Mozilla's getting a new look. What do you think? https://mzl.la/brandsurvey

dir

The dir global attribute is an enumerated attribute indicates the directionality of the element's text. It can have the following values:

  • ltr, which means left to right and is to be used for languages that are written from the left to the right (like English);
  • rtl, which means right to left and is to be used for languages that are written from the right to the left (like Arabic);
  • auto, which let the user agent decides. It uses a basic algorithm as it parses the characters inside the element until it finds a character with a strong directionality, then apply that directionality to the whole element.

Usage notes

This attribute is mandatory for the <bdo> element where it has a different semantic meaning.

  • This attribute is not inherited by the <bdi> element. If not set, its value is auto.

  • This attribute can be overridden by the CSS properties direction and unicode-bidi, if a CSS page is active and the element supports these properties.

  • As the directionality of the text is semantically related to its content and not to its presentation, it is recommended that web developers use this attribute instead of the related CSS properties when possible. That way, the text will display correctly even on a browser that doesn't support CSS or has the CSS deactivated.

  • The auto value should be used for data with an unknown directionality, like data coming from user input, eventually stored in a database.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from latest snapshot, HTML5.1
HTML5.1
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Working Draft Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard, no change from HTML5
HTML5
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Recommendation Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard, from HTML 4.01 Specification it added the auto value, and is now a true global attribute.
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of 'dir' in that specification.
Recommendation Supported on all elements but <applet>, <base>, <basefont>, <bdo>, <br>, <frame>, <frameset>, <iframe>, <param>, and <script>.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: teoli
 Last updated by: teoli,