Understanding CSS White-Space Property: A Comprehensive Guide

The white-space property in CSS is a powerful tool that controls how whitespace and line breaks within an element are handled. It can take five values: normal, nowrap, pre, pre-line, and pre-wrap. Let’s dive into each of these to understand their usage better.

White-Space: Normal

The ‘normal’ value is the default setting for the white-space property. It collapses multiple spaces into one and breaks lines as necessary to fit within their containing box.

.example {
  white-space: normal;

White-Space: Nowrap

The ‘nowrap’ value prevents text from wrapping at the end of a line until a
tag is encountered. This means your text will continue on one line until it runs out of space or encounters a manual break.

.example {
  white-space: nowrap;

White-Space: Pre

‘Pre’ stands for “preserve”. This value preserves all whitespace as typed, including multiple spaces and line breaks. Text only wraps when line breaks occur in the source code or via

.example {
  white-space: pre;

White-Space: Pre-Line

The ‘pre-line’ value collapses multiple spaces into one but preserves line breaks from the HTML content. Text will wrap to fit inside its container as well.

.example {
  white-space: pre-line;

White-Space: Pre-Wrap

‘Pre-wrap’ preserves both whitespace and line breaks from the HTML content. Text will wrap to fit inside its container, but all spaces and line breaks in the code will be displayed as typed.

.example {
  white-space: pre-wrap;


The CSS white-space property is a versatile tool that can help you control text formatting with precision. By understanding each of these values, you can ensure your web pages look exactly how you want them to.

Remember, CSS is all about experimenting and finding what works best for your specific needs. Don’t be afraid to try out different white-space values and see what they do!

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