CSS3 Text Overflow

CSS3 new text properties provide more control over the text rendering.

Handling Text Overflow in CSS3

CSS3 introduced several new property properties for modifing the text contents, however some of these properties are existed from a long time. These properties give you precise control over the rendering of text on the web browser.

Hiding Overflow Text

Text can overflow, when it is prevented from wrapping, for example, if the value of white-space property is set to nowrap for the containing element or a single word is too long to fit like a long email address. In such situation you can use the CSS3 text-overflow property to determine how the overflowed text content will be displayed.

You can either display or clip the overflowed text or clip and display an ellipsis or a custom string in palace of the clipped text to indicate the user.

Values Accepted by the word-break property are: clip and ellipsis and string.

p {
    width: 400px;
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: nowrap;
    background: #cdcdcd;
p.clipped {
    text-overflow: clip; /* clipped the overflowed text */
p.ellipses {
    text-overflow: ellipsis; /* display '…' to represent clipped text */

Warning: The string value for the text-overflow property is not supported in most of the web browsers, you should better avoid this.

Breaking Overflow Text

You can also break a long word and force it to wrap onto a new line that overflows the boundaries of containing element using the CSS3 word-wrap property.

Values Accepted by the word-wrap property are: normal and break-word.

p {
    width: 200px;
    background: #ffc4ff;
    word-wrap: break-word;

Tip: Please check out the individual property reference for all the possible values and the Browser support for these CSS properties.

Specify Word Breaking Rules

You can also specify the line breaking rules for the text (i.e. how to break lines within words) yourself using the CSS3 word-break property.

Values Accepted by the word-break property are: normal, break-all and keep-all.

p {
    width: 150px;
    padding: 10px;
p.break {
    background: #bedb8b;
    word-break: break-all;
p.keep {
    background: #f09bbb;
    word-break: keep-all;
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