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Detect Overflow

The detectOverflow utility returns an object of overflow offsets of the popper or reference element relative to a given boundary.

import { detectOverflow } from '@popperjs/core';

const overflow = detectOverflow(state, options);

You can use this utility within your own custom modifiers.

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The first argument is the popper instance state that gets passed in to modifiers.


type Options = {
  placement: Placement, // state.placement
  elementContext: Context, // "popper"
  boundary: Boundary, // "clippingParents"
  rootBoundary: RootBoundary, // "viewport"
  altBoundary: boolean, // false
  padding: Padding, // 0

// Below are the relative types
type Context = 'reference' | 'popper';
type Boundary = 'clippingParents' | HTMLElement | Array<HTMLElement>;
type RootBoundary = 'document' | 'viewport';
type Padding =
  | number
  | {|
      top?: number,
      right?: number,
      bottom?: number,
      left?: number,


This will check the overflow when the popper is given this placement. By default, it's state.placement.


This describes the element that is being checked for overflow relative to the boundary.

detectOverflow(state, {
  elementContext: 'reference', // 'popper' by default


This describes the area that the element will be checked for overflow relative to.

By default, it is "clippingParents", which are the scrolling containers that may cause the element to be partially or fully cut off.

const customBoundary = document.querySelector('#boundary');

detectOverflow(state, {
  boundary: customBoundary, // 'clippingParents' by default


This describes the root boundary that will be checked for overflow. There are only two "roots" – the viewport and the document. "viewport" is default, which is the area of the document the user can actually see on the screen. "document" is the entire page which can be potentially scrolled.

detectOverflow(state, {
  rootBoundary: 'document', // 'viewport' by default


This describes whether to use the alt element's boundary. For example, if the elementContext is "popper", then it will check the reference's boundary context, and vice-versa.

detectOverflow(state, {
  altBoundary: true, // false by default


Applies virtual padding to the boundary.

You can pass a number, which will be equal padding on all four sides, or an object containing side properties each with their own padding value.

detectOverflow(state, {
  // Same padding on all four sides
  padding: 8,
  // Different padding on certain sides – unspecified sides are 0
  padding: { top: 8, right: 16 },

Return value

// If the number is positive, the popper is overflowing by that number of pixels.
// When 0, or negative, the popper is within its boundaries.
type OverflowOffsets = {
  top: number,
  bottom: number,
  right: number,
  left: number,


For your custom modifiers, ensure you add "offset" to requiresIfExists, as the util needs to have access to this information if offset exists in the modifier lifecycle:

import { detectOverflow } from '@popperjs/core';

const myModifier = {
  name: 'myModifier',
  enabled: true,
  phase: 'main',
  requiresIfExists: ['offset'],
  fn({ state }) {
    const overflow = detectOverflow(state);
    // ...

detectOverflow only considers the offset modifier by default and reports values as though no other modifier is currently affecting it. This means if preventOverflow is enabled, its values should be taken into account (state.modifiersData.preventOverflow), along with any other potential modifier that alters popperOffsets.

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