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The symbols() CSS function lets you define counter styles inline, directly as the value of a property such as list-style. Unlike @counter-style, symbols() is anonymous (i.e., it can only be used once). Although less powerful, it is shorter and easier to write than @counter-style.


symbols() = symbols( <symbols-type>? [ <string> | <image> ]+ );

<symbols-type> can be one of the following:

  • cyclic: The system cycles through the given values in the order of their definition, and returns to the start when it reaches the end.
  • numeric: The system interprets the given values as the successive units of a place-value numbering system.
  • alphabetic: The system interprets the given values as the digits of an alphabetic numbering system, like a place-value numbering system but without 0.
  • symbolic: The system cycles through the values, printing them an additional time at each cycle (one time for the first cycle, two times for the second, etc.).
  • fixed: The system cycles through the given values once, then falls back to Arabic numerals.





ol {
  list-style: symbols(cyclic "*" "†" "‡");



Specification Status Comment
CSS Counter Styles Level 3
The definition of 'symbols()' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial defintion.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support No support 35 (35) No support No support No support
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support 35.0 (35) No support No support No support

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: mfluehr, teoli, jsx
 Last updated by: mfluehr,