The HTMLElement.dir property gets or sets the text writing directionality of the content of the current element.

The text writing directionality of an element is which direction that text goes (for support of different language systems). Arabic languages and Hebrew are typical languages using the RTL directionality.

An image can have its dir property set to "rtl" in which case the HTML attributes title and alt will be formatted and defined as "rtl".

When a table has its dir set to "rtl", the column order is arranged from right to left.

When an element has its dir set to "auto", the direction of the element is determined based on its first strong directionality character, or default to the directionality of its parent element.

Syntax

var currentWritingDirection = elementNodeReference.dir;
elementNodeReference.dir = newWritingDirection;
  • currentWritingDirection is a string variable representing the text writing direction of the current element.
  • newWritingDirection is a string variable representing the text writing direction value.

Possible values for dir are ltr, for left-to-right, rtl, for right-to-left, and auto for specifying that the direction of the element must be determined based on the contents of the element.

Example

var parg = document.getElementById("para1"); 
parg.dir = "rtl"; 
// change the text direction on a paragraph identified as "para1"

Specification

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 HTML Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 HTML Specification
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Obsolete No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome ? Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: fscholz,