text-indent

The text-indent CSS property specifies the amount of indentation (empty space) that is put before lines of text in a block. By default, this controls the indentation of only the first formatted line of the block, but the hanging and each-line keywords can be used to change this behavior.

/* <length> values */
text-indent: 3mm;
text-indent: 40px;

/* <percentage> value
   relative to the containing block width */
text-indent: 15%;

/* Keyword values */
text-indent: 5em each-line;
text-indent: 5em hanging;
text-indent: 5em hanging each-line;

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

Horizontal spacing is with respect to the left (or right, for right-to-left layout) edge of the containing block-level element's content box.

Initial value0
Applies toblock containers
Inheritedyes
Percentagesrefer to the width of the containing block
Mediavisual
Computed valuethe percentage as specified or the absolute length, plus any keywords as specified
Animation typea length, percentage or calc();
Canonical orderThe length or percentage before the keywords, if both are present. If several keywords are present, they appear in the same order as their appearance in the formal grammar.

Syntax

Values

<length>
Indentation is specified as an absolute <length>. Negative values are allowed. See <length> values for possible units.
<percentage>
Indentation is a <percentage> of the containing block's width.
each-line
Indentation affects the first line of the block container as well as each line after a forced line break, but does not affect lines after a soft wrap break.
hanging
Inverts which lines are indented. All lines except the first line will be indented.

Formal syntax

<length-percentage> && hanging? && each-line?

where
<length-percentage> = <length> | <percentage>

Simple indent example

HTML

<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy 
    nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.</p>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy 
    nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.</p>

CSS

p { 
  text-indent: 5em;
  background: powderblue;
}

Percentage indent example

HTML

<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy 
    nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.</p>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy 
    nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.</p>

CSS

p { 
  text-indent: 30%;
  background: plum;
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Text Module Level 3
The definition of 'text-indent' in that specification.
Working Draft Adds the hanging and each-line keywords.
CSS Transitions
The definition of 'text-indent' in that specification.
Working Draft Lists text-indent as animatable.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'text-indent' in that specification.
Recommendation The behavior with display: inline-block and anonymous block boxes is explicitly defined.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'text-indent' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Firefox (Gecko) Chrome Edge Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 1.0 (Yes) 3.0 3.5 1.0 (85)
hanging No support[1] No support No support No support No support No support
each-line No support[1] No support No support No support No support No support
Feature Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Android Edge IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 (1.9.2) ? (Yes) ? ? ?
hanging No support No support No support No support No support No support
each-line No support No support No support No support No support No support

[1] Gecko does not yet implement this. See bug 784648.