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Oleg Chursin
Oleg Chursin

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Mastering CSS Balance: "text-wrap: balance"

When it comes to web design, one aspect that often requires careful consideration is how text flows within a layout. While CSS offers various properties to control text wrapping and line breaking, the text-wrap property stands out for its unique approach to handling long strings of text. In this blog post, we'll delve into the text-wrap property, with a specific focus on text-wrap: balance.

Understanding Text-Wrap

The text-wrap property, introduced in CSS3, is a valuable tool for controlling how text wraps within its containing element. It allows you to specify how text should break and wrap when it encounters the edge of its container. The property can take several values, including wrap, nowrap, balance, stable, pretty.

text-wrap = 
  wrap     |
  nowrap   |
  balance  |
  stable   |
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Source: MDN: text-wrap

The text-wrap: balance Value

The text-wrap: balance value is a relatively lesser-known aspect of the text-wrap property, but it can significantly impact how text is presented on your web page. This value is especially useful when dealing with narrow columns of text, as it optimizes the text distribution to maintain a balanced appearance.

By setting text-wrap to balance, you are instructing the browser to distribute the text within the container, avoiding uneven gaps between lines and achieving a more uniform appearance.

Advantages of text-wrap: balance

Now, let's explore some of the key advantages of using text-wrap: balance:

1. Improved Readability

Balanced text wrapping helps enhance the readability of your content. By minimizing uneven gaps and preventing overly long lines, users can smoothly read through your text without feeling overwhelmed or distracted.

2. Enhanced Aesthetics

Aesthetics are crucial in web design, and balanced text wrapping plays a significant role in achieving a polished and professional look. It prevents the visual clutter that can occur with irregular text distribution.

3. Consistency Across Devices

text-wrap: balance can be particularly helpful in creating a consistent reading experience across different devices and screen sizes. It ensures that text remains visually appealing and legible, whether your audience is viewing your content on a large desktop monitor or a small mobile screen.

Pretty vs. Balance

  • text-wrap:pretty avoids typographic orphans,
  • text-wrap:balance tries to make the lengths of all lines balanced as much as possible. Source: Design docs

Browser Compatibility

Before fully implementing text-wrap: balance, it's essential to check the browser compatibility. text-wrap: balance property is not widely supported. Let's hope this changes as browsers catch up with with CSS Text Level 4


The text-wrap: balance CSS property is a valuable addition to your web design toolkit, especially when aiming for a clean and professional text layout. By using text-wrap: balance, you can ensure that text is distributed in an eye-pleasing way, improving readability and enhancing the overall aesthetics of your web pages. Keep in mind that while this property offers aesthetics benefits, it's crucial to verify its compatibility with your target audience's browsers to ensure a seamless user experience.

More information

CSS text-wrap: balance
CSS Text Level 4
Score-based Paragraph-level Line Breaking

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