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Truncate multiline with an ellipsis... without causing accessibility problems!
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holloway Merge pull request #3 from constb/feature/ssr-compatibility
allow using ellipsis in react ssr stage, next.js compatibility
Latest commit 5b6dac3 May 27, 2019


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)

Please note that it only supports plaintext though, not HTML (the children node 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>


Console error about children.split is not a function

This gruesome sounding error means that you have multiple children nodes being passed to react-accessible-ellipsis, or non-plaintext children. Try joining them into a single string.. for example, rather than

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

try passing in,

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

(those are backticks aka template literals)

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