How to Use Tailwind CSS’s Break Inside Utility

When working with multi-column layouts or print documents, controlling how content breaks across columns or pages is crucial for maintaining a clean and professional appearance. Tailwind CSS, a utility-first CSS framework, provides a set of utilities for controlling page breaks, including the break-inside utility. This how-to guide will cover everything you need to know about using the break-inside utility in Tailwind CSS.

Understanding Break Inside

Before diving into Tailwind’s implementation, it’s important to understand the CSS break-inside property. This property controls how page, column, or region breaks should behave inside a box. It prevents breaks from occurring within the specified element, which can be particularly useful for keeping related content together.

The break-inside property can take the following values:

  • auto: Default behavior, allowing breaks inside the element.
  • avoid: Prevents breaks inside the element.
  • avoid-page: Specifically avoids page breaks inside the element.
  • avoid-column: Specifically avoids column breaks inside the element.

Enabling Break Inside Utilities in Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS doesn’t enable break-inside utilities by default. To use them, you need to add them to your tailwind.config.js file. Here’s how you can do that:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  // ...
  theme: {
    extend: {
      // ...
      breakInside: ['responsive', 'hover', 'focus'], // Add the variants you need
  // ...

After adding this configuration, Tailwind will generate the corresponding utilities for you to use in your project.

Using Break Inside Utilities

With the utilities enabled, you can start using them in your HTML. Here’s how to apply the break-inside utility classes:

<!-- Avoid breaks inside the element -->
<div class="break-inside-avoid">
  <!-- Your content here -->

<!-- Avoid page breaks inside the element (useful for print layouts) -->
<div class="break-inside-avoid-page">
  <!-- Your content here -->

<!-- Avoid column breaks inside the element (useful for multi-column layouts) -->
<div class="break-inside-avoid-column">
  <!-- Your content here -->

Responsive and State Variants

Tailwind CSS allows you to apply utilities conditionally based on the current breakpoint or state. For example, you might want to avoid column breaks only on large screens or when an element is hovered. Here’s how you can use responsive and state variants with break-inside utilities:

<!-- Avoid breaks inside the element on medium screens and up -->
<div class="md:break-inside-avoid">
  <!-- Your content here -->

<!-- Avoid breaks inside the element on hover -->
<div class="hover:break-inside-avoid">
  <!-- Your content here -->

Cross-Browser Compatibility

While the break-inside property is widely supported, there are some known limitations and bugs, especially in older browsers. It’s important to test your layouts across different browsers to ensure consistent behavior. For up-to-date compatibility information, you can check Can I use.

Common Use Cases

Here are some common scenarios where you might want to use the break-inside utility:

  • Multi-column layouts: To keep paragraphs or list items from breaking across columns.
  • Print layouts: To prevent headings and associated content from being split between pages.
  • Grids and flex containers: To avoid breaking items inside a grid or flex container, ensuring visual consistency.


Tailwind CSS’s break-inside utility provides a powerful way to control content flow within your layouts. By understanding how to enable and use these utilities, you can ensure that your multi-column and print layouts look clean and professional. Remember to test your designs across different browsers and devices to ensure the best user experience.

For more information on Tailwind CSS and its utilities, you can visit the official Tailwind CSS documentation.

By following this guide, you should now have a solid understanding of how to use Tailwind CSS’s break-inside utility to manage content breaks effectively in your projects.


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