The text-align CSS property describes how inline content like text is aligned in its parent block element. text-align does not control the alignment of block elements, only their inline content.

Initial valuestart, or a nameless value that acts as left if direction is ltr, right if direction is rtl if start is not supported by the browser.
Applies toblock containers
Inheritedyes
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified, except for the match-parent value which is calculated against its parent's direction value and results in a computed value of either left or right
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderorder of appearance in the formal grammar of the values

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
text-align: left;
text-align: right;
text-align: center;
text-align: justify;
text-align: justify-all;
text-align: start;
text-align: end;
text-align: match-parent;

/* Block alignment values (Non-standard syntax) */
text-align: -moz-center;
text-align: -webkit-center;

/* Global values */
text-align: inherit;
text-align: initial;
text-align: unset;

Values

start
The same as left if direction is left-to-right and right if direction is right-to-left.
end
The same as right if direction is left-to-right and left if direction is right-to-left.
left
The inline contents are aligned to the left edge of the line box.
right
The inline contents are aligned to the right edge of the line box.
center
The inline contents are centered within the line box.
justify
The inline contents are justified. Text should be spaced to line up its left and right edges to the left and right edges of the line box, except for the last line.
justify-all
Same as justify, but also forces the last line to be justified.
match-parent
Similar to inherit, but the values start and end are calculated according the parent's direction and are replaced by the adequate left or right value.

Formal syntax

start | end | left | right | center | justify | match-parent

Examples

Left alignment

HTML

<p class="example">
  Integer elementum massa at nulla placerat varius.
  Suspendisse in libero risus, in interdum massa.
  Vestibulum ac leo vitae metus faucibus gravida ac in neque.
  Nullam est eros, suscipit sed dictum quis, accumsan a ligula.
</p>

CSS

.example {
  text-align: left;
  border: solid;
}

Result

Centered text

HTML

<p class="example">
  Integer elementum massa at nulla placerat varius.
  Suspendisse in libero risus, in interdum massa.
  Vestibulum ac leo vitae metus faucibus gravida ac in neque.
  Nullam est eros, suscipit sed dictum quis, accumsan a ligula.
</p>

CSS

.example {
  text-align: center;
  border: solid;
}

Result

Justify

HTML

<p class="example">
  Integer elementum massa at nulla placerat varius.
  Suspendisse in libero risus, in interdum massa.
  Vestibulum ac leo vitae metus faucibus gravida ac in neque.
  Nullam est eros, suscipit sed dictum quis, accumsan a ligula.
</p>

CSS

.example {
  text-align: justify;
  border: solid;
}

Result

Notes

The standard-compatible way to center a block itself without centering its inline content is setting the left and right margin to auto, e.g.:

.something {
  margin: auto;
}
.something {
  margin: 0 auto;
}
.something {
  margin-left: auto;
  margin-right: auto;
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Logical Properties Level 1
The definition of 'text-align' in that specification.
Editor's Draft No changes
CSS Text Level 3
The definition of 'text-align' in that specification.
Working Draft Added the start, end, and match-parent values. Changed the unnamed initial value to start (which it was).
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'text-align' in that specification.
Recommendation No changes
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'text-align' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (left, right, center and justify) 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 3.0 3.5 1.0 (85)
Block alignment values 1.0-webkit ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)-moz[1] No support No support 1.0 (85)-khtml
1.3 (312)-webkit [1]
start 1.0 ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) No support (Yes) 3.1 (525)
end 1.0 ? 3.6 (1.9.2) No support (Yes) 3.1 (525)
match-parent 16 ? 40 (40) No support No support No support
Feature Android Chrome for Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? ? (Yes) ? ? ? ?
Block alignment values ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
start ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
end ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
match-parent ? ? ? 40.0 (40) ? ? ?
true(non-standard syntax) No support No support ? ? No support No support No support

[1] Both WebKit and Gecko support a prefixed version of left, center, and right, that applies not only to inline content but also to block elements. This is used to implement the legacy align attributes on table elements and <center>. Do not use these on production Web sites.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: erikadoyle,