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This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the specification changes.

Summary

The writing-mode property defines whether lines of text are laid out horizontally or vertically and the direction in which blocks progress.

The property specifies the block flow direction, which is the direction in which block-level containers are stacked, and the direction in which inline-level content flows within a block container. Thus the writing-mode property also determines the ordering of block-level content.

Initial valuehorizontal-tb
Applies toall elements except table row groups, table column groups, table rows, and table columns
Inheritedyes
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animatableno
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
writing-mode: horizontal-tb;
writing-mode: vertical-rl;
writing-mode: vertical-lr;

/* Global values */
writing-mode: inherit;
writing-mode: initial;
writing-mode: unset;

Values

horizontal-tb
Content flows horizontally from left to right, vertically from top to bottom. The next horizontal line is positioned below the previous line.
vertical-rl
Content flows vertically from top to bottom, horizontally from right to left. The next vertical line is positioned to the left of the previous line.
vertical-lr
Content flows vertically from top to bottom, horizontally from left to right. The next vertical line is positioned to the right of the previous line.
sideways-rl
Content flows vertically from top to bottom and all the glyphs, even those in vertical scripts, are set sideways toward the right.
sideways-lr
Content flows vertically from top to bottom and all the glyphs, even those in vertical scripts, are set sideways toward the left.
lr
Deprecated except for SVG1 documents. For CSS, use horizontal-tb.
lr-tb
Deprecated except for SVG1 documents. For CSS, use horizontal-tb.
rl
Deprecated except for SVG1 documents. For CSS, use horizontal-tb.
tb
Deprecated except for SVG1 documents. For CSS, use vertical-rl.
tb-rl
Deprecated except for SVG1 documents. For CSS, use vertical-rl.

Formal syntax

horizontal-tb | vertical-rl | vertical-lr | sideways-rl | sideways-lr

Example

Actual result

Specification

Specification Status Comment
CSS Writing Modes Module Level 3
The definition of 'writing-mode' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 8-webkit 41 (41)[1][3] 9.0 -ms[2] 15-webkit 5.1-webkit
SVG 1.1 values lr, lr-tb, rl, tb, tb-rl 48.0 (uprefixed) 43 (43) 9.0 -ms[2] (Yes) ?
sideways-rl,sideways-lr No support (as of 48.0) 43 (43) No support (as of 25) No support (as of 35.0) ?
Feature Android Android Webview Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 3-webkit (Yes) 47-webkit 41.0 (41) [1][3] ? ? 5.1 -webkit
SVG 1.1 values lr, lr-tb, rl, tb, tb-rl ? 48.0 (uprefixed) 48.0 (uprefixed) 43.0 (43) ? ? ?
sideways-rl,sideways-lr No support[4] No support No support ? ? ? ?

[1] An experimental implementation was available since Gecko 36. It is governed by the preference layout.css.vertical-text.enabled, defaulting to false until Firefox 38. From Firefox 39 and Firefox 40, the preference was true for Nightly and DevTools editions only. Note that not all CSS widgets (e.g. tables) obey to it, yet.

[2] The implementation in Internet Explorer differs from the specification. See the related article in the Internet Explorer Dev Center.

[3] Bidirectional and rtl scripts are supported in vertical modes only since Gecko 42.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: Lemondoge,