The word-spacing CSS property specifies the spacing behavior between tags and words.

Syntax

/* Keyword value */
word-spacing: normal;

/* <length> values */
word-spacing: 3px;
word-spacing: 0.3em;

/* <percentage> values */
word-spacing: 50%;
word-spacing: 200%;

/* Global values */
word-spacing: inherit;
word-spacing: initial;
word-spacing: unset;

Values

normal
The normal inter-word spacing, as defined by the current font and/or the browser.
<length>
Specifies extra spacing in addition to the intrinsic inter-word spacing defined by the font.
<percentage>
Specifies extra spacing as a percentage of the affected character’s advance width.

Formal syntax

normal | <length-percentage>

where
<length-percentage> = <length> | <percentage>

Example

HTML

<div id="mozdiv1">Here are many words...</div>
<div id="mozdiv2">...and many more!</div>

CSS

#mozdiv1 {
  word-spacing: 15px;
}

#mozdiv2 {
  word-spacing: 5em;
} 

Accessibility concerns

A large positive or negative word-spacing value will make the sentences the styling is applied to unreadable. For text styled with a very large positive value, the words will be so far apart that it will no longer appear to be a sentence. For text styled with a large negative value, the words will overlap each other to the point where the the beginning and end of each word is unrecognizable.

Legible word-spacing must be determined on a case-by-case basis, as different font families have different character widths. There is no one value that can ensure all font families automatically maintain their legibility.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Text Module Level 3
The definition of 'word-spacing' in that specification.
Working Draft Replaces the previous values with a <spacing-limit> value that defines the same thing, plus the <percentage> value. Allows up to three values describing the optimum, minimum, and maximum value.
CSS Transitions
The definition of 'word-spacing' in that specification.
Working Draft Defines word-spacing as animatable.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'word-spacing' in that specification.
Recommendation No change.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'word-spacing' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedyes
Percentagesrefer to the width of the affected glyph
Mediavisual
Computed valuean optimum, minimum, and maximum value, each consisting of either an absolute length, a percentage, or the keyword normal
Animation typea length
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support112163.51
<percentage> values No ?45 No No ?
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support ? ? Yes No ? ? ?
<percentage> values ? ? ?45 ? ? No

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,