Underline Individual Words

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Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

There is no CSS for applying an underline (text-decoration: underline;) only to individual words in a multiple-word element. The best way would be to wrap each word in a span (not the spaces, just the words) in spans and apply underline to those spans. Here’s jQuery to do that to h1 elements.

$('h1').each(function() {

	var words = $(this).text().split(' ');

	$(this).empty().html(function() {

		for (i = 0; i < words.length; i++) {
			if (i == 0) {
				$(this).append('<span>' + words[i] + '</span>');
			} else {
				$(this).append(' <span>' + words[i] + '</span>');


Then you could do:

h1 span {
  text-decoration: underline;

Similar and slightly more robust solution: Lettering.js