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CSS Text Overflow, Word Wrap, Line Breaking Rules, and Writing Modes

In this chapter you will learn about the following properties:

  • text-overflow
  • word-wrap
  • word-break
  • writing-mode

CSS Text Overflow

The CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signaled to the user.

It can be clipped:

This is some long text that will not fit in the box

or it can be rendered as an ellipsis (...):

This is some long text that will not fit in the box

The CSS code is as follows:

Example

p.test1 {
  white-space: nowrap;
  width: 200px;
  border: 1px solid #000000;
  overflow: hidden;
  text-overflow: clip;
}

p.test2 {
  white-space: nowrap;
  width: 200px;
  border: 1px solid #000000;
  overflow: hidden;
  text-overflow: ellipsis;
}
Try it Yourself »

The following example shows how you can display the overflowed content when hovering over the element:

Example

div.test:hover {
  overflow: visible;
}
Try it Yourself »


CSS Word Wrapping

The CSS word-wrap property allows long words to be able to be broken and wrap onto the next line. 

If a word is too long to fit within an area, it expands outside:

This paragraph contains a very long word: thisisaveryveryveryveryveryverylongword. The long word will break and wrap to the next line.

The word-wrap property allows you to force the text to wrap - even if it means splitting it in the middle of a word:

This paragraph contains a very long word: thisisaveryveryveryveryveryverylongword. The long word will break and wrap to the next line.

The CSS code is as follows:

Example

Allow long words to be able to be broken and wrap onto the next line:

p {
  word-wrap: break-word;
}
Try it Yourself »

CSS Word Breaking

The CSS word-break property specifies line breaking rules.

This paragraph contains some text. This line will-break-at-hyphens.

This paragraph contains some text. The lines will break at any character.

The CSS code is as follows:

Example

p.test1 {
  word-break: keep-all;
}

p.test2 {
  word-break: break-all;
}
Try it Yourself »

CSS Writing Mode

The CSS writing-mode property specifies whether lines of text are laid out horizontally or vertically.

Some text with a span element with a vertical-rl writing-mode.

The following example shows some different writing modes:

Example

p.test1 {
  writing-mode: horizontal-tb;
}

span.test2 {
  writing-mode: vertical-rl;
}

p.test2 {
  writing-mode: vertical-rl;
}
Try it Yourself »


CSS Text Effect Properties

The following table lists the CSS text effect properties:

Property Description
text-align-last Specifies how to align the last line of a text
text-justify Specifies how justified text should be aligned and spaced
text-overflow Specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signaled to the user
word-break Specifies line breaking rules for non-CJK scripts
word-wrap Allows long words to be able to be broken and wrap onto the next line
writing-mode Specifies whether lines of text are laid out horizontally or vertically