[html] Understanding the grid classes ( col-sm-# and col-lg-# ) in Bootstrap 3

I'm getting started on Bootstrap 3 and I'm having some trouble understanding how the grid classes are meant to be used.

Here's what I've figured out so far:

It appears that the classes col-sm-# and col-lg-# differ from plain old col-# in that they will only apply when screens are above a certain size (768px and 992px respectively). If you omit the -sm- or -lg- the divs will never collapse into one column.

However, when I create two divs inside a row that are both col-sm-6 it seems they are only side by side when the window is between 768px and 992px wide. In other words, if I shrink the window all the way down and then slowly widen it, the layout is single column, then two columns, then back to single column again.

  1. Is this the intended behavior?
  2. If I want two columns for anything over 768px, should I apply both classes? (<div class="col-sm-6 col-lg-6">)
  3. Should col-6 also be included? <div class="col-6 col-sm-6 col-lg-6">

This question is related to html css twitter-bootstrap twitter-bootstrap-3

The answer is


I took another look at the docs and it appears I overlooked a section which talks specifically about this.

The answers to my questions:

  1. Yes, they are meant to apply only to specific ranges, rather than everything above a certain width.

  2. Yes, the classes are meant to be combined.

  3. It appears that this is appropriate in certain cases but not others because the col-# classes are basically equivalent to col-xsm-# or, widths above 0px (all widths).

Other than reading the docs too quickly, I think I was confused because I came into Bootstrap 3 with a "Bootstrap 2 mentality". Specifically, I was using the (optional) responsive styles (bootstrap-responsive.css) in v2 and v3 is quite different (for the better IMO).

UPDATE for stable release:

This question was originally written when RC1 was out. They made some major changes in RC2 so for anyone reading this now, not everything mentioned above still applies.

As of when I'm currently writing this, the col-*-# classes DO seem to apply upwards. So for example, if you want an element to be 12 columns (full width) for phones, but two 6 columns (half page) for tablets and up, you would do something like this:

<div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-6"> ... //NO NEED FOR col-md-6 or col-lg-6

(They also added an additional xs break point after this question was written.)

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