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why is horizontal scrolling a big fat "no!"?

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Used to was, one could use a horizontal scroll bar with ease.
Just use overflow:auto.
But for some strange reason, it's like that's just not possible.
Ok so it's me.
overflow-x:scroll does not work for me.

I have a defined size box.
In that box a list of items will appear.
Rather than having a vertical scroll bar, I just want a horizontal scroll

Next problem.
I have a dozen columns that I want to show in that box.
X items per column.
Columns 1,2 and 3 are fine.
When column 4 shows up, it drops below column 1.

I have tried overflow:auto and overflow-x:scroll with the same results.
No I do not want to make the box conform to the width of the items.

I have even tried nesting an inner division.

Can someone please tell me how it's done?

Understand this: OVERLOW-X:SCROLL does not work!
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