The hyphens CSS property specifies how words should be hyphenated when text wraps across multiple lines. You can prevent hyphenation entirely, use hyphenation in manually-specified points within the text, or let the browser automatically insert hyphens where appropriate.

/* Keyword values */
hyphens: none;
hyphens: manual;
hyphens: auto;

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

Hyphenation rules are language-specific. In HTML, the language is determined by the lang attribute, and browsers will hyphenate only if this attribute is present and if an appropriate hyphenation dictionary is available. In XML, the xml:lang attribute must be used.

Note: The rules defining how hyphenation is performed are not explicitly defined by the specification, so the exact hyphenation may vary from browser to browser.

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

Syntax

The hyphens property is specified as a single keyword value chosen from the list below.

Values

none
Words are not broken at line breaks, even if characters inside the words suggest line break points. Lines will only wrap at whitespace.
manual
Words are broken for line-wrapping only where characters inside the word suggest line break opportunities. See Suggesting line break opportunities below for details.
auto
The browser is free to automatically break words at appropriate hyphenation points, following whatever rules it chooses to use. However, suggested line break opportunities (see Suggesting line break opportunities below) will override automatic break point selection when present.

Note: The auto setting's behavior depends on the language being properly tagged so that the appropriate hyphenation rules can be selected. You must specify a language using the lang HTML attribute in order to guarantee that automatic hyphenation is applied in the language of your choice.

Formal syntax

none | manual | auto

Suggesting line break opportunities

There are two Unicode characters that can be used to manually specify potential line break points within text:

U+2010 (HYPHEN)
The "hard" hyphen character indicates a visible line break opportunity. Even if the line is not actually broken at that point, the hyphen is still rendered.
U+00AD (SHY)
An invisible, "soft" hyphen. This character is not rendered visibly; instead, it marks a place where the browser should break the word if hyphenation is necessary. In HTML, you can use ­ to insert a soft hyphen.

Example

This example uses three classes, one for each possible configuration of the hyphens property.

HTML

<ul>
  <li><code>none</code>: no hyphen; overflow if needed
    <p lang="en" class="none">An extreme&shy;ly long English word</p>
  </li>  
  <li><code>manual</code>: hyphen only at &amp;hyphen; or &amp;shy; (if needed)
    <p lang="en" class="manual">An extreme&shy;ly long English word</p>
  </li>
  <li><code>auto</code>: hyphen where the algorithm is deciding (if needed)
    <p lang="en" class="auto">An extreme&shy;ly long English word</p>
  </li>
</ul>

CSS

p { 
  width: 55px;
  border: 1px solid black;
 }
p.none {
  -webkit-hyphens: none;
  -ms-hyphens: none;
  hyphens: none;
}
p.manual {
  -webkit-hyphens: manual;
  -ms-hyphens: manual;
  hyphens: manual;
}
p.auto {
  -webkit-hyphens: auto;
  -ms-hyphens: auto;
  hyphens: auto;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Text Module Level 3
The definition of 'hyphens' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support

55

13 -webkit- 1

?

43

6 -moz- 2

10 -ms- 3445.1 -webkit-
Hyphenation dictionary for Afrikaans (af, af-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Bosnian, Serbian, and Serbo-Croatian (sh, sh-*, sr, sr-*, bs, bs-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Bulgarian (bg, bg-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Catalan (ca, ca-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Croatian (hr, hr-*) ? ?810 ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Czech (cs, cs-*) ? ? No10 ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Esperanto (eo, eo-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Estonian (et, et-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Danish (da, da-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Dutch (nl, nl-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Finnish (fi, fi-*) ? ?810 ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for French (fr, fr-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Galician (gl, gl-*) ? ?9 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for German, Reformed Orthography of 1996 (de, de-1996, de-DE, de-AT, de-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for German, Traditional Orthography of 1901 (de-1901, de-AT-1901, de-DE-1901) ? ?8 ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for German, Swiss Orthography (de-CH, de-CH-*) ? ?8 ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Hungarian (hu, hu-*) ? ?9 No ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Icelandic (is, is-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Interlingua (ia, ia-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Italian (it, it-*) ? ?910 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Kurmanji (kmr, kmr-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Latin (la, la-*) Yes ?8 No44 No
Hyphenation dictionary for Lithuanian (lt, lt-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Mongolian (mn, mn-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Norwegian (Bokmål) (no, no-*, nb, nb-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Norwegian (Nynorsk) (nn, nn-*) ? ?810 ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Polish (pl, pl-*) ? ?3110 ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Portuguese (pt, pt-*) ? ?810 ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR) ? ?8410 ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Russian (ru, ru-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Slovenian (sl, sl-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Spanish (es, es-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Swedish (sv, sv-*) ? ?810 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Turkish (tr, tr-*) ? ?910 ?5.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Ukrainian (uk, uk-*) ? ?9 No ?9.1
Hyphenation dictionary for Upper Sorbian (hsb, hsb-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for Welsh (cy, cy-*) ? ?8 No ? No
Hyphenation dictionary for English (en, en-*)55 ?6510445.16
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support

55

4 -webkit-

55 ?

43

6 -moz- 2

444.2 -webkit- ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Afrikaans (af, af-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Bosnian, Serbian, and Serbo-Croatian (sh, sh-*, sr, sr-*, bs, bs-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Bulgarian (bg, bg-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Catalan (ca, ca-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Croatian (hr, hr-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Czech (cs, cs-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Esperanto (eo, eo-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Estonian (et, et-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Danish (da, da-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Dutch (nl, nl-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Finnish (fi, fi-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for French (fr, fr-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Galician (gl, gl-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for German, Reformed Orthography of 1996 (de, de-1996, de-DE, de-AT, de-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for German, Traditional Orthography of 1901 (de-1901, de-AT-1901, de-DE-1901) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for German, Swiss Orthography (de-CH, de-CH-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Hungarian (hu, hu-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Icelandic (is, is-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Interlingua (ia, ia-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Italian (it, it-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Kurmanji (kmr, kmr-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Latin (la, la-*) Yes Yes ? ?44 ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Lithuanian (lt, lt-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Mongolian (mn, mn-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Norwegian (Bokmål) (no, no-*, nb, nb-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Norwegian (Nynorsk) (nn, nn-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Polish (pl, pl-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Portuguese (pt, pt-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Russian (ru, ru-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Slovenian (sl, sl-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Spanish (es, es-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Swedish (sv, sv-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Turkish (tr, tr-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Ukrainian (uk, uk-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Upper Sorbian (hsb, hsb-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for Welsh (cy, cy-*) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyphenation dictionary for English (en, en-*)5555 ? ?44 ? ?

1. Only -webkit-hyphens: none is supported.

2. Automatic hyphenation only works for languages with hyphenation dictionaries that are integrated into Firefox.

3. Automatic hyphenation only works for languages with hyphenation dictionaries that are integrated into Internet Explorer.

4. For Brazilian Portuguese, Firefox uses a Portuguese dictionary.

5. For English, Firefox uses an en-US dictionary

6. For English, Safari uses different en-GB and en-US dictionaries.

See also