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Content overflow

An overarching guide for managing text and element content overflow in layouts.

Types of content overflow

Content overflow occurs when the content within a component or element exceeds the designated space. This overflow can include:

  1. Text overflow: When lengthy text exceeds the available space within a component, such as lengthy text within a button.
  2. Element overflow: When all elements within a component are not visible due to space constraints, such as items requiring scrolling within a container.

To address the challenges posed by content overflow, we can use the following solutions:

  • Wrap text or content onto multiple lines.
  • Use an ellipsis to truncate overlong text.
  • Implement a fade effect to indicate that content can be scrolled to reveal additional information.

A mix of elements: Tabs using an ellipsis on one of the tabs and fade to indicate scroll in the rest of tabs, a paragraph, and a group of accordions, one with a long label wrapped.


Content wrapping involves allowing text or elements to overflow onto multiple lines. It is suitable for components where the height is not fixed or where vertical expansion is acceptable.

A group of accordions: one accordion has a label wrapping onto two lines.

  • Use wrapping as the base solution to content overflow, enabling text to extend onto multiple lines when it doesn’t affect the fixed height of the component.

A collection of form items where the Select component appears taller than the other elements due to inappropriate text wrapping.

  • Use wrapping in elements where uniformity in height is crucial.

Truncation with ellipses

Ellipses truncation can condense text in cases where the text becomes longer than expected.

A Select component with its label truncated by an ellipsis.

  • Use an ellipsis to maintain consistency when component height is essential.
  • Use an ellipsis to prevent disparities in the heights of element groups, such as a collection of chips or a group of buttons.
  • Include tooltip support for truncated text, enabling users to access full content as needed.

An article title wrongly truncated by an ellipsis.

  • Use an ellipsis in elements where uniformity in height is not crucial.

Optional ellipses truncation

Ellipses truncation can also be used to optionally customize the number of lines for lengthy descriptions in specific components, like Card or Menu. In such cases, tooltips are unnecessary for displaying the entire description, as they are primarily used to display the label's content.

Two cards with ellipsis truncation when the description is longer than three lines.

Bidirectionality for ellipses truncation

In left-to-right (LTR) languages, the ellipsis typically appears on the right side of the truncated text. In right-to-left (RTL) languages, such as Arabic or Hebrew, the ellipsis is typically situated on the left side, aligning with the natural flow of reading.

Refer to the Bidirectionality guidelines for more information about handling LTR and RTL behaviors.

A Button with lengthy text in left-to-right (LTR) direction, truncating its label with an ellipsis.A Button with lengthy text in right-to-left (RTL) direction, truncating its label with an ellipsis.

Truncation with fade

Fade effects can be used as visual indicators of scroll within a group of elements, and they should not be used to indicate text truncation.

Tabs using a fade effect to indicate that there is a scroll to reveal the rest of the tabs.

  • Reserve fade effects to indicate that a group of elements can be scrolled.

A Popup using a fade effect for truncating the long text.

  • Use fade effects for truncating text. Instead, use an ellipsis for text truncation.