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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is line-height property in CSS?
3.
Syntax
4.
CSS Line-Height Values
5.
Examples
6.
Core Concepts of CSS Line Height
7.
Working with CSS Line Height
7.1.
Creating Visually Appealing Text with Appropriate Line Height
7.2.
HTML Code
7.3.
Code Examples Demonstrating Advanced Usage of Line-height
8.
Comparisons
8.1.
Comparing CSS Line Height with Other CSS Typography Properties
8.2.
Differences and Use Cases for Using Line-Height vs Other CSS Text Styling Properties
9.
Real-world Applications of CSS Line Height
9.1.
Code examples illustrating real-world usage of line-height
10.
Best Practices
11.
Frequently Asked Questions
11.1.
What is line-height property in CSS?
11.2.
 
11.3.
How CSS are used in changing font text size and line-height?
11.4.
 
11.5.
What is the range of line-height in CSS?
11.6.
 
11.7.
How is line-height calculated in CSS?
11.8.
 
12.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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CSS Line-Height Property

Author Pallavi singh
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Introduction

CSS Line Height is a pivotal property in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) that impacts the vertical spacing in textual content on web pages. It controls the amount of space above and below inline elements, ensuring that the text is presented in a readable and aesthetically pleasing manner.

CSS Line Height

In the realm of typography and web design, line height plays a vital role. It directly influences the readability, appearance, and the overall user experience of a website. An apt line height ensures that the text is easily scannable and lessens the fatigue on the reader's eyes.

What is line-height property in CSS?

The line-height property in CSS defines the amount of space above and below inline elements, controlling the height of lines within a block element. It affects the vertical spacing and the height of the line box.

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Syntax

selector {
    line-height: normal|number|length|%|initial|inherit;
}

 

  • normal: Uses the browser's default line height.
  • number: Multiplier relative to the font-size of the element.
  • length: Defines the line height in absolute units (e.g., px, em).
  • %: Specifies line height as a percentage of the font size.
  • initial: Sets the property to its default value.
  • inherit: Inherits the line height from its parent element.

CSS Line-Height Values

The line-height property in CSS can be assigned various values:

1. normal: Uses the browser's default line height.

2. Number: Multiplier relative to the font-size of the element.

line-height: 1.5; /* 1.5 times the font size */

 

3. Length: Defines the line height in absolute units (e.g., px, em).

line-height: 20px; /* Line height of 20 pixels */

 

4. Percentage (%): Specifies line height as a percentage of the font size.

line-height: 150%; /* Line height is 150% of the font size */

 

5. initial: Sets the property to its default value.

line-height: initial;

 

6. inherit: Inherits the line height from its parent element.

line-height: inherit;

Examples

Example 1

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
  <style>
    p {
      line-height: normal;
    }
  </style>
  <title>Line Height Example 1</title>
</head>
<body>
  <p>This paragraph has normal line height.</p>
</body>
</html>

 

Output

output

Example 2

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
  <style>
    h1 {
      font-size: 24px;
      line-height: 1.5; 
    }
  </style>
  <title>Line Height Example 2</title>
</head>
<body>
  <h1>This is a heading with increased line height.</h1>
</body>
</html>

 

Output

output

Core Concepts of CSS Line Height

The line-height property in CSS is used to specify the amount of space above and below inline elements. This space is effectively the difference between the line-height value and the font-size value, equally distributed above and below the text.

The line-height property can accept several types of values:

  • Normal: This is the default value which sets the line height to a normal value for the font, typically around 1.2 times the size of the font.
     
  • Number: This value multiplies the font size to set the line height. For example, a value of 1.5 will set the line height to 1.5 times the size of the font.
     
  • Length: This value sets the line height in px, cm, em, etc., giving precise control over the line height.
     
  • Percentage: This value sets the line height as a percentage of the current font size.
     
  • Inherit: This value inherits the line-height value from its parent element.

The line-height property significantly affects the readability and aesthetics of text on a webpage. A well-set line height can make text easier to read and more visually appealing, while a poorly set line height can do the opposite.

Working with CSS Line Height

Incorporating the appropriate line-height values can drastically elevate the visual aesthetics and readability of text on a webpage. The line-height property is particularly useful in creating a rhythm in text, making it appear more structured and balanced.

Creating Visually Appealing Text with Appropriate Line Height

An appropriate line height creates a harmonious balance between the text and the whitespace surrounding it. It ensures that the text is easily scannable, reducing the effort required to read and comprehend the content. Here's how you can adjust the line-height to make text visually appealing:

  • HTML Code

HTML Code

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang="en">

<head>

   <style>

       .text {

           font-size: 16px;

           line-height: 1.5;  /* Equivalent to 24px */

       }



       .heading {

           font-size: 24px;

           line-height: 1.2;  /* Equivalent to 28.8px, rounded to 29px */

       }

   </style>

</head>

<body>

   <h1 class="heading">A Heading with Adequate Line Height</h1>

   <p class="text">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras non placerat mi. Etiam non tellus.</p>

</body>

</html>

Output

In this example, we have used a numeric value for the line-height property which multiplies the font-size to set the line height. This is a flexible way to set line height as it scales with the font-size.

Code Examples Demonstrating Advanced Usage of Line-height

Advanced usage of line-height can be seen in different textual scenarios, such as when dealing with multi-line text, different font sizes, or when styling headers versus body text. Here are some examples:

Multi-line Text:

.multi-line {
    font-size: 16px;
    line-height: 1.75;  /* Spacious line height for better readability */
}

<p class="multi-line">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
    Cras non placerat mi. Etiam non tellus.
</p>

Different Font Sizes:

.small-text {
    font-size: 12px;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* 18px line height */
}

.large-text {
    font-size: 24px;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* 36px line height */
}

<p class="small-text">Some small text here.</p>
<p class="large-text">Some large text here.</p>
Headers vs Body Text:

.header {
    font-size: 36px;
    line-height: 1.2;  /* Tighter line height */
}

.body-text {
    font-size: 16px;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* More generous line height */
}

<h1 class="header">Your Heading Here</h1>
<p class="body-text">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
    Cras non placerat mi. Etiam non tellus.
</p>

These examples demonstrate how varying the line-height based on the context and the font size can impact the appearance and readability of the text on a webpage.

Comparisons

The realm of CSS typography is vast, with a multitude of properties tailored for text styling and formatting. Among these, the line-height property holds a pivotal role in enhancing readability and visual appeal. 

In this section, we'll compare line-height with other significant CSS typography properties, shedding light on their distinct functionalities and use cases.

Comparing CSS Line Height with Other CSS Typography Properties

Font Size (font-size) vs Line Height (line-height):

Purpose:

  • font-size: Adjusts the size of the text.
     
  • line-height: Adjusts the amount of space above and below the text.

Usage:

.text {
    font-size: 16px;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* 24px line height */
}

Font Weight (font-weight) vs Line Height (line-height):

Purpose:

  • font-weight: Adjusts the thickness of the text characters.
     
  • line-height: Influences the spacing between lines of text.

Usage:

.text {
    font-weight: bold;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* 24px line height */
}

Text Transform (text-transform) vs Line Height (line-height):

Purpose:

  • text-transform: Controls the capitalization of text.
  • line-height: Adjusts vertical spacing between lines of text.

Usage:

.text {
    text-transform: uppercase;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* 24px line height */
}

Differences and Use Cases for Using Line-Height vs Other CSS Text Styling Properties

Use Case 1 - Enhancing Readability:

If the goal is to improve the readability of text, adjusting line-height is more effective than merely increasing font-size or font-weight.

Use Case 2 - Styling Headers:

For headers, a combination of font-size, font-weight, and line-height can be employed to create a visually distinct and hierarchically clear text element.

h1 {
    font-size: 36px;
    font-weight: bold;
    line-height: 1.2;  /* 43.2px line height */
}

Use Case 3 - Creating a Uniform Text Style:

When aiming for a consistent text style across a webpage, it's crucial to consider line-height alongside font-size, font-weight, and text-transform to achieve a balanced and uniform appearance.

These comparisons elucidate that line-height, while simple, plays a crucial role in conjunction with other typography-related CSS properties to craft visually pleasing and readable text. Each property has its unique part to play, and understanding their interplay is key to effective typography styling in web design.

Real-world Applications of CSS Line Height

The line-height property in CSS is not merely a stylistic choice but a fundamental aspect of ensuring readability and a pleasant user experience across various digital platforms. Let's delve into some real-world scenarios where the appropriate use of line-height is crucial.

Scenarios where appropriate line height is crucial:

Enhancing Readability in Long Texts:

In blog posts, articles, or any long-form text, an optimal line-height is essential to maintain readability and reduce eye strain.

Creating Visually Appealing Headers:

Headers with a suitable line-height provide a clear hierarchy and separation from the rest of the content, making the page layout coherent.

Designing Accessible Web Pages:

Ensuring a good line-height aids in creating accessible web designs, particularly for individuals with reading disorders or visual impairments.

Responsive Design:

Adjusting line-height for different screen sizes is part of creating a responsive design, ensuring text looks good on both mobile and desktop devices.

Code examples illustrating real-world usage of line-height

Long Text Readability:

.article-text {
    font-size: 18px;
    line-height: 1.6;  /* Resulting in 28.8px line height */
}

HTML:

<p class="article-text">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit...</p>
Header Styling:

.header {
    font-size: 36px;
    line-height: 1.2;  /* Resulting in 43.2px line height */
    margin-bottom: 20px;
}

HTML:

<h1 class="header">Welcome to My Website</h1>

Accessible Web Page:

.accessible-text {
    font-size: 16px;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* Resulting in 24px line height */
}

HTML:

<p class="accessible-text">Accessibility is crucial for inclusivity...</p>

Responsive Design:

/* Desktop devices */

.text {
    font-size: 16px;
    line-height: 1.5;  /* Resulting in 24px line height */
}

/* Mobile devices */

@media (max-width: 768px) {
    .text {
        line-height: 1.3;  /* Resulting in 20.8px line height */
    }
}

HTML:

<p class="text">Responsive design ensures optimal viewing across devices...</p>

These examples depict the importance and applicability of line-height in crafting readable, aesthetically pleasing, and accessible web pages. Through adept manipulation of line-height alongside other CSS properties, developers can significantly enhance the user's textual interaction experience on a webpage.

Best Practices

Recommendations for choosing suitable line height values:

Selecting an appropriate line-height is crucial for readable and visually appealing text. Here are some guidelines:

Relative Values:

It's recommended to use unitless values for line-height as they are inherited as a ratio, not a fixed value, allowing more flexible styling across different font sizes.

/* Recommended */

p {
    line-height: 1.5;
}

/* Not Recommended */

p {
    line-height: 24px;
}

Minimum Line Height:

A minimum line-height of 1.5 is often suggested to ensure good readability and aesthetic appeal.

p {
    line-height: 1.5;
}

Testing Different Values:

Experiment with different line-height values to find what works best for your design, keeping in mind the font size and typeface being used.

p {
    font-size: 16px;
    line-height: 1.6;
}

Ensuring readability and accessibility with correct line height:

Adequate line-height can significantly improve the readability and accessibility of text, especially for users with visual impairments or reading disorders.

.accessible-text {
    line-height: 1.5;
}

Frequently Asked Questions

What is line-height property in CSS?

The line-height property in CSS controls the vertical spacing between lines within block elements, affecting the height of the line box.

 

How CSS are used in changing font text size and line-height?

Use CSS properties like font-size and line-height to adjust text size and spacing for improved readability and aesthetics.

 

What is the range of line-height in CSS?

Line-height values can be set using keywords (e.g., normal) or numeric values (multipliers, percentages, or lengths) depending on design requirements.

 

How is line-height calculated in CSS?

The calculated line height is influenced by the font size and is determined by the chosen unit (multiplier, percentage, or length) specified in the CSS.

 

Conclusion

This article has delved into the nuances of the line-height property in CSS, covering its definition, core concepts, and practical applications. With proper usage of line-height, developers can significantly enhance the typography and overall user experience of web pages. The examples and code snippets provided serve as a springboard for readers to further explore and experiment with line-height to suit their project requirements.

Harnessing the power of line-height opens up a realm of possibilities in creating visually appealing and accessible text, making it an indispensable tool in a developer's toolkit.

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