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The direction CSS property sets the direction of text, table columns, and horizontal overflow. Use rtl for languages written from right to left (like Hebrew or Arabic), and ltr for those written from left to right (like English and most other languages).

Note that text direction is usually defined within a document (e.g., with HTML's dir attribute) rather than through direct use of the direction property.

The property sets the base text direction of block-level elements and the direction of embeddings created by the unicode-bidi property. It also sets the default alignment of text, block-level elements, and the direction that cells flow within a table row.

Unlike the dir attribute in HTML, the direction property is not inherited from table columns into table cells, since CSS inheritance follows the document tree, and table cells are inside of rows but not inside of columns.

The direction and unicode-bidi properties are the two only properties which are not affected by the all shorthand property.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
direction: ltr;
direction: rtl;

/* Global values */
direction: inherit;
direction: initial;
direction: unset;

Values

ltr
Text and other elements go from left to right. This is the default value.
rtl
Text and other elements go from right to left.

For the direction property to have any effect on inline-level elements, the unicode-bidi property's value must be embed or override.

Formal syntax

ltr | rtl

Examples

blockquote {
  direction: rtl;
}

Specification

Specification Status Comment
CSS Writing Modes Module Level 3
The definition of 'direction' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation No change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'direction' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Initial valueltr
Applies toall elements
Inheritedyes
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 2Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 5.5Opera Full support 9.2Safari Full support 1.3WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 8Safari iOS Full support 3.1Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: wbamberg,