Now on GitHub as a Plugin!

enter image description here Feel free to fork and improve.

Demo | Download Zip | Half-Style.com (Redirects to GitHub)


  • Pure CSS for a Single Character
  • JavaScript used for automation across text or multiple characters
  • Preserves Text Accessibility for screen readers for the blind or visually impaired

Part 1: Basic Solution

Half Style on text

Demo: http://jsfiddle.net/arbel/pd9yB/1694/


This works on any dynamic text, or a single character, and is all automated. All you need to do is add a class on the target text and the rest is taken care of.

Also, the accessibility of the original text is preserved for screen readers for the blind or visually impaired.

Explanation for a single character:

Pure CSS. All you need to do is to apply .halfStyle class to each element that contains the character you want to be half-styled.

For each span element containing the character, you can create a data attribute, for example here data-content="X", and on the pseudo element use content: attr(data-content); so the .halfStyle:before class will be dynamic and you won't need to hard code it for every instance.

Explanation for any text:

Simply add textToHalfStyle class to the element containing the text.


// jQuery for automated mode
jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
    $el = $(el);
    text = $el.text();
    chars = text.split('');

    // Set the screen-reader text
    $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

    // Reset output for appending
    output = '';

    // Iterate over all chars in the text
    for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
        // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
        output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
    }

    // Write to DOM only once
    $el.append(output);
  });
});

.halfStyle {
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
    color: black; /* or transparent, any color */
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
}

.halfStyle:before {
    display: block;
    z-index: 1;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    width: 50%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    color: #f00;
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo)


Part 2: Advanced solution - Independent left and right parts

Half Style on text - advanced - With Text Shadow

With this solution you can style left and right parts, individually and independently.

Everything is the same, only more advanced CSS does the magic.

jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
        $el = $(el);
        text = $el.text();
        chars = text.split('');

        // Set the screen-reader text
        $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

        // Reset output for appending
        output = '';

        // Iterate over all chars in the text
        for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
            // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
            output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
        }

        // Write to DOM only once
        $el.append(output);
    });
});

.halfStyle {
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
    color: transparent; /* hide the base character */
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
}

.halfStyle:before { /* creates the left part */
    display: block;
    z-index: 1;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    width: 50%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    color: #f00; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px -2px 0px #af0; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle:after { /* creates the right part */
    display: block;
    direction: rtl; /* very important, will make the width to start from right */
    position: absolute;
    z-index: 2;
    top: 0;
    left: 50%;
    width: 50%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    color: #000; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #0af; /* for demo purposes */
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo)



Part 3: Mix-Match and Improve

Now that we know what is possible, let's create some variations.


-Horizontal Half Parts

  • ### Without Text Shadow:

Horizontal Half Parts - No Text Shadow

  • ### Possibility of Text Shadow for each half part independently:

halfStyle - Horizontal Half Parts - With Text Shadow

// jQuery for automated mode
jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
        $el = $(el);
        text = $el.text();
        chars = text.split('');

        // Set the screen-reader text
        $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

        // Reset output for appending
        output = '';

        // Iterate over all chars in the text
        for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
            // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
            output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
        }

        // Write to DOM only once
        $el.append(output);
    });
});

.halfStyle {
  position: relative;
  display: inline-block;
  font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
  color: transparent; /* hide the base character */
  overflow: hidden;
  white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
}

.halfStyle:before { /* creates the top part */
  display: block;
  z-index: 2;
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  height: 50%;
  content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
  overflow: hidden;
  pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
  color: #f00; /* for demo purposes */
  text-shadow: 2px -2px 0px #af0; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle:after { /* creates the bottom part */
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  z-index: 1;
  top: 0;
  height: 100%;
  content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
  overflow: hidden;
  pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
  color: #000; /* for demo purposes */
  text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #0af; /* for demo purposes */
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo)



-Vertical 1/3 Parts

  • ### Without Text Shadow:

halfStyle - Vertical 1/3 Parts - No Text Shadow

  • ### Possibility of Text Shadow for each 1/3 part independently:

halfStyle - Vertical 1/3 Parts - With Text Shadow

// jQuery for automated mode
jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
    $el = $(el);
    text = $el.text();
    chars = text.split('');

    // Set the screen-reader text
    $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

    // Reset output for appending
    output = '';

    // Iterate over all chars in the text
    for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
        // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
        output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
    }

    // Write to DOM only once
    $el.append(output);
  });
});

.halfStyle { /* base char and also the right 1/3 */
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
    color: transparent; /* hide the base character */
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
    color: #f0f; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #0af; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle:before { /* creates the left 1/3 */
    display: block;
    z-index: 2;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    width: 33.33%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    color: #f00; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px -2px 0px #af0; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle:after { /* creates the middle 1/3 */
    display: block;
    z-index: 1;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    width: 66.66%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    color: #000; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #af0; /* for demo purposes */
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo)



-Horizontal 1/3 Parts

  • ### Without Text Shadow:

halfStyle - Horizontal 1/3 Parts - No Text Shadow

  • ### Possibility of Text Shadow for each 1/3 part independently:

halfStyle - Horizontal 1/3 Parts - With Text Shadow

// jQuery for automated mode
jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
    $el = $(el);
    text = $el.text();
    chars = text.split('');

    // Set the screen-reader text
    $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

    // Reset output for appending
    output = '';

    // Iterate over all chars in the text
    for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
        // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
        output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
    }

    // Write to DOM only once
    $el.append(output);
  });
});

.halfStyle { /* base char and also the bottom 1/3 */
  position: relative;
  display: inline-block;
  font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
  color: transparent;
  overflow: hidden;
  white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
  color: #f0f;
  text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #0af; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle:before { /* creates the top 1/3 */
  display: block;
  z-index: 2;
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  height: 33.33%;
  content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
  overflow: hidden;
  pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
  color: #f00; /* for demo purposes */
  text-shadow: 2px -2px 0px #fa0; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle:after { /* creates the middle 1/3 */
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  z-index: 1;
  top: 0;
  height: 66.66%;
  content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
  overflow: hidden;
  pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
  color: #000; /* for demo purposes */
  text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #af0; /* for demo purposes */
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo)



-HalfStyle Improvement By @KevinGranger

halfStyle - KevinGranger

// jQuery for automated mode
jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
    $el = $(el);
    text = $el.text();
    chars = text.split('');

    // Set the screen-reader text
    $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

    // Reset output for appending
    output = '';

    // Iterate over all chars in the text
    for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
        // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
        output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
    }

    // Write to DOM only once
    $el.append(output);
  });
});

body {
    background-color: black;
}

.textToHalfStyle {
    display: block;
    margin: 200px 0 0 0;
    text-align: center;
}

.halfStyle {
    font-family: 'Libre Baskerville', serif;
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    width: 1;
    font-size: 70px;
    color: black;
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre;
    text-shadow: 1px 2px 0 white;
}

.halfStyle:before {
    display: block;
    z-index: 1;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    width: 50%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    color: white;
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo)



-PeelingStyle improvement of HalfStyle by @SamTremaine

halfStyle - SamTremaine

// jQuery for automated mode
jQuery(function($) {
    var text, chars, $el, i, output;

    // Iterate over all class occurences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, el) {
    $el = $(el);
    text = $el.text();
    chars = text.split('');

    // Set the screen-reader text
    $el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + text + '</span>');

    // Reset output for appending
    output = '';

    // Iterate over all chars in the text
    for (i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
        // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
        output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle" data-content="' + chars[i] + '">' + chars[i] + '</span>';
    }

    // Write to DOM only once
    $el.append(output);
  });
});

.halfStyle {
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    font-size: 68px;
    color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre;
    transform: rotate(4deg);
    text-shadow: 2px 1px 3px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);
}

.halfStyle:before { /* creates the left part */
    display: block;
    z-index: 1;
    position: absolute;
    top: -0.5px;
    left: -3px;
    width: 100%;
    content: attr(data-content);
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none;
    color: #FFF;
    transform: rotate(-4deg);
    text-shadow: 0px 0px 1px #000;
}

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p>Single Characters:</p>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="X">X</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Y">Y</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="Z">Z</span>
<span class="halfStyle" data-content="A">A</span>

<hr/>
<p>Automated:</p>

<span class="textToHalfStyle">Half-style, please.</span>

(JSFiddle demo and on samtremaine.co.uk)



Part 4: Ready for Production

Customized different Half-Style style-sets can be used on desired elements on the same page. You can define multiple style-sets and tell the plugin which one to use.

The plugin uses data attribute data-halfstyle="[-CustomClassName-]" on the target .textToHalfStyle elements and makes all the necessary changes automatically.

So, simply on the element containing the text add textToHalfStyle class and data attribute data-halfstyle="[-CustomClassName-]". The plugin will do the rest of the job.

halfStyle - Multiple on Same Page

Also the CSS style-sets' class definitions match the [-CustomClassName-] part mentioned above and is chained to .halfStyle, so we will have .halfStyle.[-CustomClassName-]

jQuery(function($) {
    var halfstyle_text, halfstyle_chars, $halfstyle_el, halfstyle_i, halfstyle_output, halfstyle_style;

    // Iterate over all class occurrences
    $('.textToHalfStyle').each(function(idx, halfstyle_el) {
        $halfstyle_el = $(halfstyle_el);
        halfstyle_style = $halfstyle_el.data('halfstyle') || 'hs-base';
        halfstyle_text = $halfstyle_el.text();
        halfstyle_chars = halfstyle_text.split('');

        // Set the screen-reader text
        $halfstyle_el.html('<span style="position: absolute !important;clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px);clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);">' + halfstyle_text + '</span>');

        // Reset output for appending
        halfstyle_output = '';

        // Iterate over all chars in the text
        for (halfstyle_i = 0; halfstyle_i < halfstyle_chars.length; halfstyle_i++) {
            // Create a styled element for each character and append to container
            halfstyle_output += '<span aria-hidden="true" class="halfStyle ' + halfstyle_style + '" data-content="' + halfstyle_chars[halfstyle_i] + '">' + halfstyle_chars[halfstyle_i] + '</span>';
        }

        // Write to DOM only once
        $halfstyle_el.append(halfstyle_output);
    });
});

/* start half-style hs-base */

.halfStyle.hs-base {
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
    color: #000; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle.hs-base:before {
    display: block;
    z-index: 1;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    width: 50%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    overflow: hidden;
    color: #f00; /* for demo purposes */
}

/* end half-style hs-base */


/* start half-style hs-horizontal-third */

.halfStyle.hs-horizontal-third { /* base char and also the bottom 1/3 */
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;
    font-size: 80px; /* or any font size will work */
    color: transparent;
    overflow: hidden;
    white-space: pre; /* to preserve the spaces from collapsing */
    color: #f0f;
    text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #0af; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle.hs-horizontal-third:before { /* creates the top 1/3 */
    display: block;
    z-index: 2;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    height: 33.33%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    color: #f00; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px -2px 0px #fa0; /* for demo purposes */
}

.halfStyle.hs-horizontal-third:after { /* creates the middle 1/3 */
    display: block;
    position: absolute;
    z-index: 1;
    top: 0;
    height: 66.66%;
    content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
    overflow: hidden;
    pointer-events: none; /* so the base char is selectable by mouse */
    color: #000; /* for demo purposes */
    text-shadow: 2px 2px 0px #af0; /* for demo purposes */
}

/* end half-style hs-horizontal-third */


/* start half-style hs-PeelingStyle, by user SamTremaine on Stackoverflow.com */

.halfStyle.hs-PeelingStyle {
  position: relative;
  display: inline-block;
  font-size: 68px;
  color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);
  overflow: hidden;
  white-space: pre;
  transform: rotate(4deg);
  text-shadow: 2px 1px 3px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);
}

.halfStyle.hs-PeelingStyle:before { /* creates the left part */
  display: block;
  z-index: 1;
  position: absolute;
  top: -0.5px;
  left: -3px;
  width: 100%;
  content: attr(data-content);
  overflow: hidden;
  pointer-events: none;
  color: #FFF;
  transform: rotate(-4deg);
  text-shadow: 0px 0px 1px #000;
}

/* end half-style hs-PeelingStyle */


/* start half-style hs-KevinGranger, by user KevinGranger on StackOverflow.com*/

.textToHalfStyle.hs-KevinGranger {
  display: block;
  margin: 200px 0 0 0;
  text-align: center;
}

.halfStyle.hs-KevinGranger {
  font-family: 'Libre Baskerville', serif;
  position: relative;
  display: inline-block;
  width: 1;
  font-size: 70px;
  color: black;
  overflow: hidden;
  white-space: pre;
  text-shadow: 1px 2px 0 white;
}

.halfStyle.hs-KevinGranger:before {
  display: block;
  z-index: 1;
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  width: 50%;
  content: attr(data-content); /* dynamic content for the pseudo element */
  overflow: hidden;
  color: white;
}

/* end half-style hs-KevinGranger

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p>
    <span class="textToHalfStyle" data-halfstyle="hs-base">Half-style, please.</span>
</p>
<p>
    <span class="textToHalfStyle" data-halfstyle="hs-horizontal-third">Half-style, please.</span>
</p>
<p>
    <span class="textToHalfStyle" data-halfstyle="hs-PeelingStyle">Half-style, please.</span>
</p>
<p style="background-color:#000;">
    <span class="textToHalfStyle" data-halfstyle="hs-KevinGranger">Half-style, please.</span>
</p>

(JSFiddle demo)