4.1.4 • Public • Published



This is small library that addresses a few issues when working with CSS transitions & elements that need to transition to or from the display:none state.

  • When transitioning "in" and going from display:none to a display state where the element is part of the document flow (e.g. display:block), reflow must occur. If not, the element is displayed instantly in the DOM, in its final state (as if all transitions have been instantly played to completion).

  • When transitioning "out" and going to display:none, the display:none CSS rule must be applied after all transition effects are played to completion. If not, the element will disappear instantly, before any transition effects are rendered.

Why use display:none at all?

It's tempting to just avoid using display:none and either setting the element's opacity to 0 (e.g. opacity:0) or positioning it outside of the viewport (e.g. top:-99999px), however, both of these hacks come with some issues:

  • Setting opacity:0 makes an element invisible, but it's still within the DOM and can be interacted with. An issue that typically manifests is that the element is invisible but is positioned such that it blocks interaction with elements behind it.
  • Moving the element outside the viewport alters the effect of transitions that involvement movement. For example, if the element should be at top:100px when visible and we want to transition such that we go from top:0pxtop:100px over 5s, that's a 100px transition over 5s. Going from top:-99999pxtop:100px that's a transition of 100,099px over 5s, so the element will be moving much, much faster.
  • Even if elements are not visible to the user, they are within the DOM and within the flow of the page, they'll be picked up and read by things like screen readers and web crawlers.

Using visibility instead of display is a potential solution, but it comes with some of the same problems as display when working with transitions. Specifically, transitioning out to a state with visibility:none, applies the rule instantly and the element will disappear instantly. As with transitioning to display:none, all the transition effects need to play to completion before the rule is applied.


As much as possible this library tries to work with and respect the rules defined via CSS classes applied to DOM elements.


Style the element to be transitioned in the "out" (i.e. not-displayed) state:

#testObj {
  display: none;
  opacity: 0;
  transform: translateX(100px);
  transition: opacity 0.3s ease-in-out, transform 0.3s ease-in-out;

.. create a class that defines the element's "in" state:

#testObj.transitionClass {
  display: flex;
  opacity: 1;
  transform: none;   

Transition In

Apply the transition rules defined in the CSS class transitionClass

DisplayToggleFx.in(document.getElementById('testObj'), ['transitionClass']);

Transition Out

Remove the CSS class transitionClass

DisplayToggleFx.out(document.getElementById('testObj'), ['transitionClass']);

Utility Methods

Force Reflow

Force reflow for a specific DOM element


Get transition duration

Get the total time (in milliseconds) it takes to complete all transitions, across all classes applied. Calling this method only makes sense after DisplayToggleFx.in() has already been called.


Other things

  • Prior to v4.0.0, DisplayToggleFx.in() would automatically apply display:none if the computed display style was none (typically occurred if a non-display-none style wasn't specified). This is no longer the case as of v4.0.0 as it leads to unintuitive and unexpected behaviors, especially when working with media queries, where it's expected that the media query rules take precedence over transition styling rules).

  • Prior to v4.0.0, DisplayToggleFx.out() would automatically apply and leave an inline style of display:none on the element. This is no longer the case and any inline display styles applied are removed when the transition is complete.

  • Prior to v2.0.0 transitions were not interruptable (i.e. it was not possible to stop transitioning out half way though, and switch to transitioning in). v2.0.0 fixes this and allow for interrupting transitions.




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npm i display-toggle-fx

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