CSS Text Decoration Module Level 3

W3C Candidate Recommendation 1 August 2013

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This module contains the features of CSS relating to text decoration, such as underlines, text shadows, and emphasis marks. CSS is a language for describing the rendering of structured documents (such as HTML and XML) on screen, on paper, in speech, etc.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

This document was produced by the CSS Working Group as a Candidate Recommendation.

A Candidate Recommendation is a document that has been widely reviewed and is ready for implementation. W3C encourages everybody to implement this specification and return comments to the (archived) public mailing list www-style@w3.org (see instructions). When sending e-mail, please put the text “css-text-decor-3” in the subject, preferably like this: “[css-text-decor-3] …summary of comment…

Publication as a Candidate Recommendation does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

This CSS module has been produced as a combined effort of the W3C Internationalization Activity, and the Style Activity and is maintained by the CSS Working Group. It also includes contributions made by participants in the XSL Working Group (members only).

The following features are at risk and may be cut from the specification during its CR period if there are no (correct) implementations:

No implementation report is available yet. A test suite is under development, see the W3C CSS test suites page.

The specification will not transition to Proposed Recommendation before 1 February 2014. (See the section CR Exit Criteria for more about the conditions for transition.)

Changes since the last Working Draft are listed in Appendix C and the list of all comments received on that draft is in the Disposition of Comments.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This subsection is non-normative.

This module covers text decoration, i.e. decorating the glyphs of the text once typeset according to font and typographic rules. (See [CSS3TEXT] and [CSS3-FONTS].) Such features are traditionally used not only for purely decorative purposes, but also in some cases to show emphasis, for honorifics, and to indicate editorial changes such as insertions, deletions, and misspellings.

CSS Levels 1 and 2 only defined very basic line decorations (underlines, overlines, and strike-throughs) appropriate to Western typographical traditions. Level 3 of this module adds the ability to change the color, style, position, and continuity of these decorations, and also introduces emphasis marks (traditionally used in East Asian typography), and shadows (which were proposed then deferred from Level 2).

1.1. Module Interactions

This module replaces and extends the text-decorating features defined in [CSS21] chapter 16.

1.2. Values

This specification follows the CSS property definition conventions from [CSS21]. Value types not defined in this specification are defined in CSS Level 2 Revision 1 [CSS21]. Other CSS modules may expand the definitions of these value types: for example [CSS3COLOR], when combined with this module, expands the definition of the <color> value type as used in this specification.

In addition to the property-specific values listed in their definitions, all properties defined in this specification also accept the inherit keyword as their property value. For readability it has not been repeated explicitly.

1.3. Terminology

The terms character, letter, and content language as used in this specification are defined in [CSS3TEXT]. Other terminology and concepts used in this specification are defined in [CSS21] and [CSS3-WRITING-MODES].

2. Line Decoration: Underline, Overline, and Strike-Through

The following properties describe line decorations that are added to the content of an element. When specified on or propagated to an inline box, that box becomes a decorating box for that decoration, applying the decoration to all its fragments. The decoration is then further propagated to any in-flow block-level boxes that split the inline (see CSS2.1 section When specified on or propagated to a block container that establishes an inline formatting context, the decorations are propagated to an anonymous inline box that wraps all the in-flow inline-level children of the block container. When specified on or propagated to a ruby box, the decorations are propagated only to the ruby base. For all other box types, the decorations are propagated to all in-flow children.

Note that text decorations are not propagated to any out-of-flow descendants, nor to the contents of atomic inline-level descendants such as inline blocks and inline tables. They are also not propagated to inline children of inline boxes, although the decoration is applied to such boxes.

By default underlines, overlines, and line-throughs are applied only to non-replaced inline boxes, and are drawn across all text (including white space, letter spacing, and word spacing). Atomic inlines, such as images, are not decorated. The ‘text-decoration-skip’ property can be used to modify this behavior, for example allowing atomic inlines to be underlined or requiring that white space be skipped. Margins, borders, and padding of the decorating box are always skipped.

Relatively positioning a descendant moves all text decorations applied to it along with the descendant's text; it does not affect calculation of the decoration's initial position on that line. The ‘visibility’ property, ‘text-shadow’, filters, and other graphical transformations likewise affect text decorations as part of the text they're drawn on, even if the decorations were specified on an ancestor box, and do not affect the calculation of their initial positions or thicknesses. (In the case of line decorations drawn over an atomic inline or across the margins/borders/padding of a non-replaced inline box, they are analogously associated with the affected atomic inline / non-replaced inline box rather than with the decorating box.)

In the following style sheet and document fragment:

   blockquote { text-decoration: underline; color: blue; }
   em { display: block; }
   cite { color: fuchsia; }
      Help, help!
      <em> I am under a hat! </em>

      <cite> —GwieF </cite>

...the underlining for the blockquote element is propagated to an anonymous inline box that surrounds the span element, causing the text "Help, help!" to be blue, with the blue underlining from the anonymous inline underneath it, the color being taken from the blockquote element. The <em>text</em> in the em block is also underlined, as it is in an in-flow block to which the underline is propagated. The final line of text is fuchsia, but the underline underneath it is still the blue underline from the anonymous inline element.

Sample rendering of the above underline example

This diagram shows the boxes involved in the example above. The rounded aqua line represents the anonymous inline element wrapping the inline contents of the paragraph element, the rounded blue line represents the span element, and the orange lines represent the blocks.

2.1. Text Decoration Lines: the ‘text-decoration-line’ property

Name: text-decoration-line
Value: none | [ underline || overline || line-through || blink ]
Initial: none
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: no (but see prose)
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: as specified
Animatable: no

Specifies what line decorations, if any, are added to the element. Values have the following meanings:

Neither produces nor inhibits text decoration.
Each line of text is underlined.
Each line of text has a line over it (i.e. on the opposite side from an underline).
Each line of text has a line through the middle.
The text blinks (alternates between visible and invisible). Conforming user agents may simply not blink the text. Note that not blinking the text is one technique to satisfy checkpoint 3.3 of WAI-UAAG. This value is deprecated in favor of Animations [CSS3-ANIMATIONS].

2.2. Text Decoration Color: the ‘text-decoration-color’ property

Name: text-decoration-color
Value: <color>
Initial: currentColor
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: no
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: the computed color
Animatable: as color

This property specifies the color of text decoration (underlines overlines, and line-throughs) set on the element with ‘text-decoration-line’.

The color of text decorations must remain the same on all decorations originating from a given element, even if descendant boxes have different specified colors.

2.3. Text Decoration Style: the ‘text-decoration-style’ property

Name: text-decoration-style
Value: solid | double | dotted | dashed | wavy
Initial: solid
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: no
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: as specified
Animatable: no

This property specifies the style of the line(s) drawn for text decoration specified on the element. Values have the same meaning as for the border-style properties [CSS3BG]. ‘wavy’ indicates a wavy line.

The style of text decorations must remain the same on all decorations originating from a given element, even if descendant boxes have different specified styles.

2.4. Text Decoration Shorthand: the ‘text-decoration’ property

Name: text-decoration
Value: <text-decoration-line> || <text-decoration-style> || <text-decoration-color>
Initial: none
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: no
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: see individual properties
Animatable: see individual properties

This property is a shorthand for setting ‘text-decoration-line’, ‘text-decoration-color’, and ‘text-decoration-style’ in one declaration. Omitted values are set to their initial values. A ‘text-decoration’ declaration that omits both the ‘text-decoration-color’ and ‘text-decoration-style’ values is backwards-compatible with CSS Levels 1 and 2.

The following example underlines unvisited links with a solid blue underline in CSS1 and CSS2 UAs and a navy dotted underline in CSS3 UAs.

:link {
    color: blue;
    text-decoration: underline;
    text-decoration: navy dotted underline; /* Ignored in CSS1/CSS2 UAs */

2.5. Text Decoration Line Continuity: the ‘text-decoration-skip’ property

Name: text-decoration-skip
Value: none | [ objects || spaces || ink || edges || box-decoration ]
Initial: objects
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: as specified
Animatable: no

This property specifies what parts of the element's content any text decoration affecting the element must skip over. It controls all text decoration lines drawn by the element and also any text decoration lines drawn by its ancestors. Values have the following meanings:

Skip nothing: text-decoration is drawn for all text content and across atomic inline-level boxes.
Skip this element (its entire margin box) if it is an atomic inline (such as an image or inline-block).
Skip all spacing, i.e. all characters with the Unicode White_Space property [UAX44] and all word separator characters, plus any adjacent letter-spacing or word-spacing [CSS3TEXT].
Skip over where glyphs are drawn: interrupt the decoration line to let the shape of the text show through where the text decoration would otherwise cross over a glyph. The UA must skip a small distance to either side of the glyph outline.

An alphabetic underline through Myanmar text skips around descenders and the vertical strokes of combining characters that drop below the alphabetic baseline.

text-decoration-skip: ink

The UA should place the start and end of the line inwards slightly (e.g. by half a line thickness) from the content edge of the decorating box so that, e.g. two underlined elements side-by-side do not appear to have a single underline. (This is important in Chinese, where underlining is a form of punctuation.)

An underline below a series of Chinese characters has a gap between two adjacent underlining elements.

text-decoration-skip: edges’ for <u>石井</u><u>艾俐俐</u>

Skip over the box's margin, border, and padding areas. Note that this only has an effect on decorations imposed by an ancestor; a decorating box never draws over its own box decoration.

Note that this property inherits and that descendant elements can have a different setting.

Note that CSS 2.1 required skipping margins, borders, and padding always. In this level, by default only the margins, borders, and padding of the decorating box are skipped. In the future CSS2.1 may be updated to match this new default.

2.6. Text Underline Position: the ‘text-underline-position’ property

Name: text-underline-position
Value: auto | [ under || [ left | right ] ]
Initial: auto
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: as specified
Animatable: no

This property sets the position of an underline specified on the element. (It does not affect underlines specified by ancestor elements.) If ‘left’ or ‘right’ is specified alone, ‘under’ is also implied.

The following example styles modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean texts with the appropriate underline positions in both horizontal and vertical text:

:root:lang(ja), [lang|=ja], :root:lang(ko), [lang|=ko] { text-underline-position: under right; }
:root:lang(zh), [lang|=zh] { text-underline-position: under left; }

(Note that these rules are part of the suggested default UA style sheet.)

Values have the following meanings:

The user agent may use any algorithm to determine the underline's position; however it must be placed at or under the alphabetic baseline.

It is suggested that the default underline position be close to the alphabetic baseline, unless that would either cross subscripted (or otherwise lowered) text or draw over glyphs from Asian scripts such as Han or Tibetan for which an alphabetic underline is too high: in such cases, shifting the underline lower or aligning to the em box edge as described for ‘under’ may be more appropriate.

In a typical Latin font, the underline is positioned slightly                  below the alphabetic baseline, leaving a gap between the line                  and the bottom of most Latin letters, but crossing through                  descenders such as the stem of a 'p'.

A typical “alphabetic” underline is positioned just below the alphabetic baseline

The underline is positioned under the element's text content. In this case the underline usually does not cross the descenders. (This is sometimes called “accounting” underline.) This value can be combined with ‘left’ or ‘right’ if a particular side is preferred in vertical writing modes.

Because ‘text-underline-position’ inherits, and is not reset by the ‘text-decoration’ shorthand, the following example switches the document to use ‘under’ underlining, which can be more appropriate for writing systems with long, complicated descenders. It is also often useful for mathematical or chemical texts that use many subscripts.

:root { text-underline-position: under; }
In vertical writing modes, the underline is aligned as for ‘under’, except it is always aligned to the left edge of the text. If this causes the underline to be drawn on the "over" side of the text, then an overline also switches sides and is drawn on the "under" side.
In vertical writing modes, the underline is aligned as for ‘under’, except it is always aligned to the right edge of the text. If this causes the underline to be drawn on the "over" side of the text, then an overline also switches sides and is drawn on the "under" side.
In mixed Japanese-Latin vertical text, 'text-underline-position: left'                     places the underline on the left side of the text. In mixed Japanese-Latin vertical text, 'text-underline-position: right'                     places the underline on the right side of the text.

In vertical writing modes, the ‘text-underline-position’ values ‘left’ and ‘right’ allow placing the underline on either side of the text. (In horizontal writing modes, both values are treated as ‘under’.)

The exact position and thickness of line decorations is UA-defined in this level. However, for underlines and overlines the UA must use a single thickness and position on each line for the decorations deriving from a single decorating box.

A single underline drawn under varying font sizes and vertical positions must be a single line. vs. Drawing multiple line segments, each with the position and thickness appropriate to the decorated text, is incorrect.

Correct and incorrect rendering of <u>A<sup>B</sup><big>C</big>D</u>

Note, since line decorations can span elements with varying font sizes and vertical alignments, the best position for a line decoration is not necessarily the ideal position dictated by the decorating box. For example, an overline positioned to a small font will effectively become a line-through if the element contains text in a significantly larger font-size. Even for underlines, if the text is not aligned to the alphabetic baseline (for example, in vertical typesetting styles, text is aligned to the central baseline by default) an underline will cut through descendant text of a larger font-size.

UAs must adjust line positions to match the shifted metrics of decorating boxes positioned with ‘vertical-align[CSS21] or subscripted/superscripted via ‘font-variant-position[CSS3-FONTS], but must not adjust the line position or thickness in response to descendants of a decorating box that are so styled. This allows superscripts and subscripts to be properly decorated (underlined, struck through, etc.) but prevents them from distorting or breaking the positioning of such decorations on their ancestors.

An underline for just the superscript 'st' in '1st' is drawn just below the superscript,                  whereas an underline for the entire text is drawn at the appropriate position for full-size text.

Example of underline applied to superscripted text vs. underline applied to text containing a superscript

Some font formats (such as OpenType) can offer information about the appropriate position of a line decoration. The UA should use such information (such as the underline thickness, or appropriate alphabetic underline position) from the font wherever appropriate.

Typically, OpenType font metrics give the position of an ‘alphabetic’ underline; in some cases (especially in CJK fonts), it gives the position of a ‘under left’ underline. (In this case, the font's underline metrics typically touch the bottom edge of the em box). The UA may but is not required to correct for incorrect font metrics.

3. Emphasis Marks

East Asian documents traditionally use small symbols next to each glyph to emphasize a run of text. For example:

Example of emphasis in Japanese appearing over the text

Accent emphasis (shown in blue for clarity) applied to Japanese text

The ‘text-emphasis’ shorthand, and its ‘text-emphasis-style’ and ‘text-emphasis-color’ longhands, can be used to apply such marks to the text. The ‘text-emphasis-position’ property, which inherits separately, allows setting the emphasis marks’ position with respect to the text.

3.1. Emphasis Mark Style: the ‘text-emphasis-style’ property

Name: text-emphasis-style
Value: none | [ [ filled | open ] || [ dot | circle | double-circle | triangle | sesame ] ] | <string>
Initial: none
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: none’, a pair of keywords representing the shape and fill, or a string
Animatable: no

This property applies emphasis marks to the element's text. Values have the following meanings:

No emphasis marks.
The shape is filled with solid color.
The shape is hollow.
Display small circles as marks. The filled dot is U+2022 ‘’, and the open dot is U+25E6 ‘’.
Display large circles as marks. The filled circle is U+25CF ‘’, and the open circle is U+25CB ‘’.
Display double circles as marks. The filled double-circle is U+25C9 ‘’, and the open double-circle is U+25CE ‘’.
Display triangles as marks. The filled triangle is U+25B2 ‘’, and the open triangle is U+25B3 ‘’.
Display sesames as marks. The filled sesame is U+FE45 ‘’, and the open sesame is U+FE46 ‘’.
Display the given string as marks. Authors should not specify more than one character in <string>. The UA may truncate or ignore strings consisting of more than one grapheme cluster.

If a shape keyword is specified but neither of ‘filled’ nor ‘open’ is specified, ‘filled’ is assumed. If only ‘filled’ or ‘open’ is specified, the shape keyword computes to ‘circle’ in horizontal writing mode and ‘sesame’ in vertical writing mode.

The marks should be drawn using the element's font settings with its size scaled down to 50%. However, not all fonts have all these glyphs, and some fonts use inappropriate sizes for emphasis marks in these code points. The UA may opt to use a font known to be good for emphasis marks, or the marks may instead be synthesized by the UA. Marks must remain upright in vertical writing modes: like CJK characters, they do not rotate to match the writing mode.

One example of good fonts for emphasis marks is Adobe's opensource project, Kenten Generic OpenType Font, which is specially designed for the emphasis marks.

The marks are drawn once for each character. However, emphasis marks are not drawn for characters that are:

3.2. Emphasis Mark Color: the ‘text-emphasis-color’ property

Name: text-emphasis-color
Value: <color>
Initial: currentColor
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: as specified
Animatable: as color

This property specifies the foreground color of the emphasis marks.

The currentcolor keyword computes to itself and is resolved to the value of ‘color’ after inheritance is performed. This means ‘text-emphasis-color’ by default matches the text ‘color’ even as ‘color’ changes across elements.

3.3. Emphasis Mark Shorthand: the ‘text-emphasis’ property

Name: text-emphasis
Value: <text-emphasis-style>’ || ‘<text-emphasis-color>
Initial: see individual properties
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: see individual properties
Animatable: see individual properties

This property is a shorthand for setting ‘text-emphasis-style’ and ‘text-emphasis-color’ in one declaration. Omitted values are set to their initial values.

Note that ‘text-emphasis-position’ is not reset in this shorthand. This is because typically the shape and color vary, but the position is consistent for a particular language throughout the document. Therefore the position should inherit independently.

3.4. Emphasis Mark Position: the ‘text-emphasis-position’ property

Name: text-emphasis-position
Value: [ over | under ] && [ right | left ]
Initial: over right
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: as specified
Animatable: no

This property describes where emphasis marks are drawn at. The values have following meanings:

Draw marks over the text in horizontal writing mode.
Draw marks under the text in horizontal writing mode.
Draw marks to the right of the text in vertical writing mode.
Draw marks to the left of the text in vertical writing mode.

Emphasis marks are drawn exactly as if each character was assigned the mark as its ruby annotation text with the ruby position given by ‘text-emphasis-position’ and the ruby alignment as centered.

The effect of emphasis marks on the line height is the same as for ruby text.

Note, the preferred position of emphasis marks depends on the language. In Japanese for example, the preferred position is ‘over right’. In Chinese, on the other hand, the preferred position is ‘under right’. The informative table below summarizes the preferred emphasis mark positions for Chinese and Japanese:

Preferred emphasis mark and ruby position
Language Preferred position Illustration
Horizontal Vertical
Japanese over right Emphasis marks appear over each emphasized character in horizontal Japanese text. Emphasis marks appear on the right of each emphasized character in vertical Japanese text.
Chinese under right Emphasis marks appear below each emphasized character in horizontal Simplified Chinese text.

If emphasis marks are applied to characters for which ruby is drawn in the same position as the emphasis mark, the emphasis marks are placed above the ruby.

In this example, emphasis marks are applied to 4 characters, two of which have ruby.            The dots are placed above each character (aligned with the ruby) for the bare characters,            and above the ruby text for the annotated characters.

Emphasis marks applied to 4 characters, with ruby also on 2 of them

Some editors prefer to hide emphasis marks when they conflict with ruby. In HTML, this can be done with the following style rule:

ruby { text-emphasis: none; }

Some other editors prefer to hide ruby when they conflict with emphasis marks. In HTML, this can be done with the following pattern:

em { text-emphasis: dot; } /* Set text-emphasis for <em> elements */
em rt { display: none; }   /* Hide ruby inside <em> elements */

4. Text Shadows: the ‘text-shadow’ property

Name: text-shadow
Value: none | [ <length>{2,3} && <color>? ]#
Initial: none
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: N/A
Media: visual
Computed value: a color plus three absolute <length>s
Animatable: as shadow list

This property accepts a comma-separated list of shadow effects to be applied to the text of the element. Values are interpreted as for box-shadow [CSS3BG]. (But note that spread values and the ‘inset’ keyword are not allowed.) Each layer shadows the element's text and all its text decorations (composited together). If the color of the shadow is not specified, the shadow has the resulting color of the ink that it shadows.

The shadow effects are applied front-to-back: the first shadow is on top. The shadows may thus overlay each other, but they never overlay the text itself. The shadow must be painted at a stack level between the element's border and/or background, if present, and the elements text and text decoration. UAs should avoid painting text shadows over text in adjacent elements belonging to the same stack level and stacking context. (This may mean that the exact stack level of the shadows depends on whether the element has a border or background: the exact stacking behavior of text shadows is thus UA-defined.) It is undefined whether a given shadow layer shadows each glyph or decoration independently or if the text and/or decorations are flattened and then shadowed.

Unlike ‘box-shadow’, text shadows are not clipped to the shadowed shape and may show through if the text is partially-transparent. Like ‘box-shadow’, text shadows do not influence layout, and do not trigger scrolling or increase the size of the scrollable area.

The painting order of shadows defined here is the opposite of that defined in the 1998 CSS2 Recommendation.

The ‘text-shadow’ property applies to both the ::first-line and ::first-letter pseudo-elements.

5. Painting Order of Text Decorations

As in [CSS21], text decorations are drawn immediately over/under the text they decorate, in the following order (bottommost first):

Where line decorations are drawn across box decorations or atomic inlines, they are drawn over non-positioned content and just below any positioned descendants (immediately below layer #8 in CSS2.1 Appendix E).

6. Conformance

6.1. Document Conventions

Conformance requirements are expressed with a combination of descriptive assertions and RFC 2119 terminology. The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in the normative parts of this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119. However, for readability, these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification.

All of the text of this specification is normative except sections explicitly marked as non-normative, examples, and notes. [RFC2119]

Examples in this specification are introduced with the words “for example” or are set apart from the normative text with class="example", like this:

This is an example of an informative example.

Informative notes begin with the word “Note” and are set apart from the normative text with class="note", like this:

Note, this is an informative note.

6.2. Conformance Classes

Conformance to CSS Text Level 3 is defined for three conformance classes:

style sheet
A CSS style sheet.
A UA that interprets the semantics of a style sheet and renders documents that use them.
authoring tool
A UA that writes a style sheet.

A style sheet is conformant to CSS Text Level 3 if all of its declarations that use properties defined in this module have values that are valid according to the generic CSS grammar and the individual grammars of each property as given in this module.

A renderer is conformant to CSS Text Level 3 if, in addition to interpreting the style sheet as defined by the appropriate specifications, it supports all the features defined by CSS Text Level 3 by parsing them correctly and rendering the document accordingly. However, the inability of a UA to correctly render a document due to limitations of the device does not make the UA non-conformant. (For example, a UA is not required to render color on a monochrome monitor.)

An authoring tool is conformant to CSS Text Level 3 if it writes style sheets that are syntactically correct according to the generic CSS grammar and the individual grammars of each feature in this module, and meet all other conformance requirements of style sheets as described in this module.

6.3. Partial Implementations

So that authors can exploit the forward-compatible parsing rules to assign fallback values, CSS renderers must treat as invalid (and ignore as appropriate) any at-rules, properties, property values, keywords, and other syntactic constructs for which they have no usable level of support. In particular, user agents must not selectively ignore unsupported component values and honor supported values in a single multi-value property declaration: if any value is considered invalid (as unsupported values must be), CSS requires that the entire declaration be ignored.

6.4. Experimental Implementations

To avoid clashes with future CSS features, the CSS2.1 specification reserves a prefixed syntax for proprietary and experimental extensions to CSS.

Prior to a specification reaching the Candidate Recommendation stage in the W3C process, all implementations of a CSS feature are considered experimental. The CSS Working Group recommends that implementations use a vendor-prefixed syntax for such features, including those in W3C Working Drafts. This avoids incompatibilities with future changes in the draft.

6.5. Non-Experimental Implementations

Once a specification reaches the Candidate Recommendation stage, non-experimental implementations are possible, and implementors should release an unprefixed implementation of any CR-level feature they can demonstrate to be correctly implemented according to spec.

To establish and maintain the interoperability of CSS across implementations, the CSS Working Group requests that non-experimental CSS renderers submit an implementation report (and, if necessary, the testcases used for that implementation report) to the W3C before releasing an unprefixed implementation of any CSS features. Testcases submitted to W3C are subject to review and correction by the CSS Working Group.

Further information on submitting testcases and implementation reports can be found from on the CSS Working Group's website at http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/. Questions should be directed to the public-css-testsuite@w3.org mailing list.

6.6. CR Exit Criteria

For this specification to be advanced to Proposed Recommendation, there must be at least two independent, interoperable implementations of each feature. Each feature may be implemented by a different set of products, there is no requirement that all features be implemented by a single product. For the purposes of this criterion, we define the following terms:

each implementation must be developed by a different party and cannot share, reuse, or derive from code used by another qualifying implementation. Sections of code that have no bearing on the implementation of this specification are exempt from this requirement.
passing the respective test case(s) in the official CSS test suite, or, if the implementation is not a Web browser, an equivalent test. Every relevant test in the test suite should have an equivalent test created if such a user agent (UA) is to be used to claim interoperability. In addition if such a UA is to be used to claim interoperability, then there must one or more additional UAs which can also pass those equivalent tests in the same way for the purpose of interoperability. The equivalent tests must be made publicly available for the purposes of peer review.
a user agent which:
  1. implements the specification.
  2. is available to the general public. The implementation may be a shipping product or other publicly available version (i.e., beta version, preview release, or “nightly build”). Non-shipping product releases must have implemented the feature(s) for a period of at least one month in order to demonstrate stability.
  3. is not experimental (i.e., a version specifically designed to pass the test suite and is not intended for normal usage going forward).

The specification will remain Candidate Recommendation for at least six months.

Appendix A: Acknowledgements

This specification would not have been possible without the help from: Ayman Aldahleh, Bert Bos, Tantek Çelik, Stephen Deach, John Daggett, Martin Dürst, Laurie Anna Edlund, Ben Errez, Yaniv Feinberg, Arye Gittelman, Ian Hickson, Martin Heijdra, Richard Ishida, Masayasu Ishikawa, Michael Jochimsen, Eric LeVine, Ambrose Li, Håkon Wium Lie, Chris Lilley, Ken Lunde, Nat McCully, Shinyu Murakami, Paul Nelson, Chris Pratley, Marcin Sawicki, Arnold Schrijver, Rahul Sonnad, Michel Suignard, Takao Suzuki, Frank Tang, Chris Thrasher, Etan Wexler, Chris Wilson, Masafumi Yabe and Steve Zilles.

Appendix B: References

Normative references

Bert Bos; et al. Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1) Specification. 7 June 2011. W3C Recommendation. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/REC-CSS2-20110607
John Daggett. CSS Fonts Module Level 3. 12 February 2013. W3C Working Draft. (Work in progress.) URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/WD-css3-fonts-20130212/
Elika J. Etemad; Koji Ishii. CSS Writing Modes Module Level 3. 15 November 2012. W3C Working Draft. (Work in progress.) URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/WD-css3-writing-modes-20121115/
Bert Bos; Elika J. Etemad; Brad Kemper. CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3. 24 July 2012. W3C Candidate Recommendation. (Work in progress.) URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/CR-css3-background-20120724/
Elika J. Etemad; Koji Ishii. CSS Text Module Level 3. 13 November 2012. W3C Working Draft. (Work in progress.) URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/WD-css3-text-20121113/
S. Bradner. Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. Internet RFC 2119. URL: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt

Informative references

Dean Jackson; et al. CSS Animations. 19 February 2013. W3C Working Draft. (Work in progress.) URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/WD-css3-animations-20130219/
Tantek Çelik; Chris Lilley; L. David Baron. CSS Color Module Level 3. 7 June 2011. W3C Recommendation. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/REC-css3-color-20110607
Mark Davis; Ken Whistler. Unicode Character Database. 23 January 2012. Unicode Standard Annex #44. URL: http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr44/

Appendix C: Changes

Changes since the January 2013 Last Call Working Draft

Significant changes include:

A Disposition of Comments is available.

Appendix D: Default UA Stylesheet

This appendix is informative, and is to help UA developers to implement default stylesheet, but UA developers are free to ignore or change.

s, strike, del {
  text-decoration: line-through;

u, ins, :link, :visited {
  text-decoration: underline;

abbr[title], acronym[title] {
  text-decoration: dotted underline;

/* disable inheritance of text-emphasis marks to ruby text:
  emphasis marks should only apply to base text */
rt { text-emphasis: none; }

:root:lang(zh), [lang|=zh] {
/* default emphasis mark position is 'under right' for Chinese */
  text-emphasis-position: under right;

:root:lang(ja), [lang|=ja], :root:lang(ko), [lang|=ko] {
/* default underline position is 'under right' for Japanese and Korean */
  text-underline-position: under right;

:root:lang(zh), [lang|=zh] {
/* default underline position is 'under left' for Chinese */
  text-underline-position: under left;

blink {
  text-decoration-line: blink;

If you find any issues, recommendations to add, or corrections, please send the information to www-style@w3.org with [css-text-decor-3] in the subject line.

While ‘text-decoration-line: blink’ can't be fully reproduced with other existing properties, authors can achieve a very similar effect with the following CSS:

@keyframes blink {
  0% {
    visibility: hidden;
    animation-timing-function: step-end;
  25%, 100% {
    visibility: visible;
blink {
  animation: blink 1s infinite;