the start or end edge of the box is UA defined.

For classic scrollbars, the width of the scrollbar gutter is the same as the width of the scrollbar. For overlay scrollbars, the width of the scrollbar gutter is UA defined. However, it must not be 0, and it must not change based on user interactions with the page or the scrollbar even if the scrollbar itself changes. Also, it must be the same for all elements in the page.

The values of this property have the following meaning:

auto
Classic scrollbars consume space by creating a scrollbar gutter when overflow is 'scroll, or when overflow is auto and the box is overflowing. Overlay scrollbars do not consume space.
stable
The scrollbar gutter is present when overflow is scroll or auto and the scrollbar is a classic scrollbar even if the box is not overflowing, but not when the scrollbar is an overlay scrollbar.
always
The scrollbar gutter is always present when overflow is scroll or auto, regardless of the type of scrollbar or of whether the box is overflowing.
both
If a scrollbar gutter would be present on one of the inline start edge or the inline end edge of the box, another scrollbar gutter must be present on the opposite edge as well.
force
When the force keyword is present stable and always take effect when overflow is visible, hidden or clip in addition auto or scroll. This does not cause a scrollbar to be displayed, only a scrollbar gutter.

When the scrollbar gutter is present but the scrollbar is not, or the scrollbar is transparent or otherwise does not fully obscure the scrollbar gutter, the background of the scrollbar gutter must be painted as an extension of the padding.

Note: The following table summarizes the interaction of overflow and scrollbar-gutter, showing in which case space is reserved for the scrollbar gutter. In this table, “G” represents cases where space is reserved for the scrollbar gutter, “f?” cases where space is reserved for the scrollbar gutter if force was specified, and empty cells cases where the no space is reserved.
Classic scrollbars Overlay scrollbars
overflow scrollbar-gutter Overflowing Not overflowing Overflowing Not overflowing
scroll auto G G
stable G G
always G G G G
auto auto G
stable G G
always G G G G
visible, hidden, clip auto
stable f? f?
always f? f? f? f?

5. Fragmentation of overflow

The continue property gives authors the ability to request that content that does not fit inside an element be fragmented (in the sense of [CSS3-BREAK]), and provides alternatives for where the remaining content should continue.

Notably, this property explains traditional pagination, and extends it further.

Name: continue
Value: auto | overflow | paginate | fragments | discard
Initial: auto
Applies to: block containers [CSS21], flex containers [CSS3-FLEXBOX], and grid containers [CSS3-GRID-LAYOUT]
Inherited: no
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: see below
Canonical order: per grammar
Animatable: no

The naming of this property and its values is preliminary. This was initially proposed as "fragmentation: auto | none | break | clone | page" in https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2015Jan/0357.html, and there is not yet wide agreement as to which naming is better.

This property is meant to generalize and replace region-fragment. Once it is sufficiently stable in this specification, region-fragment should be removed from the regions specification in favor of this.

Note: continue: fragments replaces "overflow:fragments" from earlier versions of this specification, while continue: paginate replaces "overflow: paged-x | paged-y | paged-x-controls | paged-y-controls"

auto
auto may only occur as a computed value if the element is a CSS Region other than the last one in a region chain. Content that doesn’t fit is pushed to the next region of the chain.

In all other cases, auto computes to one of the other values.

overflow
Content that doesn’t fit overflows, according to the overflow property
discard
Content that doesn’t fit is discarded at a fragmentation break

Note: generalized from region-fragment: break; on the last region of a region chain

When the element isn’t a fragmentation container already, should this work by turning it directly into one, or by creating a fragment box inside it like fragments does?

paginate
Content that doesn’t fit paginates. This creates a paginated view inside the element similar to the way that 'overflow: scroll' creates a scrollable view.

See paginated overflow

Note: Print is effectively "continue: paginate" on the root.

fragments
content that doesn’t fit causes the element to copy itself and continue laying out.

See fragment overflow.

The computed value of the continue for a given element or pseudo element is determined as follow:

  1. On elements or pseudo elements with layout containment (see [CSS-CONTAIN-1]), if the specified value is auto or fragments then the computed value is overflow.
  2. Otherwise, if the specified value is auto
    1. On a CSS Region other than the last one in a region chain, the computed value is auto
    2. On a page the computed value is paginate
    3. On a fragment box the computed value is fragments
    4. Otherwise, the computed value is overflow
  3. Otherwise, if the specified value is fragments
    1. On a page the computed value is paginate
    2. Otherwise, the computed value is the specified value
  4. In all other cases, the computed value is the specified value

If we introduce a pseudo element that can select columns in a multicol, we would need to specify that auto computes to auto on it, or introduce a new value and have auto compute to that (but what would that value compute to on things that aren’t columns?).

Note: For background discussions leading to this property, see these threads: discussion of overflow, overflow-x, overflow-y and overflow-style and proposal for a fragmentation property

6. Paginated overflow

This section introduces and defines the meaning of the paginate value of the continue property.

Write this section

Pages should be possible to style with @page rules. How does that work for nested pages?

Should traditional pagination (e.g. when printing) be expressed through some magic in the computed value of auto, or by inserting this in the UA stylesheet:
@media (overflow-block: paged), (overflow-block: optional-paged) {
  :root {
    continue: paginate;
  }
}

Traditional pagination (e.g. when printing) assumes that :root is contained in the page box, rather than having the page box be a pseudo element child of :root. Can we work around that using something similar to fragment boxes? Or maybe by having a fragment box (reproducing :root) inside a page box inside :root?

How does the page box model work when it is a child of a regular css box?

The initial proposal in [CSS3GCPM] and implementation from Opera used 4 values instead of paginate: "paged-x | paged-y | paged-x-controls | paged-y-controls". Should this property also include these values, or are they better handled as separate properties? (e.g.: "pagination-layout: auto | horizontal | vertical", "pagination-controls: auto | none")

Ability to display N pages at once rather than just one page at once? Could this be a value of "pagination-layout", such as: "pagination-layout: horizontal 2;"

Brad Kemper has proposed a model for combining pagination and fragment overflow, which also deals with displaying multiple pages. http://www.w3.org/mid/FF1704C5-D5C1-4D6F-A99D-0DD094036685@gmail.com

The current implementation of paginated overflow uses the overflow/overflow-x/overflow-y properties rather than the overflow-style property as proposed in the [CSS3GCPM] draft (which also matches the [CSS3-MARQUEE] proposal). or the continue property as described here.

7. Fragment overflow

This section introduces and defines the meaning of the fragments value of the continue property.

When the computed value of continue for an element is fragments, and implementations would otherwise have created a box for the element, then implementations must create a sequence of fragment boxes for that element. (It is possible for an element with continue: fragments to generate only one fragment box. However, if an element’s computed continue is not fragments, then its box is not a fragment box.) Every fragment box is a fragmentation container, and any overflow that would cause that fragmentation container to fragment causes another fragment box created as a next sibling of the previous one. Or is it as though it’s a next sibling of the element? Need to figure out exactly how this interacts with other box-level fixup. Additionally, if the fragment box is also a multi-column box (as defined in [CSS3COL] though it defines multi-column element) any content that would lead to the creation of overflow columns [CSS3COL] instead is flown into an additional fragment box. However, fragment boxes may themselves be broken (due to fragmentation in a fragmentation context outside of them, such as pages, columns, or other fragment boxes); such breaking leads to fragments of the same fragment box rather than multiple fragment boxes. (This matters because fragment boxes may be styled by their index; such breaking leads to multiple fragments of a fragment box with a single index. This design choice is so that breaking a fragment box across pages does not break the association of indices to particular pieces of content.) Should a forced break that breaks to an outer fragmentation context cause a new fragment of a single fragment box or a new fragment box? Should we find a term other than fragment box here to make this a little less confusing?

What if we want to be able to style the pieces of an element split within another type of fragmentation context? These rules prevent ever using ::nth-fragment() for that, despite that the name seems the most logical name for such a feature.

<!DOCTYPE HTML><title>Breaking content into
  equal-sized cards</title>
<style>
  .in-cards {
    continue: fragments;

    width: 13em;
    height: 8em;

    padding: 4px;
    border: medium solid blue;
    margin: 6px;

    font: medium/1.3 Times New
      Roman, Times, serif;
  }
</style>
<div class="in-cards">
  In this example, the text in the div
  is broken into a series of cards.
  These cards all have the same style.
  The presence of enough content to
  overflow one of the cards causes
  another one to be created.  The second
  card is created just like it’s the
  next sibling of the first.
</div>
In this example, the text in the
div is broken into a series of
cards. These cards all have the
same style. The presence of
enough content to overflow
one of the cards causes another
one to be created. The second
card is created just like it’s the
next sibling of the first.

We should specify that continue: fragments does not apply to at least some table parts, and perhaps other elements as well. We need to determine exactly which ones.

This specification needs to say which type of fragmentation context is created so that it’s clear which values of the break-* properties cause breaks within this context. We probably want break-*: region to apply.

This specification needs a processing model that will apply in cases where the layout containing the fragments has characteristics that use the intrinsic size of the fragments to change the amount of space available for them, such as [CSS3-GRID-LAYOUT]. There has already been some work on such a processing model in [CSS3-REGIONS], and the work done on a model there, and the editors of that specification, should inform what happens in this specification.

7.1. Fragment styling

7.1.1. The ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element

The ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element is a pseudo-element that describes some of the fragment boxes generated by an element. The argument to the pseudo-element takes the same syntax as the argument to the :nth-child() pseudo-class defined in [SELECT], and has the same meaning except that the number is relative to fragment boxes generated by the element instead of siblings of the element.

Selectors that allow addressing fragments by counting from the end rather than the start are intentionally not provided. Such selectors would interfere with determining the number of fragments.

Depending on future discussions, this ::nth-fragment(an+b) syntax may be replaced with the new ::fragment:nth(an+b) syntax.

7.1.2. Styling of fragments

Should this apply to continue:fragments only, or also to continue:paginate? (If it applies, then stricter property restrictions would be needed for continue:paginate.)

In the absence of rules with ::nth-fragment() pseudo-elements, the computed style for each fragment box is the computed style for the element for which the fragment box was created. However, the style for a fragment box is also influenced by rules whose selector’s subject [SELECT] has an ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element, if the 1-based number of the fragment box matches that ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element and the selector (excluding the ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element) matches the element generating the fragments.

When determining the style of the fragment box, these rules that match the fragment pseudo-element cascade together with the rules that match the element, with the fragment pseudo-element adding the specificity of a pseudo-class to the specificity calculation. Does this need to be specified in the cascading module as well?

<!DOCTYPE HTML><style>
  .bouncy-columns {
    continue: fragments;
    width: 6em;
    height: 10em;
    float: left;
    margin: 1em;
    font: medium/1.25 Times New
      Roman, Times, serif;
  }
  .bouncy-columns::nth-fragment(1) {
    background: aqua; color: black;
    transform: rotate(-3deg);
  }
  .bouncy-columns::nth-fragment(2) {
    background: yellow; color: black;
    transform: rotate(3deg);
  }
</style>
<div class="bouncy-columns">
  ...
</div>
In this
example, the
text in the div
is broken into
a series of
columns. The
author
probably
intended the
text to fill two
columns. But
if it happens to
fill three
columns, the
third column is
still created. It
just doesn’t
have any
fragment-specific
styling because
the author
didn’t give it
any.

Styling an ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element with the continue property does take effect; if a fragment box has a computed value of continue other than fragments then that fragment box is the last fragment. However, overriding continue on the first fragment does not cause the fragment box not to exist; whether there are fragment boxes at all is determined by the computed value of overflow for the element.

Styling an ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element with the content property has no effect; the computed value of content for the fragment box remains the same as the computed value of content for the element.

Specifying display: none for a fragment box causes the fragment box with that index not to be generated. However, in terms of the indices used for matching ::nth-fragment() pseudo-elements of later fragment boxes, it still counts as though it was generated. However, since it is not generated, it does not contain any content.

Specifying other values of display, position, or float is permitted, but is not allowed to change the inner display type. (Since continue only applies to block containers, flex containers, and grid containers). Need to specify exactly how this works

To match the model for other pseudo-elements where the pseudo-elements live inside their corresponding element, declarations in ::nth-fragment() pseudo-elements override declarations in rules without the pseudo-element. The relative priority within such declarations is determined by normal cascading order (see [CSS21]).

Styles specified on ::nth-fragment() pseudo-elements do affect inheritance to content within the fragment box. In other words, the content within the fragment box must inherit from the fragment box’s style (i.e., the pseudo-element style) rather than directly from the element. This means that elements split between fragment boxes may have different styles for different parts of the element.

This inheritance rule allows specifying styles indirectly (by using explicit inherit or using default inheritance on properties that don’t apply to ::first-letter) that can’t be specified directly (based on the rules in the next section). This is a problem. The restrictions that apply to styling inside fragments should also apply to inheritance from fragments.

<!DOCTYPE HTML><style>
  .article {
    continue: fragments;
  }
  .article::nth-fragment(1) {
    font-size: 1.5em;
    margin-bottom: 1em;
    height: 4em;
  }
  .article::nth-fragment(2) {
    margin-left: 5em;
    margin-right: 2em;
  }
</style>
<div class="article">
  The <code>font-size</code> property...
</div>
The font-size property
specified on the fragment
is inherited into the
descendants of the fragment.
This means that inherited
properties can be used
reliably on a fragment, as in
this example.

7.1.3. Styling inside fragments

Should this apply to continue:fragments only, or also to continue:paginate?

The ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element can also be used to style content inside of a fragment box. Unlike the ::first-line and ::first-letter pseudo-elements, the ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element can be applied to parts of the selector other than the subject: in particular, it can match ancestors of the subject. However, the only CSS properties applied by rules with such selectors are those that apply to the ::first-letter pseudo-element.

To be more precise, when a rule’s selector has ::nth-fragment() pseudo-elements attached to parts of the selector other than the subject, the declarations in that rule apply to a fragment (or pseudo-element thereof) when:

  1. the declarations are for properties that apply to the ::first-letter pseudo-element,
  2. the declarations would apply to that fragment (or pseudo-element thereof) had those ::nth-fragment() pseudo-elements been removed, with a particular association between each sequence of simple selectors and the element it matched, and
  3. for each removed ::nth-fragment() pseudo-element, the fragment lives within a fragment box of the element associated in that association with the selector that the pseudo-element was attached to, and whose index matches the pseudo-element.
<!DOCTYPE HTML><style>
  .dark-columns {
    continue: fragments;
    width: 6em;
    height: 10em;
    float: left;
    margin-right: 1em;
    font: medium/1.25 Times New
      Roman, Times, serif;
  }
  .dark-columns::nth-fragment(1) {
    background: aqua; color: black;
  }
  .dark-columns::nth-fragment(1) :link {
    color: blue;
  }
  .dark-columns::nth-fragment(1) :visited {
    color: purple;
  }
  .dark-columns::nth-fragment(2) {
    background: navy; color: white;
  }
  .dark-columns::nth-fragment(2) :link {
    color: aqua;
  }
  .dark-columns::nth-fragment(2) :visited {
    color: fuchsia;
  }
</style>
<div class="dark-columns">
  ...
</div>
In this
example, the
text flows
from one
light-colored
fragment into
another
dark-colored
fragment. We
therefore want
different styles
for hyperlinks
in the different
fragments.

7.2. The max-lines property

Authors may wish to style the opening lines of an element with different styles by putting those opening lines in a separate fragment. However, since it may be difficult to predict the exact height occupied by those lines in order to restrict the first fragment to that height, this specification introduces a max-lines property that forces a fragment to break after a specified number of lines. This forces a break after the given number of lines contained within the element or its descendants, as long as those lines are in the same block formatting context.

Name: max-lines
Value: none | <integer>
Initial: none
Applies to: fragment boxes
Inherited: no
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: specified value
Canonical order: per grammar
Animatable: as integer
none

Breaks occur only as specified elsewhere.

<integer>

In addition to any breaks specified elsewhere, a break is forced before any line that would exceed the given number of lines being placed inside the element (excluding lines that are in a different block formatting context from the block formatting context to which an unstyled child of the element would belong).

If there are multiple boundaries between this line and the previous, where exactly (in terms of element boundaries) is the break forced?

Only positive integers are accepted. Zero or negative integers are a parse error.

Should this apply to fragment overflow only, or also to pagination? Given what we’re doing with the continue property, it should actually apply to any fragmentainer.

having max-lines do nothing on regular elements is not ideal. When applied to non fragmentainers, it should probably cause continue to compute to discard so that you only need to reach for one property rather than 2 to get that effect.

<!DOCTYPE HTML><style>
  .article {
    continue: fragments;
  }
  .article::first-letter {
    font-size: 2em;
    line-height: 0.9;
  }
  .article::nth-fragment(1) {
    font-size: 1.5em;
    max-lines: 3;
  }
  .article::nth-fragment(2) {
    column-count: 2;
  }
</style>
<div class="article">
  ...
</div>
The max-lines property allows
authors to use a larger font for the first
few lines of an article. Without the
max-lines property, authors
might have to use the
height property instead, but
that would leave a slight gap
if the author miscalculated
how much height a given
number of lines would
occupy (which might be
particularly hard if the author
didn’t know what text would
be filling the space, exactly
what font would be used, or
exactly which platform’s font
rendering would be used to
display the font).

8. Privacy and Security Considerations

This specification introduces no new security considerations.

The TAG has developed a self-review questionnaire to help editors and Working Groups evaluate the risks introduced by their specifications. Answers are provided below.

Does this specification deal with personally-identifiable information?
No.
Does this specification deal with high-value data?
No.
Does this specification introduce new state for an origin that persists across browsing sessions?
No.
Does this specification expose persistent, cross-origin state to the web?
No.
Does this specification expose any other data to an origin that it doesn’t currently have access to?
No.
Does this specification enable new script execution/loading mechanisms?
No.
Does this specification allow an origin access to a user’s location?
No.
Does this specification allow an origin access to sensors on a user’s device?
No.
Does this specification allow an origin access to aspects of a user’s local computing environment?
No.
Does this specification allow an origin access to other devices?
No.
Does this specification allow an origin some measure of control over a user agent’s native UI?
No
Does this specification expose temporary identifiers to the web?
No.
Does this specification distinguish between behavior in first-party and third-party contexts?
No.
How should this specification work in the context of a user agent’s "incognito" mode?
No difference in behavior is needed.
Does this specification persist data to a user’s local device?
No.
Does this specification have a "Security Considerations" and "Privacy Considerations" section?
Yes, this is the section you are currently reading.
Does this specification allow downgrading default security characteristics?
No.

Changes

Changes Since Level 3

The following changes were made to this specification since the CSS Overflow Module Level 3:

Acknowledgments

Thanks especially to the feedback from Rossen Atanassov, Bert Bos, Tantek Çelik, John Daggett, fantasai, Daniel Glazman, Vincent Hardy, Håkon Wium Lie, Peter Linss, Robert O’Callahan, Florian Rivoal, Alan Stearns, Steve Zilles, and all the rest of the www-style community.

Conformance

Document conventions

Conformance requirements are expressed with a combination of descriptive assertions and RFC 2119 terminology. The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in the normative parts of this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119. However, for readability, these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification.

All of the text of this specification is normative except sections explicitly marked as non-normative, examples, and notes. [RFC2119]

Examples in this specification are introduced with the words “for example” or are set apart from the normative text with class="example", like this:

This is an example of an informative example.

Informative notes begin with the word “Note” and are set apart from the normative text with class="note", like this:

Note, this is an informative note.

Advisements are normative sections styled to evoke special attention and are set apart from other normative text with <strong class="advisement">, like this: UAs MUST provide an accessible alternative.

Conformance classes

Conformance to this specification is defined for three conformance classes:

style sheet
A CSS style sheet.
renderer
A UA that interprets the semantics of a style sheet and renders documents that use them.
authoring tool
A UA that writes a style sheet.

A style sheet is conformant to this specification if all of its statements that use syntax defined in this module are valid according to the generic CSS grammar and the individual grammars of each feature defined in this module.

A renderer is conformant to this specification if, in addition to interpreting the style sheet as defined by the appropriate specifications, it supports all the features defined by this specification by parsing them correctly and rendering the document accordingly. However, the inability of a UA to correctly render a document due to limitations of the device does not make the UA non-conformant. (For example, a UA is not required to render color on a monochrome monitor.)

An authoring tool is conformant to this specification if it writes style sheets that are syntactically correct according to the generic CSS grammar and the individual grammars of each feature in this module, and meet all other conformance requirements of style sheets as described in this module.

Requirements for Responsible Implementation of CSS

The following sections define several conformance requirements for implementing CSS responsibly, in a way that promotes interoperability in the present and future.

Partial Implementations

So that authors can exploit the forward-compatible parsing rules to assign fallback values, CSS renderers must treat as invalid (and ignore as appropriate) any at-rules, properties, property values, keywords, and other syntactic constructs for which they have no usable level of support. In particular, user agents must not selectively ignore unsupported property values and honor supported values in a single multi-value property declaration: if any value is considered invalid (as unsupported values must be), CSS requires that the entire declaration be ignored.

Implementations of Unstable and Proprietary Features

To avoid clashes with future stable CSS features, the CSSWG recommends following best practices for the implementation of unstable features and proprietary extensions to CSS.

Implementations of CR-level Features

Once a specification reaches the Candidate Recommendation stage, implementers should release an unprefixed implementation of any CR-level feature they can demonstrate to be correctly implemented according to spec, and should avoid exposing a prefixed variant of that feature.

To establish and maintain the interoperability of CSS across implementations, the CSS Working Group requests that non-experimental CSS renderers submit an implementation report (and, if necessary, the testcases used for that implementation report) to the W3C before releasing an unprefixed implementation of any CSS features. Testcases submitted to W3C are subject to review and correction by the CSS Working Group.

Further information on submitting testcases and implementation reports can be found from on the CSS Working Group’s website at http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/. Questions should be directed to the public-css-testsuite@w3.org mailing list.

Index

Terms defined by this specification

Terms defined by reference

References

Normative References

[CSS-CASCADE-4]
Elika Etemad; Tab Atkins Jr.. CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 4. 14 January 2016. CR. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-cascade-4/
[CSS-CONTAIN-1]
Tab Atkins Jr.; Florian Rivoal. CSS Containment Module Level 1. 8 August 2017. CR. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-contain-1/
[CSS-CONTENT-3]
Elika Etemad; Dave Cramer. CSS Generated Content Module Level 3. 2 June 2016. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-content-3/
[CSS-DISPLAY-3]
Elika Etemad. CSS Display Module Level 3. 20 July 2017. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-display-3/
[CSS-OVERFLOW-3]
David Baron; Florian Rivoal. CSS Overflow Module Level 3. 31 May 2016. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-overflow-3/
[CSS-POSITION-3]
Rossen Atanassov; Arron Eicholz. CSS Positioned Layout Module Level 3. 17 May 2016. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-position-3/
[CSS-PSEUDO-4]
Daniel Glazman; Elika Etemad; Alan Stearns. CSS Pseudo-Elements Module Level 4. 7 June 2016. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-pseudo-4/
[CSS-VALUES-3]
Tab Atkins Jr.; Elika Etemad. CSS Values and Units Module Level 3. 29 September 2016. CR. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-values-3/
[CSS-WRITING-MODES-4]
CSS Writing Modes Module Level 4 URL: https://drafts.csswg.org/css-writing-modes-4/
[CSS21]
Bert Bos; et al. Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1) Specification. 7 June 2011. REC. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2
[CSS22]
Bert Bos. Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 2 (CSS 2.2) Specification. 12 April 2016. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/CSS22/
[CSS3-BREAK]
Rossen Atanassov; Elika Etemad. CSS Fragmentation Module Level 3. 9 February 2017. CR. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-break-3/
[CSS3-FLEXBOX]
Tab Atkins Jr.; Elika Etemad; Rossen Atanassov. CSS Flexible Box Layout Module Level 1. 19 October 2017. CR. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-flexbox-1/
[CSS3-GRID-LAYOUT]
Tab Atkins Jr.; Elika Etemad; Rossen Atanassov. CSS Grid Layout Module Level 1. 9 May 2017. CR. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-grid-1/
[CSS3-REGIONS]
Rossen Atanassov; Alan Stearns. CSS Regions Module Level 1. 9 October 2014. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-regions-1/
[CSS3COL]
Håkon Wium Lie; Florian Rivoal; Rachel Andrew. CSS Multi-column Layout Module Level 1. 5 October 2017. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-multicol-1/
[RFC2119]
S. Bradner. Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119
[SELECT]
Tantek Çelik; et al. Selectors Level 3. 29 September 2011. REC. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css3-selectors/

Informative References

[CSS1]
Håkon Wium Lie; Bert Bos. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS1) Level 1 Specification. 11 April 2008. REC. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/CSS1/
[CSS3-MARQUEE]
Bert Bos. CSS Marquee Module Level 3. 14 October 2014. NOTE. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css3-marquee
[CSS3GCPM]
Dave Cramer. CSS Generated Content for Paged Media Module. 13 May 2014. WD. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-gcpm-3/

Property Index

Name Value Initial Applies to Inh. %ages Media Ani­mat­able Anim­ation type Canonical order Com­puted value
continue auto | overflow | paginate | fragments | discard auto block containers [CSS21], flex containers [CSS3-FLEXBOX], and grid containers [CSS3-GRID-LAYOUT] no N/A visual no per grammar see below
max-lines none | <integer> none fragment boxes no N/A visual as integer per grammar specified value
scrollbar-gutter auto | [ stable | always ] && both? && force? auto all elements yes n/a visual discrete per grammar specified value

Issues Index

copy level 3 content when final
copy level 3 content when final
The naming of this property and its values is preliminary. This was initially proposed as "fragmentation: auto | none | break | clone | page" in https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2015Jan/0357.html, and there is not yet wide agreement as to which naming is better.
This property is meant to generalize and replace region-fragment. Once it is sufficiently stable in this specification, region-fragment should be removed from the regions specification in favor of this.
When the element isn’t a fragmentation container already, should this work by turning it directly into one, or by creating a fragment box inside it like fragments does?
If we introduce a pseudo element that can select columns in a multicol, we would need to specify that auto computes to auto on it, or introduce a new value and have auto compute to that (but what would that value compute to on things that aren’t columns?).
Write this section
Pages should be possible to style with @page rules. How does that work for nested pages?
Should traditional pagination (e.g. when printing) be expressed through some magic in the computed value of auto, or by inserting this in the UA stylesheet:
@media (overflow-block: paged), (overflow-block: optional-paged) {
  :root {
    continue: paginate;
  }
}
Traditional pagination (e.g. when printing) assumes that :root is contained in the page box, rather than having the page box be a pseudo element child of :root. Can we work around that using something similar to fragment boxes? Or maybe by having a fragment box (reproducing :root) inside a page box inside :root?
How does the page box model work when it is a child of a regular css box?
The initial proposal in [CSS3GCPM] and implementation from Opera used 4 values instead of paginate: "paged-x | paged-y | paged-x-controls | paged-y-controls". Should this property also include these values, or are they better handled as separate properties? (e.g.: "pagination-layout: auto | horizontal | vertical", "pagination-controls: auto | none")
Ability to display N pages at once rather than just one page at once? Could this be a value of "pagination-layout", such as: "pagination-layout: horizontal 2;"
Brad Kemper has proposed a model for combining pagination and fragment overflow, which also deals with displaying multiple pages. http://www.w3.org/mid/FF1704C5-D5C1-4D6F-A99D-0DD094036685@gmail.com
The current implementation of paginated overflow uses the overflow/overflow-x/overflow-y properties rather than the overflow-style property as proposed in the [CSS3GCPM] draft (which also matches the [CSS3-MARQUEE] proposal). or the continue property as described here.
Or is it as though it’s a next sibling of the element? Need to figure out exactly how this interacts with other box-level fixup.
though it defines multi-column element
Should a forced break that breaks to an outer fragmentation context cause a new fragment of a single fragment box or a new fragment box?
Should we find a term other than fragment box here to make this a little less confusing?
What if we want to be able to style the pieces of an element split within another type of fragmentation context? These rules prevent ever using ::nth-fragment() for that, despite that the name seems the most logical name for such a feature.
We should specify that continue: fragments does not apply to at least some table parts, and perhaps other elements as well. We need to determine exactly which ones.
This specification needs to say which type of fragmentation context is created so that it’s clear which values of the break-* properties cause breaks within this context. We probably want break-*: region to apply.
This specification needs a processing model that will apply in cases where the layout containing the fragments has characteristics that use the intrinsic size of the fragments to change the amount of space available for them, such as [CSS3-GRID-LAYOUT]. There has already been some work on such a processing model in [CSS3-REGIONS], and the work done on a model there, and the editors of that specification, should inform what happens in this specification.
Depending on future discussions, this ::nth-fragment(an+b) syntax may be replaced with the new ::fragment:nth(an+b) syntax.
Should this apply to continue:fragments only, or also to continue:paginate? (If it applies, then stricter property restrictions would be needed for continue:paginate.)
Does this need to be specified in the cascading module as well?
Need to specify exactly how this works
This inheritance rule allows specifying styles indirectly (by using explicit inherit or using default inheritance on properties that don’t apply to ::first-letter) that can’t be specified directly (based on the rules in the next section). This is a problem. The restrictions that apply to styling inside fragments should also apply to inheritance from fragments.
Should this apply to continue:fragments only, or also to continue:paginate?
If there are multiple boundaries between this line and the previous, where exactly (in terms of element boundaries) is the break forced?
Should this apply to fragment overflow only, or also to pagination? Given what we’re doing with the continue property, it should actually apply to any fragmentainer.
having max-lines do nothing on regular elements is not ideal. When applied to non fragmentainers, it should probably cause continue to compute to discard so that you only need to reach for one property rather than 2 to get that effect.