The text-emphasis-position CSS property describes where emphasis marks are drawn at. The effect of emphasis marks on the line height is the same as for ruby text: if there isn't enough place, the line height is increased.

The preferred position of emphasis marks depends on the language. In Japanese for example, the preferred position is over right. In Chinese, on the other hand, the preferred position is under right. The informative table below summarizes the preferred emphasis mark positions for Chinese and Japanese:

Preferred emphasis mark and ruby position
Language Preferred position Illustration
Horizontal Vertical
Japanese over right Emphasis marks appear over each emphasized character in horizontal Japanese text. Emphasis marks appear on the right of each emphasized character in vertical Japanese text.
Chinese under right Emphasis marks appear below each emphasized character in horizontal Simplified Chinese text.

The text-emphasis-position cannot be set, and therefore are not reset either, using the text-emphasis shorthand property.

Initial valueover right
Applies toall elements
Computed valueas specified
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


/* Initial value */
text-emphasis-position: over right;

/* Keywords value */
text-emphasis-position: over left;
text-emphasis-position: under right;
text-emphasis-position: under left;

/* Global values */
text-emphasis-position: inherit;
text-emphasis-position: initial;
text-emphasis-position: unset;


Draw marks over the text in horizontal writing mode.
Draw marks under the text in horizontal writing mode.
Draws marks to the right of the text in vertical writing mode.
Draw marks to the left of the text in vertical writing mode.

Formal syntax

[ over | under ] && [ right | left ]


Some editors prefer to hide emphasis marks when they conflict with ruby. In HTML, this can be done with the following style rule:

ruby {
  text-emphasis: none;

Some other editors prefer to hide ruby when they conflict with emphasis marks. In HTML, this can be done with the following pattern:

em {
  text-emphasis: dot; /* Set text-emphasis for <em> elements */

em rt {
  display: none; /* Hide ruby inside <em> elements */


Specification Status Comment
CSS Text Decoration Level 3
The definition of 'text-emphasis' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Firefox (Gecko) Chrome Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (over and under) 46 (46)[1] 25.0-webkit Not supported 15.0-webkit 6.1-webkit
left and right 46 (46)[1] Not supported[2] Not supported Not supported 7.1
Feature Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Android IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 46 (46)[1] 4.4-webkit Not supported 33-webkit 7.1

[1] In Firefox 45, it wasn't activated by default: in about:config, the user has to set the preference layout.css.text-emphasis.enabled to true.

[2] See Chrome bug 522882.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: teoli, yisibl, upsuper
 Last updated by: teoli,