What is the different between "Auto" and "*" when setting width/height for a grid column?

Cover Image for What is the different between "Auto" and "*" when setting width/height for a grid column?
Matheus Mello
Matheus Mello
published a few days ago. updated a few hours ago

šŸ“ Blog Post: Understanding the Difference between 'Auto' and '*' when Setting Width/Height for a Grid Column

Are you feeling puzzled by the terms 'Auto' and '*' when it comes to setting the width and height of a grid column? šŸ¤” Don't worry, you're not alone! Many developers struggle with understanding the differences between these two options.

In this blog post, we will demystify the distinction between 'Auto' and '*' and provide you with easy solutions to overcome common issues.

Auto - Flexible Width/Height

When we set the width or height of a grid column to 'Auto', we let the browser automatically calculate the appropriate size based on the content within that column. It means that the column's width or height will adjust itself dynamically as you add or remove content inside it. šŸ“

For example, imagine you have a grid column with the width set to 'Auto' containing a sentence. Initially, the column's width will be equal to the width of the sentence. However, if you add more text or increase the font size, the column's width will expand accordingly, ensuring all the content is visible without being cut off. šŸ“š

Auto-sizing is excellent for responsive designs or situations where the content's size might vary dynamically. šŸŒ

* (Asterisk) - Equal Distribution

The '*' symbol, on the other hand, represents equal distribution of available space among the grid columns. It means that each column will have an equal share of space, regardless of the content within it. šŸš€

Let's say you have a grid with three columns, each set to a width of '*'. In this case, each column will consume one-third of the available space, regardless of its content's size. This ensures that all columns are evenly spread out and take up an equal amount of space.

The 'Auto' and '' options are not mutually exclusive. You can combine them to achieve specific layouts. For instance, you might want one column to dynamically adjust its width based on its content ('Auto'), while two other columns are equally distributed ('').

Common Issues & Easy Solutions

āš ļø Problem: I am unable to align my grid columns, and they don't seem to consume the same amount of space. āœ”ļø Solution: Ensure that you are applying the '*' width/height option to all the grid columns you want to be equally distributed.

āš ļø Problem: My grid columns are overlapping or overflowing the container. āœ”ļø Solution: Try setting the width/height of your problematic columns to 'Auto'. This will let them adjust their sizes based on the content, preventing any overflow issues.

āš ļø Problem: The grid is not responsive on different screen sizes. āœ”ļø Solution: Experiment with a combination of 'Auto' and '' options to create responsive grid layouts. Set widths/heights to 'Auto' for flexible columns and '' for those that need equal distribution.


Understanding the difference between 'Auto' and '' is essential when it comes to creating well-structured grid layouts. 'Auto' allows for flexible sizing, dynamically adjusting to content changes, while '' ensures equal distribution of available space among columns.

Remember to experiment with different combinations of these options to achieve your desired layout, and don't hesitate to seek further resources on grid layouts and CSS techniques.

We hope this guide has cleared up any confusion you had regarding 'Auto' and '*'. Now go forth and create stunning grid-based designs with confidence! šŸ˜Ž

Have you encountered any other grid layout challenges or found unique solutions? Share your experiences in the comments below! Let's learn from each other and further enhance our grid game. šŸ‘‡

šŸ“£ CALL-TO-ACTION: Join our community of web developers to explore more CSS tips and tricks to level up your skills! Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates that will keep you at the forefront of web design trends. Don't miss out ā€“ join now and become a grid ninja! šŸš€

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