direction property CSS Reference

Definition and Usage

Set the direction CSS property to match the direction of the text: rtl for Hebrew or Arabic text and ltr for other scripts. This is typically done as part of the document (e.g., using the dir attribute in HTML) rather than through direct use of CSS.

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 and 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 the rows but not inside of the columns.

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

  • Initial ltr
  • 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


Formal syntax: ltr | rtl
direction: ltr
direction: rtl
direction: inherit


The initial value of direction (that is, if not otherwise specified). Text and other elements go from left to right.
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.


blockquote {
  direction: rtl;


Desktop browsers

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 2.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 5.5 9.2 1.3

Mobile browsers

Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.0) 6 8 3.1

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