W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wicg@w3.org > January 2016

HTML text direction

From: <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2016 16:47:22 +0000
To: richarddunnebsc@gmail.com
Cc: public-wicg@w3.org
Message-ID: <569FBA1A.4000605@w3.org>
hello Richard,

the dir attribute, as you say, sets the base direction for the Unicode
Bidirectional Algorithm.  It doesn't force all characters to progress
from right to left (or vice versa) – for that you need to use <bdo
dir="..."> - but it does dictate the ordering of differing directional
runs of content, punctuation, etc.

to understand the difference, i recommend that you read

and then
with particular note of
near the end, which will do what you want.

hope that helps,

  > Everyone, I hope understands the difference between left to right and
  > to left.  They are directional opposites.  Yet, this does not hold true
  > with the HTML text direction attribute rtl.  Any string or characters
  > entered into a text box on a webpage, regardless of directional 
  > used, will appear exactly the same, the only difference is the string
alignment within the text box.
  >From the www.w3.org website,
  > https://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-html-dir, the dir 
  > is used to set the base direction of text for display.  If right to 
  > in the literal sense is the exact opposite of left to right, should any
  > text controlled by the rtl text direction attribute not appear right to
  > left, i.e. sdrawkcab?  The only visual/display difference is
alignment, not
  > directional as is intended.  I don't know which group within HTML
  > this, but I would like to propose/suggest a re-definition of the rtl 
  > direction attribute, and possibly a new feature that actually allows
  > to left character input.

  > Sincerely,

  > Richard Dunne B.Sc.
Received on Wednesday, 20 January 2016 16:47:33 UTC

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