How to Make Horizontal Scrolling Div in CSS

You can create a div that scrolls horizontally using white-space and overflow CSS properties.

Let’s start by using HTML to create a div with some links.

<div class="scrollable-div">
  <a href="#">First</a>
  <a href="#">Second</a>
  <a href="#">Third</a>
  <a href="#>Fourth</a>
  <a href="#">Fifth</a>
  <a href="#">sixth</a>
  <a href="#">Seventh</a>
  <a href="#">Eighth</a>
  <a href="#>Ninth</a>
  <a href="#">Tenth</a>
  <a href="#">First</a>
  <a href="#">Second</a>
  <a href="#">Third</a>
  <a href="#>Fourth</a>
</div>

Result Scrolling div HTML screenshot

You can start by styling the div and the links a little bit to make them distinct.

.scrollable-div {
  background-color: #ffd8a8;
}
.scrollable-div a {
  background-color: #e8590c;
  color: #fff;
  text-decoration: none;
  padding: 10px;
  margin: 5px; 
}

Result Scrolling div basic styling

To ensure that we can activate the scrolling will be possible on all devices, you need to set a small fixed width on your div.

A width of 300 px seems like a reasonable size.

.scrollable-div {
  width: 300px;
}

Result Scrolling div with fixed width

You have noticed that the items flow to a new line when they reach the end of the container div.

To stop items flowing to the next line when they reach the end, use white-space CSS property.

.scrollable-div {
  white-space: nowrap;
}

Result Scrolling div with whitespace property

Now, to make the items only scroll within the div, use the overflow property.

.scrollable-div {
  overflow: auto;
}

Result Scrolling div with overflow property

With this new addition, you discover that a vertical scrollbar appears and the links are squashed together.

Just add some padding to the div to solve the problem.

.scrollable-div {
  padding: 1em 0.5em;
}

Result Scrolling div with padding

Your final CSS code should be:

.scrollable-div {
  background-color: #ffd8a8;
  width: 300px;
  white-space: nowrap;
  overflow: auto;
  padding: 1em 0.5em;
}
.scrollable-div a {
  background-color: #e8590c;
  color: #fff;
  text-decoration: none;
  padding: 10px;
  margin: 5px; 
}

Instead of using overflow property, you can use overflow-x and overflow-y properties.

.scrollable-div {
  overflow-x: auto; /* overflow-x: scroll; also works*/
  overflow-y: hidden;
}