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The HTML <pre> element (or HTML Preformatted Text) represents preformatted text. Text within this element is typically displayed in a non-proportional ("monospace") font exactly as it is laid out in the file. Whitespace inside this element is displayed as typed.

Note: you will need to escape any contained '<' characters as '&lt;' to make sure enclosed code is not interpreted as markup.

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parent elements Any element that accepts flow content.
DOM interface HTMLPreElement

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

cols
Contains the preferred count of characters that a line should have. It was a non-standard synonym of width. To achieve such an effect, use CSS width instead.
width
Contains the preferred count of characters that a line should have. Though technically still implemented, this attribute has no visual effect; to achieve such an effect, use CSS width instead.
wrap
Is a hint indicating how the overflow must happen. In modern browser this hint is ignored and no visual effect results in its present; to achieve such an effect, use CSS white-space instead.

Examples

<!-- Some example CSS code -->
<pre>
body {
  color:red;
}
</pre> 

Result

body {
  color:red;
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<pre>' in that specification.
Living Standard No significant change from WHATWG HTML Living Standard
HTML5
The definition of '<pre>' in that specification.
Recommendation No significant change from HTML 4.01 Specification
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<dl>' in that specification.
Recommendation Deprecated the cols attribute

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
width (Yes)[1] 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
29.0 (29.0)[1]
(Yes)[1] (Yes)[1] (Yes)[1]
cols Not supported 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
Not supported 29.0 (29.0)
Not supported Not supported Not supported
wrap ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) ? ? ?
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) 1.0 (1.0) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
width ? 1.0 (1.0)29.0 (29.0)[1] ? ? ?
cols Not supported 1.0 (1.0) Not supported Not supported Not supported
wrap ? 1.0 (1.0) ? ? ?

[1] Specifying the width attribute has no layout effect.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: Tigt,