Thursday, September 17, 2015

Use CSS "text-overflow" to truncate long string texts

Use CSS "text-overflow" to truncate long string texts

When using Rails to truncate strings, you may end up with strings that are still too long for their container or are not as long as they could be. You can get a prettier result using stylesheets.

The CSS property text-overflow: ellipsis has been around for quite a long time now but since Firefox did not support it for ages, you did not use it. Since Firefox 7 you can!

Consider this HTML and Sass for a box that is not wide enough for its content:

<div id="greetings">
  Hello universe!

#greetings {
  width: 100px;
  white-space: nowrap;
  overflow: hidden;
  text-overflow: ellipsis; /* This is where the magic happens */

While incompatible browsers (IE 5.5, Firefox up until 6) will just cut off the text when it reaches its container's borders, in most browsers you will see something like:

Hello univ…

Nice, eh?

When you are doing this for a mobile application, also use -o-text-overflow to target Opera Mobile and Opera Mini which still use the prefixed version.


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