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Summary

The white-space property is used to describe how whitespace inside the element is handled.

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

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;

Values

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

The following table summarizes the behavior of 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: -moz-pre-wrap; /* Firefox 1.0-2.0 */
  white-space: pre-wrap;      /* current 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 Level 3
The definition of 'white-space' in that specification.
Working Draft Precises the breaking algorithms.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'white-space' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (normal and nowrap) 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 5.5[1] 4.0 1.0 (85)
pre 1.0 1.0 6.0 4.0 1.0 (85)
pre-wrap 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)-moz
3.0 (1.9)
8.0 8.0 3.0 (522)
pre-line 1.0 3.5 (1.9.1) 8.0 9.5 3.0 (522)
Support on <textarea> 1.0 36 (36) 5.5 4.0 1.0 (85)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? ? ? ? ?

[1] Internet Explorer 5.5+ supports word-wrap: break-word;.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: fcard,