hyphens property CSS Reference



Definition and Usage

The hyphens CSS property tells the browser how to go about splitting words to improve the layout of text when line-wrapping. On HTML, the language is determined by the lang attribute: browsers will hyphenate only if this attribute is present and if an appropriate hyphenation dictionary is available. On XML, the xml:lang attribute must be used.

Note: The rules defining how hyphenation is performed are not explicitly defined by the specification, so the exact hyphenation may vary from browser to browser.

  • Initial manual
  • Applies to all elements
  • Inherited yes
  • Media visual
  • Computed Value as specified
  • Animatable no
  • Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

Formal syntax: none | manual | auto
hyphens: none
hyphens: manual
hyphens: auto
hyphens: inherit

Values

none
Words are not broken at line breaks, even if characters inside the words suggest line break points. Lines will only wrap at whitespace.
manual
Words are broken for line-wrapping only where characters inside the word suggest line break opportunities. See Suggesting line break opportunities for details.
auto
The browser is free to automatically break words at appropriate hyphenation points, following whatever rules it chooses to use. Suggested line break opportunities, as covered in Suggesting line break opportunities, should be preferred over automatically selecting break points whenever possible.

Note: The auto setting's behavior depends on the language being properly tagged so that the appropriate hyphenation rules can be selected. You must specify a language using the lang HTML attribute in order to guarantee that automatic hyphenation is applied in the language of your choice.

Suggesting line break opportunities

There are two Unicode character that can be used to manually specify potential line break points within text:

U+2010 (HYPHEN)
The "hard" hyphen character indicates a visible line break opportunity. Even if the line is not actually broken at that point, the hyphen is still rendered.
U+00AD (SHY)
An invisible, "soft" hyphen. This character is not rendered visibly; instead, it suggests a place where the browser might choose to break the word if necessary. In HTML, you can use ­ to insert a soft hyphen.

Examples

This CSS snippet creates three classes, one for each possible configuration of the hyphens property.
p.none {
-moz-hyphens: none;
hyphens: none;
}
p.manual {
-moz-hyphens: manual;
hyphens: manual;
}
p.auto {
-moz-hyphens: auto;
hyphens: auto;
}

Compatibility

Desktop browsers

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 13-webkit
No automatic hyphenation.
6.0 (6.0)-moz
Automatic hyphenation only works for languages whose hyphenation dictionaries are integrated in Gecko.
10.0 -ms
Automatic hyphenation only works for languages whose hyphenation dictionaries are integrated in Internet Explorer.
Not supported 5.1-webkit

Mobile browsers

Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 4.0-webkit
No automatic hyphenation.
6.0 (6.0)-moz
Automatic hyphenation only works for languages whose hyphenation dictionaries are integrated in Gecko.
Not supported Not supported 4.2-webkit

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