The CSS scaleZ() Function

This article demonstrates how to use the CSS scaleZ function on elements with CSS transform. Included are code, definitions, and examples.

The scaleX function defines a [ 1, 1, sz ] scaling vector with the sz as the parameter. . It allows a 3D transformation that changes the size of an HTML element along the z-axis or applicate. The amount of scaling is determined by the sz linear scaling vector. For example, if sz = 1.5, the then element is going to be scaled along the z-axis. The scaling of the element is not preserved (isotropic) since the scaling is only done on the z-axis.

ScaleZ() is a <transform-function> data type.

Take note that the scaleZ(sz) has the same effect as transform: scale3d(1, 1, sz).

If a negative value is supplied, the result scaling effect is a symmetry of its original position. This is called an axial symmetry, with the horizontal axis passing through the origin. The origin can be changed by using the transform-origin property


transform: scaleZ(sz);

The CSS transform scaleZ is expressed as transform: scaleZ(sz); with the number being replaced with an actual number like scaleZ(3.15).


  • sz

The sz value of scaleZ is a number or a percentage. Sz represents the z-axis or the applicate of the scaling vector. This value changes the height along the z-axis.

When the value is greater than 1, the element grows along the z-axis, if the value is less than 1, it shrinks.


The examples below use numbers and percentage values for the parameter of the scaleZ function.

transform: scaleZ(1);     /* No effect */

transform: scaleZ(0);     /* Not visable / disappear effect */

transform: scaleZ(7)      /* A 7 scaling on z-axis */
transform: scaleZ(1.9);   /* A 1.9 scaling on z-axis */
transform: scaleZ(-5);    /* A -5 scaling with point reflection on z-axis. */

transform: scaleZ(4.1%)   /* A 4.1% scaling on z-axis. */
transform: scaleZ(0.14);  /* A 0.15 scaling on z-axis. */


You can apply the scaleZ function to any element or image by using CSS selectors.

#element-id {
  transform: scaleZ(1);

.element-class {
  transform: scaleZ(0);

img {
  transform: scaleZ(-9);

Try It

Below, we show an example where we use CSS scaleZ function to scale an element on the z-axis. You can see the elements get smaller as they move away because we are using the perspective and translateZ properties in conjunction with scaleZ.

What is the transform scaleZ function
What is the transform scaleZ function


<div class="perspective">
  <p>Translated Element</p>
<div class="scaled-translated">
  <p>Scaled Element</p>


div {
  width: 120px;
  height: 120px;
  background-color: blue;
  border: 1px solid black; 
  display: inline-block;
  margin-left: 70px;

.perspective {
  /* The line includes a perspective to create a 3D space effect*/
  transform: perspective(200px) translateZ(-150px);
  background-color: black;

.scaled-translated {
  /* The code includes a perspective to create a 3D space effec*/
  transform: perspective(300px) scaleZ(3) translateZ(-150px);
  background-color: red;

p {
  color: white;
  border-radius: 50%;
  text-align: center;
  padding-top: 50px; 
  margin: auto;

Click on me to edit the code on


W3C CSS Transforms Module Level 1

Transform Functions