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word-wrap property

Specifies whether to break words when the content exceeds the boundaries of its container.

CSS Text Level 3, Section 7.2Internet Explorer 9


word-wrap: normal | break-word

Property values


Default. Content exceeds the boundaries of its container.


Content wraps to next line, and a word-break occurs when necessary.

CSS information

Applies ToAll elements
Initial Valuenormal

Standards information


Windows Internet Explorer 8. The -ms-word-wrap attribute is an extension to CSS, and can be used as a synonym for word-wrap in IE8 Standards mode.

Use this property to enable the browser to break up otherwise unbreakable strings.

This differs from the white-space property, which turns wrapping of the text on and off. The word-wrap property addresses only whether wrapping is permitted to occur at a place in the word that is not otherwise allowed by the language rules in effect.

The standards referenced below define this property's behavior as being dependent on the setting of the "text-wrap" property. However, wordWrap settings are always effective in Windows Internet Explorer because Internet Explorer does not support the "text-wrap" property.

This property is read-only for the IHTMLCurrentStyle2 interface.

This property is read-only for the currentStyle object.

This property applies to elements that have layout. An element has layout when it is absolutely positioned, is a block element, or is an inline element with a specified height or width.


The word "blonde" is not wrappable under typical English rules. But, when wordWrap is set to break-word, the word "blonde" can be split onto two lines in any way the browser chooses: such as "b" and "londe", or "blo" and "nde".

The following example shows how to use the break-word value of the word-wrap property to break one long word onto multiple lines. This value avoids horizontal scrolling and can be useful for printing.

Code example: http://samples.msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/samples/author/dhtml/refs/wordWrap.htm

p {
   word-wrap: break-word; 


See also




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