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2012.1.2 • Public • Published


Truncate multiline with an ellipsis... without causing accessibility problems!


For visual reasons it can be informative to show that text has been truncated with an ellipsis character "…" such as

It was the best of times…

However browser support for text-overflow:ellipsis is poor, especially on multiline text.

It was the best of times,
it was the blurst of…

There are a variety of JavaScript-based solutions that aim to solve this but they either have poor accessibility or poor browser support, or they require text-align: justify.

To contrast react-accessible-ellipsis has:

  • Better accessibility: CSS text-overflow:ellipsis does not truncate the text that screenreaders speak and neither should a JavaScript approach, because the placement is "..." is visual-only and stopping speaking mid-sentence may be confusing to screenreader users. The ellipsis is visual decoration and it should only do that.
  • Better browser support than text-overflow:ellipsis: this is a JavaScript solution that works everywhere React does.
  • Arbitrary alignment: this doesn't require text-align: justify and works with any text or font (variable width or fixed etc.).
  • Tiny dependency: 2kb (minified and gzipped)
  • TypeScript

Please note that it only supports plaintext though, not HTML (the children prop should just be one text node).


npm install react-accessible-ellipsis

yarn add react-accessible-ellipsis


Put <Ellipsis> tags around your text, and ensure that it's only used within a component with a set height

import Ellipsis from 'react-accessible-ellipsis';

export default () => (
  <Ellipsis style={{ height: '2em' }}> any text you want lorem ipsum etc. </Ellipsis>


export default () => (
  <Ellipsis className="some-class-with-height"> any text you want lorem ipsum etc. </Ellipsis>


  • children (string, required): The string to add an ellipsis to.
  • ellipsis (string, optional): String indicating the text was truncated. Defaults to "…" (U2026).
  • className (string, optional): class to apply to container element. Although optional either className or style should be used to restrict width or height.
  • style (React.CSSProperties AKA map/object, optional): a style object for inline styling. Although optional either className or style should be used to restrict width or height.
  • tagName (string, optional, default="div"): tag to be used for container element.
  • pixelRoundingBuffer (number, optional, default=1.5): Used internally to handle rounding errors in browser measurements. Browsers sometimes give measurement values in integers when they are infact fractional, and math based on these integers can result in rounding errors. This prop is used to compare numbers within a certain threshold.
  • ellipsisWithinCharacterBoxRatio (number, optional, default=1). The ellipsis characters position within a character box (and therefore whether it's visible) can vary based on font. Previous releases of react-accessible-ellipsis had a default of ellipsisWithinCharacterBoxRatio={0.5} so if you want the previous behaviour set this prop accordingly.
  • debug (boolean, optional, default=false): whether to log debug info via

(thanks to ldanet for these docs!)


"The 'children' prop of react-accessible-ellipsis must be a single string."

You either have multiple children, or non-string children.

Try joining them into a single string.. for example, don't do this,

<Ellipsis>{propText} some description {moreText}</Ellipsis>

Instead do this,

<Ellipsis>{`${propText} some description ${moreText}`}</Ellipsis>

(those are backticks aka template literals)

When custom fonts load it causes reflow and affects the position of the ellipsis

This is currently unsupported, however if you can detect when fonts load you can cause a rerender by using the key prop to force rerenders. ie,

<Ellipsis key={isFontLoaded}>some text</Ellipsis>

Earlier versions of RAE supported detecting font loading but this was quite computationally expensive, so this feature was removed because it's possible to support this by using <Ellipsis> with your own font loading logic. There are many libraries for detecting fonts loading (eg FontFaceObserver).


npm i react-accessible-ellipsis

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