CSS Visibility

Welcome to CSS Visibility—a powerful property for controlling the visibility of elements on your webpage. Explore how it differs from the display property and learn to manage the visibility of your HTML elements with precision.

Controlling the Visibility of Elements

The visibility property allows you to control the visibility of an element. It accepts different values, which are described in the table below:

  • visible: The default value makes the box and its contents visible.
  • hidden: The hidden value makes the box and its content invisible, but they still affect the layout of the page.
  • collapse: The collapse value removes the entire row or column from the display. This value is typically used for table-related elements like rows, row groups, columns, and column groups.
  • inherit: The inherit value ensures that the visibility property inherits the value from its parent element. It takes on the same visibility value as specified for its parent.

When the visibility: collapse; style rule is applied to table elements, it removes the internal elements of the table while maintaining the table's layout. The space that would be occupied by the table elements is filled by subsequent siblings.

Note: If the visibility: collapse; style rule is used on elements other than table elements, it produces the same behavior as the hidden value.

CSS Visibility vs Display

The displayand visibility CSS properties may seem similar, but they have distinct differences and can be confusing for newcomers to web development.

  • visibility: hidden; hides the element while still occupying space in the layout. Child elements of a hidden box will be visible if their visibility is set to visible.
  • display: none; completely removes the element from the document and its display. It does not take up any space, even though the HTML for it remains in the source code. All child elements also have their display turned off, regardless of their display property values.

You can explore the provided demo to observe how display and visibility properties affect layouts.


What is CSS visibility, and how does it affect elements on a webpage?

CSS visibility is a property used to control the visibility of an HTML element on a webpage. It determines whether an element is visible or hidden. When an element's visibility is set to "visible," it is displayed on the webpage, while setting it to "hidden" makes the element invisible, but it still takes up space in the layout.

What are the possible values for the CSS visibility property, and how do they differ?

The CSS visibility property can take one of three values:

  • visible: When set to "visible," the element is displayed on the webpage, and it takes up space in the layout. Users can see and interact with the element as normal.
  • hidden: Setting visibility to "hidden" makes the element invisible, but it still occupies space in the layout. Users cannot see or interact with the element, but it affects the layout as if it were still visible.
  • collapse (for table elements): This value is specific to table elements (e.g., <table>, <tr>, <td>). When set to "collapse," it hides the table row or cell along with its content. It behaves similarly to "hidden" for non-table elements.

How does CSS visibility differ from the CSS display property?

CSS visibility and CSS display are related properties but serve different purposes:

  • visibility: This property controls whether an element is visible or hidden without affecting its layout in terms of space. Hidden elements still occupy space.
  • display: The display property determines how an element is rendered in terms of its box model and layout. It can change an element's rendering type, such as making a block element behave like an inline element or vice versa, and can also hide an element without leaving space by using the "none" value.

In what scenarios would you use the CSS visibility property to hide elements rather than the CSS display property?

CSS visibility is often used when you want to hide an element temporarily but still have it occupy space in the layout. Some common scenarios for using CSS visibility over the display property include:

  • Creating toggleable tooltips or pop-up menus.
  • Implementing show/hide functionality for dropdowns or accordions.
  • Animating elements in and out of view while preserving layout integrity.
  • Making elements temporarily invisible for accessibility reasons while still maintaining their position in the document flow.

By using CSS visibility, you can hide elements while keeping their position in the layout intact, which can be useful for various user interface interactions.

How does CSS visibility interact with the CSS z-index property when dealing with overlapping elements?

The CSS visibility property and the CSS z-index property interact in the following way:

  • visibility: hidden: If an element has visibility: hidden, it will be hidden from view, but it still affects the layout and stacking order. It can overlap other elements if its z-index is set higher than those elements.
  • z-index: The z-index property controls the stacking order of elements. Elements with a higher z-index value are placed in front of elements with lower z-index values. However, if an element with a higher z-index has visibility: hidden, it will still be hidden from view but may obscure elements below it in the stacking order.

What is the difference between visibility: hidden and opacity: 0 for hiding elements when it comes to CSS animations?

The key difference between visibility: hidden and opacity: 0 in CSS animations is how they affect the element's interaction with the page during the animation:

  • visibility: hidden: This property hides the element from view, but it still occupies space in the layout. When used in animations, it can cause the element to abruptly appear at the start of the animation if you don't carefully manage the animation's keyframes.
  • opacity: 0: This property makes the element transparent but does not remove it from the layout. When used in animations, it smoothly transitions the element from fully transparent to fully visible, creating a gradual fade-in effect without affecting the layout.


CSS Visibility is a versatile property that allows developers to control the visibility of HTML elements on a webpage. By using values such as visible, hidden, and collapse designers can show or hide elements and affect their space in the layout. CSS Visibility is useful for creating interactive features, managing overlays, and controlling the display of content based on user actions. With its simplicity and cross-browser compatibility, CSS Visibility provides an effective way to manipulate the visibility of elements, enhancing the overall user experience on the web.