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CSS Selector Reference


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CSS Selectors

In CSS, selectors are patterns used to select the element(s) you want to style.

Use our CSS Selector Tester to demonstrate the different selectors.

The "CSS" column indicates in which CSS version the property is defined (CSS1, CSS2, or CSS3).

Selector Example Example description CSS
.class .intro Selects all elements with class="intro" 1
#id #firstname Selects the element with id="firstname" 1
* * Selects all elements 2
element p Selects all <p> elements 1
element,element div, p Selects all <div> elements and all <p> elements 1
element element div p Selects all <p> elements inside <div> elements 1
element>element div > p Selects all <p> elements where the parent is a <div> element 2
element+element div + p Selects all <p> elements that are placed immediately after <div> elements 2
element1~element2 p ~ ul Selects every <ul> element that are preceded by a <p> element 3
[attribute] [target] Selects all elements with a target attribute 2
[attribute=value] [target=_blank] Selects all elements with target="_blank" 2
[attribute~=value] [title~=flower] Selects all elements with a title attribute containing the word "flower" 2
[attribute|=value] [lang|=en] Selects all elements with a lang attribute value starting with "en" 2
[attribute^=value] a[href^="https"] Selects every <a> element whose href attribute value begins with "https" 3
[attribute$=value] a[href$=".pdf"] Selects every <a> element whose href attribute value ends with ".pdf" 3
[attribute*=value] a[href*="w3schools"] Selects every <a> element whose href attribute value contains the substring "w3schools" 3
:active a:active Selects the active link 1
::after p::after Insert content after every <p> element 2
::before p::before Insert content before the content of every <p> element 2
:checked input:checked Selects every checked <input> element 3
:disabled input:disabled Selects every disabled <input> element 3
:empty p:empty Selects every <p> element that has no children (including text nodes) 3
:enabled input:enabled Selects every enabled <input> element 3
:first-child p:first-child Selects every <p> element that is the first child of its parent 2
::first-letter p::first-letter Selects the first letter of every <p> element 1
::first-line p::first-line Selects the first line of every <p> element 1
:first-of-type p:first-of-type Selects every <p> element that is the first <p> element of its parent 3
:focus input:focus Selects the input element which has focus 2
:hover a:hover Selects links on mouse over 1
:in-range input:in-range Selects input elements with a value within a specified range 3
:invalid input:invalid Selects all input elements with an invalid value 3
:lang(language) p:lang(it) Selects every <p> element with a lang attribute equal to "it" (Italian) 2
:last-child p:last-child Selects every <p> element that is the last child of its parent 3
:last-of-type p:last-of-type Selects every <p> element that is the last <p> element of its parent 3
:link a:link Selects all unvisited links 1
:not(selector) :not(p) Selects every element that is not a <p> element 3
:nth-child(n) p:nth-child(2) Selects every <p> element that is the second child of its parent 3
:nth-last-child(n) p:nth-last-child(2) Selects every <p> element that is the second child of its parent, counting from the last child 3
:nth-last-of-type(n) p:nth-last-of-type(2) Selects every <p> element that is the second <p> element of its parent, counting from the last child 3
:nth-of-type(n) p:nth-of-type(2) Selects every <p> element that is the second <p> element of its parent 3
:only-of-type p:only-of-type Selects every <p> element that is the only <p> element of its parent 3
:only-child p:only-child Selects every <p> element that is the only child of its parent 3
:optional input:optional Selects input elements with no "required" attribute 3
:out-of-range input:out-of-range Selects input elements with a value outside a specified range 3
:read-only input:read-only Selects input elements with the "readonly" attribute specified 3
:read-write input:read-write Selects input elements with the "readonly" attribute NOT specified 3
:required input:required Selects input elements with the "required" attribute specified 3
:root :root Selects the document's root element 3
::selection ::selection Selects the portion of an element that is selected by a user  
:target #news:target Selects the current active #news element (clicked on a URL containing that anchor name) 3
:valid input:valid Selects all input elements with a valid value 3
:visited a:visited Selects all visited links 1


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