CSS Functions

CSS provides a number of useful functions that calculate values. Functions are written in the form name(arg1, arg2, ...) and are provided as values to CSS properties. For example, this CSS code sets the height of the content area to the available space on screen for content after subtracting a header and footer:

#header {height: 150px}
#footer {height: 100px}
#content {
  height: calc(100vh - 150px - 100px);

Here 100vh is the height of the viewport, and the header and footer are defined in terms of pixels.


You might want to apply the box-sizing: border-box on these elements if they have padding and borders, or these additional dimensions will need to be included in the calculation. See the section on the CSS Box Model for more details.

Math Functions

CSS provides a number of useful math functions:

The Calc Function

As you have seen above, the calc() function can be used to calculate values by performing arithmetic upon values. These values can be in different units (i.e. calc(200px - 5mm) or even determined as the webpage is being interpreted (i.e. calc(80vw + 5rem)). See the MDN Documentation for more details.

The Min and Max Functions

CSS also provides min() and max() function, which provide the smallest or largest from the provided arguments (which can be arbitrary in number). As with calc(), it can do so with interpretation-time values.

The Clamp Function

The clamp() function clamps a value within a provided range. Its first argument is the minimum value, the second the preferred value, and the third the max. If the preferred value is between the min and max value, it is returned. If it is less than the minimum, the min is instead returned, or if it is greater than the maximum, the max value is returned.

Color Functions

Several CSS functions are used to create an modify colors. These are described in the CSS Color section.

Transformation Functions

Many CSS functions exist for specifying CSS transforms. See the MDN documentation for details.

Image Filter Functions

CSS allows for filters to be applied to images. More details can be found in the Mozilla Documentation.

Counter Functions

Finally CSS uses counters to determine row number and ordered list numbers. These can be manipulated and re-purposed in various ways. See the MDN Documentation for details.