text-overflow

The text-overflow CSS property sets how hidden overflow content is signaled to users. It can be clipped, display an ellipsis (''), or display a custom string.

The text-overflow property doesn't force an overflow to occur. To make text overflow its container you have to set other CSS properties: overflow and white-space. For example:

overflow: hidden;
white-space: nowrap;

The text-overflow property only affects content that is overflowing a block container element in its inline progression direction (not text overflowing at the bottom of a box, for example).

Syntax

The text-overflow property may be specified using one or two values. If one value is given, it specifies overflow behavior for the end of the line (the right end for left-to-right text, the left end for right-to-left text). If two values are given, the first specifies overflow behavior for the left end of the line, and the second specifies it for the right end of the line.

Each value is specified as one of:

Values

clip
The default for this property. This keyword value will truncate the text at the limit of the content area, therefore the truncation can happen in the middle of a character. To clip at the transition between characters you can specify text-overflow as an empty string, if that is supported in your target browsers: text-overflow: '';.
ellipsis
This keyword value will display an ellipsis ('…', U+2026 Horizontal Ellipsis) to represent clipped text. The ellipsis is displayed inside the content area, decreasing the amount of text displayed. If there is not enough space to display the ellipsis, it is clipped.
<string> This is an experimental API that should not be used in production code.
The <string> to be used to represent clipped text. The string is displayed inside the content area, shortening the size of the displayed text. If there is not enough space to display the string itself, it is clipped.
fade This is an experimental API that should not be used in production code.
This keyword clips the overflowing inline content and applies a fade-out effect near the edge of the line box with complete transparency at the edge.
fade( <length> | <percentage> ) This is an experimental API that should not be used in production code.
This function clips the overflowing inline content and applies a fade-out effect near the edge of the line box with complete transparency at the edge.
The argument determines the distance over which the fade effect is applied. The <percentage> is resolved against the width of the line box. Values lower than 0 are clipped to 0. Values greater than the width of the line box are clipped to the width of the line box.

Formal definition

Initial valueclip
Applies toblock container elements
Inheritedno
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

[ clip | ellipsis | <string> ]{1,2}

Examples

CSS

p {
  width: 200px;
  border: 1px solid;
  padding: 2px 5px;

  /* BOTH of the following are required for text-overflow */
  white-space: nowrap;
  overflow: hidden;
}

.overflow-visible {
  white-space: initial;
}

.overflow-clip {
  text-overflow: clip;
}

.overflow-ellipsis {
  text-overflow: ellipsis;
}

.overflow-string {
  /* Not supported in most browsers,
     see the 'Browser compatibility' section below */
  text-overflow: " [..]";
}

HTML

<p class="overflow-visible">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.</p>
<p class="overflow-clip">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.</p>
<p class="overflow-ellipsis">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.</p>
<p class="overflow-string">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.</p>

Result

Note: Live results in the following table may be shown incorrectly due to a limitation of the MDN Editor which removes the all contents of style attributes which have text-overflow properties with string value.

CSS value direction: ltr direction: rtl
Expected Result Live result Expected Result Live result
visible overflow 1234567890
1234567890
0987654321
1234567890
text-overflow: clip t-o_clip.png
1234567890
t-o_clip_rtl.png
1234567890
text-overflow: '' 12345
1234567890
54321
1234567890
text-overflow: ellipsis 1234…
1234567890
…4321
1234567890
text-overflow: '.' 1234.
1234567890
.4321
1234567890
text-overflow: clip clip 123456
1234567890
654321
1234567890
text-overflow: clip ellipsis 1234…
1234567890
6543…
1234567890
text-overflow: clip '.' 1234.
1234567890
6543.
1234567890
text-overflow: ellipsis clip …3456
1234567890
…4321
1234567890
text-overflow: ellipsis ellipsis …34…
1234567890
…43…
1234567890
text-overflow: ellipsis '.' …34.
1234567890
…43.
1234567890
text-overflow: ',' clip ,3456
1234567890
,4321
1234567890
text-overflow: ',' ellipsis ,34…
1234567890
,43…
1234567890
text-overflow: ',' '.' ,34.
1234567890
,43.
1234567890

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Overflow Module Level 4 Added the values <string> and fade and the fade() function
CSS Overflow Module Level 3
The definition of 'text-overflow' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition

A previous version of this interface reached the Candidate Recommendation status. As some not-listed-at-risk features needed to be removed, the spec was demoted to the Working Draft level, explaining why browsers implemented this property unprefixed, though not at the CR state.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also