A Simple Guide to CSS Grid Layout

By Manjit Singh Nov 12, 2018

The CSS Grid Layout Module offers a grid-based layout system, with rows and columns. It is powerful tool that allows for two-dimensional and flexible layouts to be created on the web. And for those who prefer to build designs from scratch, it works a lot better that other CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, or Semantic UI.

Let’s directly jump into the practical implementation.

HTML Layout

Grids will only work if you have particular HTML layout - Parent & Child. Parent is the actual grid and child are the actual content inside the grid.

<div class="wrapper"> 
<div class="item-1">one</div>
<div class="item-2">two</div>
<div class="item-3">three</div>
<div class="item-4">four</div>
<div class="item-5">five</div>
<div class="item-6">six</div></div>

Display Grid

To make wrapper div into grid, simply give it a  display: grid;

.wrapper {  display: grid;}

Columns & Rows

To create columns and rows of the grid, we have to use the  grid-template-row  and  grid-template-column  properties.

.wrapper {  
display: grid;   grid-template-columns: 100px 100px 100px;
grid-template-rows: 50px 50px;}

As you can see, we have specified the three values to  grid-template-columns  & two values to  grid-template-rows . It means the layout will be of three columns & two rows.

This is how the layout will look:


Placing Items in Grid

Before placing items in Grids, it is important to understand the grid lines’.


To position and resize the items we’ll target them and use the  grid-column  and grid-row  properties:

.item-1 {  
 grid-column-start: 1;   
grid-column-end: 4;}

.item-1 {   grid-column: 1/4; //Shorthand property}

This is how  .item-1  will look like:


On the other hand, if we change to this

.item-1 {   
grid-row-start: 1;   
grid-row-end: 4;}
.item-1 {   grid-row: 1/4; //Shorthand property}

This is how the  .item-1  will look like:


As you can see,  grid-rows  &  grid-column allows you to make complex layouts without any change in HTML DOM.

Grid-area Property

The grid-area property can be used as a shorthand property for the  grid-row-start/ grid-column-start/ grid-row-end  and the  grid-column-end   properties.

.item5 { grid-area: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4;}

This is how it will look:


Naming of Grid Items

We can assign a particular name to grid items using  grid-area  property.


<div class="wrapper">
<div class="item-1">Header</div>
<div class="item-2">Left Sidebar</div>
<div class="item-3">Main</div>
<div class="item-4">Right sidebar</div>
<div class="item-5">Footer</div></div>


.container { display: grid; grid-template-areas:
'header header header header header header'  
'menu main main main main right'  
'menu footer footer footer footer footer';}
.item-1 { grid-area: header; }
.item-2 { grid-area: menu; }
.item-3 { grid-area: main; }
.item-4 { grid-area: right; }
.item-5 { grid-area: footer; }


That was a quick basic guide to CSS Grids. Here are the best resources to dive in further:

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