The white-space-collapse CSS property controls how white space inside an element is collapsed.

Note: The white-space-collapse and text-wrap properties can be declared together using the white-space shorthand property.


/* Keyword values */
white-space-collapse: collapse;
white-space-collapse: preserve;
white-space-collapse: preserve-breaks;
white-space-collapse: preserve-spaces;
white-space-collapse: break-spaces;

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

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



White space sequences are collapsed.


White space sequences and segment break characters are preserved.


White space sequences are collapsed, while segment break characters are preserved.


White space sequences are preserved, while tabs and segment break characters are converted to spaces.


The behavior is identical to preserve, 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.
  • Preserved spaces take up space and do not hang, thus affecting the box's intrinsic sizes (min-content size and max-content size).

Note: Segment break characters are characters such as line feeds that cause text to break onto new lines.

Collapsing of white space

User agents handle white space collapsing as follows:

  • Tabs are generally converted to spaces.
  • If segment breaks are to be collapsed:
    • Sequences of segment breaks are collapsed down to a single segment break.
    • They are converted to spaces in the case of languages that separate words with spaces (like English), or removed altogether in the case of languages that do not separate words with spaces (like Chinese).
  • If spaces are to be collapsed:
    • Spaces or tabs before or after segment breaks are removed.
    • Sequences of spaces are converted, or "collapsed", to a single space.
  • When spaces are preserved, sequences of spaces are treated as non-breaking except that they will soft-wrap at the end of each sequence — i.e. the next line will always start with the next non-space character. In the case of the break-spaces value however, a soft wrap could potentially occur after each space, so the next line may start with one or more spaces.

Formal definition

Initial valuecollapse
Applies toall elements
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

white-space-collapse = 
collapse |
discard |
preserve |
preserve-breaks |
preserve-spaces |



<h2 class="collapse">Default behavior; all whitespace is 
    collapsed          in the          heading     .</h2>

<h2 class="preserve">In this case all whitespace is 
    preserved          in the          heading     .</h2>

<h2 class="preserve-breaks">In this case only the line break is 
    preserved          in the          heading     .</h2>


.collapse {
  white-space-collapse: collapse;

.preserve {
  white-space-collapse: preserve;

.preserve-breaks {
  white-space-collapse: preserve-breaks;

h2 {
  font-size: 1.6rem;
  font-family: monospace;



CSS Text Module Level 4
# white-space-collapsing

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also