The white-space CSS property determines how whitespace inside an element is handled. To make words break within themselves, use overflow-wrap, word-break, or hyphens instead.

/* 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;

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

Syntax

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

Values

normal
Sequences of whitespace are collapsed. Newline characters in the source are handled the same as other whitespace. Lines are broken as necessary to fill line boxes.
nowrap
Collapses whitespace as for normal, but suppresses line breaks (text wrapping) within the source.
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 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: -moz-pre-wrap; /* Firefox 1.0-2.0 */
  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.

Browser compatibility

                 
Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (normal and nowrap) 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 5.5[1] 4.0 1.0 (85)
pre 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 6.0 4.0 1.0 (85)
pre-wrap 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)-moz
3.0 (1.9)
8.0 8.0 3.0 (522)
pre-line 1.0 (Yes) 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 Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) ? ? ? ?

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

See also