<bdo>: The Bidirectional Text Override element

The <bdo> HTML element overrides the current directionality of text, so that the text within is rendered in a different direction.

Try it

The text's characters are drawn from the starting point in the given direction; the individual characters' orientation is not affected (so characters don't get drawn backward, for example).


This element's attributes include the global attributes.


The direction in which text should be rendered in this element's contents. 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.


<!-- 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>



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

Technical summary

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.
Implicit ARIA role generic
Permitted ARIA roles Any
DOM interface HTMLElement Up to Gecko 1.9.2 (Firefox 4) inclusive, Firefox implements the HTMLSpanElement interface for this element.


HTML Standard
# the-bdo-element

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also

  • Related HTML element: <bdi>