The stroke-dasharray property in CSS is for creating dashes in the stroke of SVG shapes. The higher the number, the more space in between dashes in the stroke.

.module {
  stroke-dasharray: 5;


  • This will override a presentation attribute <path stroke-dasharray="5" ... />
  • This will not override an inline style e.g. <path style="stroke-dasharray: 5;" ... />


The stroke-dasharray property can accept any number, including whole numbers, decimals, and percentages:

  • stroke-dasharray: 2
  • stroke-dasharray: 2.5
  • stroke-dasharray: 2em
  • stroke-dasharray: 15%

Note that relative units (i.e. em and rem) can be used but are not required. A number without units is rendered in pixel units. In other words, a unit of 5 is rendered as a dash that is 5 pixels in length.

See the Pen stroke-dasharray property by CSS-Tricks (@css-tricks) on CodePen.

Getting Tricky with stroke-dasharray

Have you ever seen those cool demos where an SVG shape appears to draw itself? That's a trick that takes the stroke-dasharray of an element and animates it in conjunction with the stroke-dashoffset property.

.path {
  stroke-dasharray: 1000;
  stroke-dashoffset: 1000;
  animation: dash 5s linear forwards;

@keyframes dash {
  to {
    stroke-dashoffset: 0;

See the Pen Basic Example of SVG Line Drawing, Backward and Forward by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

We cover this technique in much more detail in this post.


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