Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

What is a CSS grid?

From: CSS: Frameworks and Grids

Video: What is a CSS grid?

It would be nice if laying out pages with CSS were easier. As it is, the quirks of crafting float-based layouts can be challenging, even for the most experienced designers. So while we wait on support for new layout models like Flexbox and CSS grid Templates, it's not unreasonable to look for some way to speed up and simplify the process of crafting page layouts. That's where CSS grid systems come in. A grid system is a collection of styles that allows a designer to control page layout based on using rows and columns. A typical grid system works like this.

What is a CSS grid?

It would be nice if laying out pages with CSS were easier. As it is, the quirks of crafting float-based layouts can be challenging, even for the most experienced designers. So while we wait on support for new layout models like Flexbox and CSS grid Templates, it's not unreasonable to look for some way to speed up and simplify the process of crafting page layouts. That's where CSS grid systems come in. A grid system is a collection of styles that allows a designer to control page layout based on using rows and columns. A typical grid system works like this.

Containing elements are used to define a row within the layout, then you apply class attributes to child elements and then span them over the desired number of columns within that row. The grid system will typically be based on a 12- to 16-column grid. The grid could be fixed, meaning the columns are based off of a set width, or they could be fluid or percentage based. Either way, the grid system will have a collection of styles that will float an element and then tell it how many columns to span.

The containing element will then handle clearing the floats and establishing a new section of content. Most frameworks come with built-in grid systems, but there are quite a few stand-alone grids available for designers who want the ease of using grids without the overhead of an entire framework. As with any predefined system, there are pros and cons to using grids. The most obvious pro is the speed with which they let you work. You can often craft a simple layout in seconds by just applying a few classes. They can also reduce the frustration typically involved with pretty more complicated nested layouts as the CSS is written to account for many of the float-based issues that often plague complex layouts.

However, they are not without their downsides. Most grid systems require you to use containing elements for rows and columns. This means the injection of somewhat unnecessary code into your HTML. This can be especially tricky when attempting to utilize a grid system with a CMS that generates a different code structure. Another consideration is the class attributes that grid systems use. The values are usually specific to the grid that forces you to inject a fair amount of non-semantic markup into your code. Grid systems can also be somewhat inflexible if you're using media queries to target multiple screen sizes, because the classes are tied to a specific column value, it can be difficult to create layouts that shift significantly from one screen size to the next.

In many ways, grid systems are much like the frameworks that often contain them. Some designers swear by them, while others see them as adding unnecessary weight to their code. If you have never used one, I recommend trying one out to see it increases your efficiency and fits with your design philosophy.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CSS: Frameworks and Grids
CSS: Frameworks and Grids

30 video lessons · 13467 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed CSS: Frameworks and Grids.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.