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Truncate multiline text with CSS line-clamp property

djadriano profile image Adriano Fernandes ・2 min read

Hello people,
This is my first post, so feedback and suggestions are welcome!

A few days ago I was working on a quote component where I needed to limit the amount of characters on each quote to the mobile version only.

The first thing that came to mind was using text-overflow: ellipsis;, but this property only limits the characters inline.

So after doing some research I found the line-clamp property. This property limits the contents of a block to the number of lines you define.

For example, I needed to limit each statement to 3 lines, so I used:

  display: -webkit-box;
  -webkit-line-clamp: 3;
  -webkit-box-orient: vertical;
  overflow: hidden;
  word-wrap: break-word;
  text-overflow: ellipsis; /* It will end with ellipsis when text-overflow: ellipsis is included */
  position: relative;
  visibility: visible; /* this is a tricky to work correctly at IOS */

I created a Sass Mixin that contain fallback for older browsers:

@mixin truncate-text($font-size: 16px, $line-height: 1.4, $lines-to-show: 3) {
  display: -webkit-box;
  -webkit-line-clamp: $lines-to-show;
  -webkit-box-orient: vertical;
  overflow: hidden;
  word-wrap: break-word;
  text-overflow: ellipsis; /* It will end with ellipsis when text-overflow: ellipsis is included */
  position: relative;
  visibility: visible; /* this is a tricky to work correctly at IOS */

  // Fallback for browsers that not support line-clamp
  @supports not (-webkit-line-clamp: $lines-to-show) {
    display: block;
    max-height: $font-size * $line-height * $lines-to-show;
    line-height: $line-height;
  }
}

See an example:

As it was a mobile-only solution, it was a great solution as support for this property in mobile browsers is over 90%.

See you next time :)

Discussion (2)

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dchaur profile image
dchaur

Hey,

Really good article, since there's an existent bug with the line-clamp prop (bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=45399) I wasn't sure how to do it, the visibility: visible; trick works awesome.

Thanks

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djadriano profile image
Adriano Fernandes Author

Thanks a lot, I'm happy that works awesome for you :)

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