HTML <bdo> Tag

The HTML <bdo> tag ("bidirectional override") sets the direction of a text output from right to left. It is used primarily with languages where reading occurs from right to left (e.g. Arabic).

The dir attribute is a required option for the <bdo> tag. It defines the direction within the <bdo> tag. It can have one of two values: ltr and rtl.

You should not use RTL words and phrases without markup. This can cause some problems. For isolating bidirectional text and avoiding display problems, you can use the <bdi> element.

HTML 4 did not specify events for the <bdo> element. They were added in XHTML.


The <bdo> tag comes in pairs. The content is written between the opening (<bdo>) and closing (</bdo>) tags.

Example of the HTML <bdo> text:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
    <p>Text from left to right </p>
      <bdo dir="rtl">And this one, from right to left</bdo>.


bdo exemple


Attribute Value Description
dir ltr
Defines the direction of the text from left to right or from right to left.

The <bdo> tag supports also the Global Attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <bdo> tag?

Common properties to alter the visual weight/emphasis/size of text in <bdo> tag:

  • CSS font-style property sets the style of the font. normal | italic | oblique | initial | inherit.
  • CSS font-family property specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names for the selected element.
  • CSS font-size property sets the size of the font.
  • CSS font-weight property defines whether the font should be bold or thick.
  • CSS text-transform property controls text case and capitalization.
  • CSS text-decoration property specifies the decoration added to text, and is a shorthand property for text-decoration-line, text-decoration-color, text-decoration-style.

Coloring text in <bdo> tag:

  • CSS color property describes the color of the text content and text decorations.
  • CSS background-color property sets the background color of an element.

Text layout styles for <bdo> tag:

  • CSS text-indent property specifies the indentation of the first line in a text block.
  • CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signalled to the user.
  • CSS white-space property specifies how white-space inside an element is handled.
  • CSS word-break property specifies where the lines should be broken.

Other properties worth looking at for <bdo> tag:

Browser support

chrome edge firefox safari opera

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