The HTML <bdo> element (bidirectional override) is used to override the current directionality of text. It causes the directionality of the characters to be ignored in favor of the specified directionality.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement Up to Gecko 1.9.2 (Firefox 4) inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.

Attributes

This element's attributes include the global attributes.

dir
Text direction in this element. Possible values are:
  • ltr: Indicates that the text should go in a left-to-right direction.
  • rtl: Indicates that the text should go in a right-to-left direction.

Examples

<!-- Switch text direction -->
<p>This text will go left to right.</p>
<p><bdo dir="rtl">This text will go right
to left.</bdo></p>

Result

Notes

The HTML 4 specification did not specify events for this element; they were added in XHTML. This is most likely an oversight.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<bdo>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5
The definition of '<bdo>' in that specification.
Recommendation  
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<bdo>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes