The white-space CSS property sets how white space inside an element is handled.

Note: To make words break within themselves, use overflow-wrap, word-break, or hyphens instead.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
white-space: normal;
white-space: nowrap;
white-space: pre;
white-space: pre-wrap;
white-space: pre-line;

/* Global values */
white-space: inherit;
white-space: initial;
white-space: unset;

The white-space property is specified as a single keyword chosen from the list of values below.

Values

normal
Sequences of white space are collapsed. Newline characters in the source are handled the same as other white space. Lines are broken as necessary to fill line boxes.
nowrap
Collapses white space as for normal, but suppresses line breaks (text wrapping) within the source.
pre
Sequences of white space are preserved. Lines are only broken at newline characters in the source and at <br> elements.
pre-wrap
Sequences of white space are preserved. Lines are broken at newline characters, at <br>, and as necessary to fill line boxes.
pre-line
Sequences of white space are collapsed. Lines are broken at newline characters, at <br>, and as necessary to fill line boxes.

The following table summarizes the behavior of the various white-space values:

  New lines Spaces and tabs Text wrapping
normal Collapse Collapse Wrap
nowrap Collapse Collapse No wrap
pre Preserve Preserve No wrap
pre-wrap Preserve Preserve Wrap
pre-line Preserve Collapse Wrap

Formal syntax

normal | pre | nowrap | pre-wrap | pre-line

Examples

Basic example

code { 
  white-space: pre; 
}

Line breaks inside <pre> elements

pre {
  word-wrap: break-word;      /* IE 5.5-7 */
  white-space: pre-wrap;      /* Modern browsers */
}

See it in action

Source

    <p>    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
    
    Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
    
    Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.
    
    Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</p>

CSS + Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Text Module Level 3
The definition of 'white-space' in that specification.
Working Draft Precisely defines the breaking algorithms.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'white-space' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements
Inheritedyes
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 5.5Opera Full support 4Safari Full support 1WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
preChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 6Opera Full support 4Safari Full support 1WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
pre-wrapChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 3
Full support 3
No support 1 — 3.6
Prefixed
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
IE Full support 8
Notes
Full support 8
Notes
Notes From Internet Explorer 5.5 to 7, word-wrap: break-word; can be used for line breaks in pre elements.
Opera Full support 8Safari Full support 3WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
pre-lineChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 3.5IE Full support 8Opera Full support 9.5Safari Full support 3WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
Support on <textarea>Chrome Full support 1Edge ? Firefox Full support 36IE Full support 5.5Opera Full support 4Safari Full support 1WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
Support in SVGChrome No support NoEdge ? Firefox Full support 36IE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android No support No

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.

See also