CSS3 - Text Overflow

23rd April 2010

Method One - Using text-overflow: ellipsis;

Beatles Records

Method Two - Using an image to indicate text-overflow

Beatles Records

For further information on text-overflow see the W3.org specification - CSS3 'text-overflow'

copyright © stu nicholls - CSS play


This demonstration is produced in collaboration with Román Cortés

Sometimes it is necessary to truncate lines of text so that they fit within a set size of box and using the 'text-overflow' style the extra text can be made to show on hover.

The text-overflow:ellipsis; style is supported by all modern browsers including IE6, IE7 and IE8 so the first demo shows the 'ellipsis' three dots to indicate extra text (except in Firefox) and hovering over the text will show the missing text.

However, we thought that it would be nice to be able to indicate extra text using a small graphic so the second demonstration has the same unordered list but with slightly different code and styling so that if the text has an overflow then the graphic is added, but if there is no overflow then there will be no visible graphic. This also works in all modern browsers including IE6, IE7 and IE8.

Tested in IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox, Opera and Safari(PC) and Chrome.


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Soft Geometry Creative Industries

Soft Geometry Creative Industries
is a music-based design company located in Bristol UK.
I create artwork for albums, singles, posters and t-shirts.
My work is influenced by punk and post-punk poster and flyer design,
lo-fi photocopy aesthetics,
Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko.

I can provide a start to finish service with my own art and photography, put together work from images provided by yourself, and collaborate on an idea.

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