FlexBox

2018-04-22T00:00:00.000Z

Flexbox-zombies

I recently finished up the flexbox-zombies course to learn more about flexbox, and to become proficient with it. I can truly say that this course has changed the way that I create layouts. Flexbox is very intuitive now. What this course does really well at is explaining the concepts and hitting you with a ton of examples that you can work through really quickly.

flexbox-zombies

A clip from the final round against Dave

Basic Setup

Flexbox requires a wrapper container to work I will refer to this as the flex container, and the items in that container as items.

Markup

I will use the following markup throughout the article, each with different css applied.

note The animated container is inspired by the flexbox-zombies course. I really like how it allows you to see the responsiveness of each layout. In the early example the reasoning may not be aparent, but as we go along some of the flexbox parameters will make more sense if we are viewing them on a dynamic layout since flexbox is designed for building responsive design.

<div class='flex_container'>
    <div class='item'>1</div>
    <div class='item'>2</div>
    <div class='item'>3</div>
    <div class='item'>4</div>
</div>
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Base Style

    .item {
        color: #6394C8;
        font-size: 1.5rem;
        padding: 1rem;
        display: flex;
        justify-content: center;
        align-items: center;
        height: 100px;
        width: 100px;
        background: #351D57;
        margin: 5px;
        border: 2px solid #A83E75;
        box-shadow: 5px 5px 10px -5px rgba(0, 0, 0, .6);
    }

    .flex_container {
        padding: 1rem;
        box-shadow: 5px 5px 10px -5px rgba(0, 0, 0, .6);
        background: rgba(99, 148, 200, .2);
        animation: animate_container 2s cubic-bezier(.66, -0.0, .28, 1.0) infinite both alternate;
    }

    /* Animate the .flex_container to show responsiveness */

    .flex_container:hover {
    /* But not on hover, let the user pause the annimation*/
        animation: none 
    }

    @keyframes animate_container {
        0%{
            width: 95%;
        }

        20% {
            width: 95%;
        }

        80% {
            width: 200px;
        }

        100% {
            width: 200px;
        }
    }

Basic Technique

basic technique

1. Turn on the crossbow

applied to the flex container
display: flex;

Turning on flexbox on the flex container will cause all child elements to align in a row at the top left corner of the parent container. By defualt they will shrink to the minimum content size, but not automatically grow larger than their specified size.

    .flex_container {
                display: flex;
        }
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2. Aim it if necessary

applied to the flex container

This parameter determines the direction that the flexbox container will orient the flex items.

example flex-direction: row
options = ('row'(default), 'column', 'row-reverse', 'column-reverse')

row

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            flex-direction: row;
    }
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column

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            flex-direction: column;
    }
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row-reverse

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            flex-direction: row-reverse;
    }
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column-reverse

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            flex-direction: column-rerverse;
    }
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3. Line them up along the red Justify Laser

applied to the flex container

This parameter determines justification of the flex items within the flex container. Think spacing or positioning around the flex items.

example justify-content: flex-end;
options = ('flex-start', 'flex-end', 'space-between', 'space-around', 'space-evenly', 'stretch', 'center', 'start', 'end', 'left', 'right')

flex-start

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: flex-start;
    }
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flex-end

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: flex-end;
    }
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space-between

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content:space-between;
    }
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space-around

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: space-around;
    }
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space-evenly

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: space-evenly;
    }
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center

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: center;
    }
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3b. Align them along the blue Alignment Laser

applied to the flex container

  • align-items: flex-end;
  • options = ('flex-start', 'flex-end', 'normal', 'end', 'self-start', 'self-end', 'center', 'start' 'end')

flex-start

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: flex-start;
    }
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flex-end

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: flex-end;
    }
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center

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: center;
    }
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4. Take care of any one-off alignments

applied to items

  • align-self: flex-start;
  • options = ('flex-start', 'flex-end', 'normal', 'end', 'self-start', 'self-end', 'center', 'start' 'end')

combine

the align-self property is used to take care of one off alignments and is applied to the item itself. All of the parameters are the same as align-items. In this example we will apply all of the previous example alignment types into one.

.flex_container {
    display: flex; 
     } 
.item:nth-of-type(1){
     align-self: flex-start  
     }
.item:nth-of-type(2){
     align-self: center
     }
.item:nth-of-type(3){
     height: auto; align-self: stretch;
     }
.item:nth-of-type(4){
     height: auto; align-self: flex-end;
     }
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6. growth along the red Justify Laser

applied to items

  • flex-grow: 1

flex-grow

By setting flex-grow: 1; on item 3 it will take up any available free space.

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
    }
.item:nth-of-type(3) {
    flex-grow: 1
}
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multiple flex-grow

By setting flex-grow: 2; on item 1 will take up the available free space 2x faster than 3

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: flex-start;
    }
.item:nth-of-type(3) {
    flex-grow: 1
}
.item:nth-of-type(1) {
    flex-grow: 2
}
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7. setting length of items along the red Justify Laser

applied to items
in order of importance

  • min-width
  • max-width
  • flex-basis
  • width

8. Out of Order

applied to items behaves similar to z-index

  • order - takes an integer value

order 1

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
    }
.item:nth-of-type(3) {
    order: 1
}
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order -1

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
    }
.item:nth-of-type(3) {
    order: -1
}
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9. Get your own Line

applied to the flex container

  • flex-wrap - options= (wrap, nowrap(default))
  • prefers wrap over shrink
  • but will still shrink after fully wraped

wrap

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            flex-wrap: wrap;
    }
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10. Aligning wrapped content

applied to the flex container

  • align-content - same specs as align-items but works on wrapped content.

wrap

.flex_container {
            display: flex;
            height: 700px;
            flex-wrap: wrap;
            align-content: center;
    }
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11. Shortcuts

flex
applied to the flex items

  • flex: grow, shrink, basis
  • defaults - flex: 1 1 0px
  • setting flex: none is equivalent to flex: 0 0 auto

flex-flow applied to the flex container

  • flex: flex-direction flex-wrap

Chapter 7: In a Perfect World (flex-basis)

flex-basis

  • Starting point, ideal size, hypothetical size
  • applied to items
  • overrides width
  • shinks if necessary

When Shooting Horizontally it controls width

When Shooting Vertically it controls height

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