The white-space CSS property sets how white space inside an element is handled.

Note: To make words break within themselves, use overflow-wrap, word-break, or hyphens instead.


/* Keyword values */
white-space: normal;
white-space: nowrap;
white-space: pre;
white-space: pre-wrap;
white-space: pre-line;
white-space: break-spaces;

/* Global values */
white-space: inherit;
white-space: initial;
white-space: unset;

The white-space property is specified as a single keyword chosen from the list of values below.


Sequences of white space are collapsed. Newline characters in the source are handled the same as other white space. Lines are broken as necessary to fill line boxes.
Collapses white space as for normal, but suppresses line breaks (text wrapping) within the source.
Sequences of white space are preserved. Lines are only broken at newline characters in the source and at <br> elements.
Sequences of white space are preserved. Lines are broken at newline characters, at <br>, and as necessary to fill line boxes.
Sequences of white space are collapsed. Lines are broken at newline characters, at <br>, and as necessary to fill line boxes.
The behavior is identical to that of pre-wrap, except that:
  • Any sequence of preserved white space always takes up space, including at the end of the line.
  • A line breaking opportunity exists after every preserved white space character, including between white space characters.
  • Such preserved spaces take up space and do not hang, and thus affect the box’s intrinsic sizes (min-content size and max-content size).

The following table summarizes the behavior of the various white-space values:

New lines Spaces and tabs Text wrapping End-of-line spaces
normal Collapse Collapse Wrap Remove
nowrap Collapse Collapse No wrap Remove
pre Preserve Preserve No wrap Preserve
pre-wrap Preserve Preserve Wrap Hang
pre-line Preserve Collapse Wrap Remove
break-spaces Preserve Preserve Wrap Wrap

Formal definition

Initial value normal
Applies to all elements
Inherited yes
Computed value as specified
Animation type discrete

Formal syntax

normal | pre | nowrap | pre-wrap | pre-line | break-spaces


Basic example

code { 
  white-space: pre; 

Line breaks inside <pre> elements

pre {
  word-wrap: break-word;      /* IE 5.5-7 */
  white-space: pre-wrap;      /* Modern browsers */

In action


<p> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</p> 



Specification Status Comment
CSS Text Module Level 3
The definition of 'white-space' in that specification.
Working Draft Precisely defines the breaking algorithms.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'white-space' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
white-space 1 12 1 5.5 4 1
break-spaces 76 79 69 No 62 13.1
nowrap 1 12 1 5.5 4 1
pre 1 12 1 6 4 1
pre-line 1 12 3.5 8 9.5 3
pre-wrap 1 12 3
1 — 3.6
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
From Internet Explorer 5.5 to 7, word-wrap: break-word; can be used for line breaks in pre elements.
8 3
Support in SVG No 12 — 79 36 10 No No
Support on <textarea> 1 12 36 5.5 4 1
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
white-space 1 18 4 10.1 1 1.0
break-spaces 76 76 No 54 13.4 12.0
nowrap 1 18 4 10.1 1 1.0
pre 37 18 4 14 1 1.0
pre-line 37 18 4 14 1 1.0
pre-wrap 37 18 4 14 1 1.0
Support in SVG No No 36 No No No
Support on <textarea> 37 18 36 14 1 1.0

See also

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