I have 4 flexbox columns and everything works fine, but when I add some text to a column and set it to a big font size, it is making the column wider than it should be due to the flex property.

I tried to use word-break: break-word and it helped, but still when I resize the column to a very small width, letters in the text are broken into multiple lines (one letter per line), and yet the column does not get smaller width than one letter size.

Watch this video: http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cDetln1tyT (at the start, the first column is the smallest, but when I resized the window, it is the widest column. I just want to respect flex settings always; flex sizes 1 : 3 : 4 : 4)

I know, setting font-size and column padding to smaller will help... but is there any other solution?

I can not use overflow-x: hidden.

JSFiddle: https://jsfiddle.net/78h8wv4o/3/

.container {
  display: flex;
  width: 100%
}
.col {
  min-height: 200px;
  padding: 30px;
  word-break: break-word
}
.col1 {
  flex: 1;
  background: orange;
  font-size: 80px
}
.col2 {
  flex: 3;
  background: yellow
}
.col3 {
  flex: 4;
  background: skyblue
}
.col4 {
  flex: 4;
  background: red
}
<div class="container">
  <div class="col col1">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
  <div class="col col2">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
  <div class="col col3">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
  <div class="col col4">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
</div>

1 Answers 11

up vote 112 down vote accepted

The Implied Minimum Size of Flex Items

You're bumping up against the minimum sizing algorithm of flex items.

This is a default setting that prevents a flex item from shrinking past the size of its content (regardless of other flex factors, such as flex-shrink or flex-basis).

The defaults are...

  • min-width: auto
  • min-height: auto

...for flex items in row-direction and column-direction, respectively.

You can override these defaults by setting flex items to:

  • min-width: 0
  • min-height: 0
  • overflow: hidden (or any other value, except visible)

Flexbox Specification

4.5. Implied Minimum Size of Flex Items

To provide a more reasonable default minimum size for flex items, this specification introduces a new auto value as the initial value of the min-width and min-height properties defined in CSS 2.1.

With regard to the auto value...

On a flex item whose overflow is visible in the main axis, when specified on the flex item’s main-axis min-size property, specifies an automatic minimum size. It otherwise computes to 0.

In other words:

  • The min-width: auto and min-height: auto defaults apply only when overflow is visible.
  • If the overflow value is not visible, the value of the min-size property is 0.
  • Hence, overflow: hidden can be a substitute for min-width: 0 and min-height: 0.

and...


You've applied min-width: 0 and the item still doesn't shrink?

Nested Flex Containers

If you're dealing with flex items on multiple levels of the HTML structure, it may be necessary to override the default min-width: auto / min-height: auto on items at higher levels.

Basically, a higher level flex item with min-width: auto can prevent shrinking on items nested below with min-width: 0.

Examples:


Browser Rendering Notes

  • Chrome vs. Firefox / Edge

    Since at least 2017, it appears that Chrome is either (1) reverting back to the min-width: 0 / min-height: 0 defaults, or (2) automatically applying the 0 defaults in certain situations based on a mystery algorithm. (This could be what they call an intervention.) As a result, many people are seeing their layout (especially desired scrollbars) work as expected in Chrome, but not in Firefox / Edge.

  • IE11

    As noted in the spec, the auto value for the min-width and min-height properties is "new". This means that some browsers may still render a 0 value by default, because they implemented flex layout before the value was updated and because 0 is the initial value for min-width and min-height in CSS 2.1. One such browser is IE11. Other browsers have updated to the newer auto value as defined in the flexbox spec.


Revised Demo

.container {
  display: flex;
}

.col {
  min-height: 200px;
  padding: 30px;
  word-break: break-word
}

.col1 {
  flex: 1;
  background: orange;
  font-size: 80px;
  min-width: 0;   /* NEW */
}

.col2 {
  flex: 3;
  background: yellow
}

.col3 {
  flex: 4;
  background: skyblue
}

.col4 {
  flex: 4;
  background: red
}
<div class="container">
  <div class="col col1">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
  <div class="col col2">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
  <div class="col col3">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
  <div class="col col4">Lorem ipsum dolor</div>
</div>

jsFiddle

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