Responsive CSS Grid with persistent aspect ratio

My goal is to create a responsive grid with an unknown amount of items, that keep their aspect ratio at 16 : 9. Right now it looks like this:

.grid {
    display: grid;
    grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fill, 160px);
    grid-template-rows: 1fr;
    grid-gap: 20px;
 }
.item {
    height: 90px;
    background: grey;
}
<div class="grid">
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
        <div class="item"></div>
</div>

The problem is, that the items won’t scale with the screen size, resulting in a margin at the right site. But when making the grid adapt to the screen size with e.g.: grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fit, minmax(160p, 1fr)) and removing the height: 90px;, the aspect ratio doesn’t persist.

Maybe there is a better solution without css grid? (Maybe using javascript)

Answer

You could take advantage of the fact that padding in percentages is based on width.

This CSS-tricks article explains the idea quite well:

…if you had an element that is 500px wide, and padding-top of 100%, the padding-top would be 500px.

Isn’t that a perfect square, 500px × 500px? Yes, it is! An aspect ratio!

If we force the height of the element to zero (height: 0;) and don’t have any borders. Then padding will be the only part of the box model affecting the height, and we’ll have our square.

Now imagine instead of 100% top padding, we used 56.25%. That happens to be a perfect 16:9 ratio! (9 / 16 = 0.5625).

So in order for the columns to maintain aspect ratio:

  1. Set the column widths as you suggested:

grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fit, minmax(160px, 1fr))

  1. Add a pseudo element to the items to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio:

    .item:before { content: “”; display: block; height: 0; width: 0; padding-bottom: calc(9/16 * 100%); }

.grid {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fit, minmax(160px, 1fr));
  grid-template-rows: 1fr;
  grid-gap: 20px;
}
.item {
  background: grey;
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
}
.item:before {
  content: "";
  display: block;
  height: 0;
  width: 0;
  padding-bottom: calc(9/16 * 100%);
}
<div class="grid">
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
  <div class="item"></div>
</div>

Codepen Demo (Resize to see the effect)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *