The direction CSS property sets the direction of text, table columns, and horizontal overflow. Use rtl for languages written from right to left (like Hebrew or Arabic), and ltr for those written from left to right (like English and most other languages). Note that text direction is usually defined within a document (e.g. with HTML's dir attribute) rather than through direct use of the direction property.

/* Keyword values */
direction: ltr;
direction: rtl;

/* Global values */
direction: inherit;
direction: initial;
direction: unset;

The property sets the base text direction of block-level elements and the direction of embeddings created by the unicode-bidi property. It also sets the default alignment of text, block-level elements, and the direction that cells flow within a table row.

Unlike the dir attribute in HTML, the direction property is not inherited from table columns into table cells, since CSS inheritance follows the document tree, and table cells are inside of rows but not inside of columns.

The direction and unicode-bidi properties are the two only properties which are not affected by the all shorthand property.

Initial valueltr
Applies toall elements
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar



Text and other elements go from left to right. This is the default value.
Text and other elements go from right to left.

For the direction property to have any effect on inline-level elements, the unicode-bidi property's value must be embed or override.

Formal syntax

ltr | rtl


blockquote {
  direction: rtl;


Specification Status Comment
CSS Writing Modes Module Level 3
The definition of 'direction' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation No change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'direction' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 2.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 5.5 9.2 1.3
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.0) 6 8 3.1

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: Tigt,