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The speak-as descriptor specifies how a counter symbol constructed with a given @counter-style will be represented in the spoken form. For example, an author can specify a counter symbol to be either spoken as its numerical value or just represent it with an audio cue.

The value of the speak-as descriptor can be auto, bullets, numbers, words, spell-out, or the name of another counter style.

Related at-rule@counter-style
Initial valueauto
Computed valueas specified
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


/* Keyword values */
speak-as: auto;
speak-as: bullets;
speak-as: numbers;
speak-as: words;
speak-as: spell-out;

/* @counter-style name value */
speak-as: <counter-style-name>;


If the value of speak-as is specified as auto, then the effective value of speak-as will be determined based on the value of the system descriptor. If the value of system is alphabetic, then the effective value of speak-as will be spell-out. If system is cyclic, the effective value of speak-as will be bullets. If system is extends, the value of speak-as will be the same as if speak-as: auto is specified on the extended style. For all other cases, the specifying auto has the same effect as specifying speak-as: numbers.
A phrase or an audio cue defined by the user agent for representing an unordered list item will be read out.
The numerical value of the counter will be read out in the document language.
The user agent will generate a counter value as normal and read it out as a word in the document language.
The user agent will generate a counter representation as normal and would read it out letter by letter. If the user agent doesn't know how to read out a partiular counter symbol, the user agent might read it out as if the value of speak-as was numbers.
If the name of another counter style is specified, the counter will be spoken out in the form specified in that counter style, kind of like specifying the fallback descriptor. If the specified style does not exist, speak-as descriptor assumes the value auto.

Formal syntax

auto | bullets | numbers | words | spell-out | <counter-style-name>

<counter-style-name> = <custom-ident>



<ul class="list">


@counter-style speak-as-example {
  system: fixed;
  symbols:     ;
  suffix: " ";
  speak-as: numbers;

.list {
  list-style: speak-as-example;    



Specification Status Comment
CSS Counter Styles Level 3
The definition of 'speak-as' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support No support 33 (33) No support No support No support
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support 33 (33) No support No support No support

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: duncanmcdonald, Sebastianz, kscarfone, jsx
 Last updated by: duncanmcdonald,