Rotating things with CSS3

askew on Google search
A new angle on Google search

Have you ever wondered how to make things a little askew as Google has done with one of its Easter eggs on its search results page? The answers lies in CSS3.

Try rotating me...

Try using the rotate control to see a live demo or skip to the explanation. (The control uses javascript to apply the CSS transform to the selected element.)

Try me!

Rotate Control

Select an element from the list and use the slider to rotate it on the page.

0 degrees
360 degrees

How it works

CSS3 includes various transform properties to manipulate the way elements appear. One of these is rotate. To show this, let’s take an HTML snippet, for example a box like the red one above:

<div id="asdf">Try rotating me...</div>

Now we need to apply the CSS:

#asdf {
  -webkit-transform: rotate(5deg);
     -moz-transform: rotate(5deg);
      -ms-transform: rotate(5deg);
       -o-transform: rotate(5deg);
          transform: rotate(5deg);
  /* for styling the box */
  background-color: lightblue;
  width: 75%;
  margin: auto;

You should end up with something like this:

transform: rotate(5deg);

I'm rotated by 5 degrees...

The arguments for rotate() can be negative too:

transform: rotate(-10deg);

I'm rotated by negative 10 degrees...


The possible units are degrees deg, gradians grad, radians rad and turns turn.

360 degrees = 400 gradians = radians = 1 turn

Browser Support

The example CSS includes all the prefixed forms to provide maximum browser support.

Browser Unprefixed version
transform: rotate()
Prefixed version
transform: rotate()
Chrome: No 4+ -webkit
Firefox: 16+ 3.5+ -moz
IE: 10+ 9+ -ms
Opera: 12.10+ 10.5+ -o
Safari: No 3.1+ -webkit
Android: No 2.1+ -webkit

Data from Can I use… and Mozilla Developer Network.

Read more

Further information about the CSS 3 transform: rotate() and other CSS 3 transforms is available from: