white-space

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;
white-space: break-spaces;

/* 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.
break-spaces
The behavior is identical to that of pre-wrap, except that:
  • Any sequence of preserved white space always takes up space, including at the end of the line.
  • A line breaking opportunity exists after every preserved white space character, including between white space characters.
  • Such preserved spaces take up space and do not hang, and thus affect the box’s intrinsic sizes (min-content size and max-content size).

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

New lines Spaces and tabs Text wrapping End-of-line spaces
normal Collapse Collapse Wrap Remove
nowrap Collapse Collapse No wrap Remove
pre Preserve Preserve No wrap Preserve
pre-wrap Preserve Preserve Wrap Hang
pre-line Preserve Collapse Wrap Remove
break-spaces Preserve Preserve Wrap Wrap

Formal definition

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements
Inheritedyes
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

normal | pre | nowrap | pre-wrap | pre-line | break-spaces

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 */
}

In action

HTML

<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> 

Result

Specifications

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

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also