How to Set Text Spacing and Placement in CSS

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In Brief...

Text spacing and placement in CSS is controlled using the letter-spacing, word-spacing, line-height, and text-indent properties. Learn how to set text spacing and placement in the following steps.

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Instructions

  1. The letter-spacing property is used to specify the amount of space between letters. The amount indicated is in addition to the default spacing. The amount is specified in units. For example:
    <div style="letter-spacing: 1em;">It's a wide wide word!</div>
  2. The word-spacing property is used to specify the amount of space between words. The amount indicated is in addition to the default spacing. The amount is specified in units. For example:
    <div style="word-spacing: 1em;">It's a wide wide sentence!</div>
  3. The line-height property is used to specify the amount of vertical space between lines of text. The line-height can be specified in number of units, percentage, or with a multiplier.
    <div style="line-height: 1.5;">
  4. The text-indent property is used to indent (or outdent) the first line of a block of text. The value can be specified in number of units or in percentage of the width of the containing block.
    <div style="text-indent: 50px;">
  5. The following code sample shows all of these properties in use:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML>
    <html>
    <head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Spacing and Line Height</title>
    </head>
    <body>
    <div style="margin-left: 300px;">
    <h1>Spacing and Line Height</h1>
    
    <h2>Letter Spacing</h2>
    <div style="letter-spacing: 1em;">letter-spacing: 1em</div>
    <div style="letter-spacing: -1em;">letter-spacing: -1em</div>
    
    <h2>Word Spacing</h2>
    <div style="word-spacing: 1em;">word-spacing: 1em</div>
    <div style="word-spacing: 1em;">It's a wide wide sentence.</div>
    
    <h2>Line Height</h2>
    <div style="line-height: 1.5;">
    	line-height: 1.5<br>
    	line-height: 1.5<br>
    	line-height: 1.5
    </div>
    <div style="line-height: 150%;">
    	line-height: 150%<br>
    	line-height: 150%<br>
    	line-height: 150%
    </div>
    <div style="line-height: 1.5em;">
    	line-height: 1.5em<br>
    	line-height: 1.5em<br>
    	line-height: 1.5em
    </div>
    <h2>Text-Indent</h2>
    <div style="text-indent: 50px;">
    	text-indent:50px - text-indent only applies to the first line of text.<br>
    	The next lines will not be indented.
    </div>
    <div style="text-indent: 10%;">
    	text-indent:10% - text-indent only applies to the first line of text.<br>
    	The next lines will not be indented.
    </div>
    </div>
    </body>
    </html>

The above code will render the following:
Spacing and Placement

Author: Chris Minnick

Chris is a prolific author and trainer, and the CEO of WatzThis?. His published books include Writing Computer Code, JavaScript for Kids, Coding with JavaScript For Dummies, Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, Webkit For Dummies, CIW eCommerce Certification Bible, and New Riders' XHTML.

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