CSS Selectors CheatSheet πŸ€“

January 24, 2021

In CSS, selectors are patterns used to select DOM elements

Here is an example of using selectors. In the following code, a and h1 are selectors:

a {
  color: black;
}

h1 {
  font-size 24px;
}

common selectors

head selects the element with the head tag

.red - selects all elements with the β€˜red’ class

#nav - selects the elements with the β€˜nav’ Id

div.row- selects all elements with the div tag and the β€˜row’ class

[aria-hidden="true"]- selects all elements with the aria-hidden attribute with a value of β€œtrue”

Element selectors

Element -- selects all h2 elements on the page

h2 {
    foo: bar;
}

Group -- selects all h1, h2 and h3 elements on the page

h1, h2, h3 {
    foo: bar;
}

combination of selectors

li a DOM descendant combinator. All atags that are a *child of li tags

div.row * selects all elements that are descendant (or child) of the elements with div tag and β€˜row’ class

li > a Difference combinator. Select direct descendants, instead of all descendants like the descendant selectors

li + a The adjacent combinator. It selects the element that is immediately preceded by the former element. In this case, only the first a after each li.

li, a Selects all a elements and all li elements.

li ~ aThe sibling combinator. Selects a element following a li element.

Pseudo-selectors or pseudo structural classes

These are also useful for selecting structural elements from the DOM.

Here are some of them:

:first-child - Target the first element immediately inside (or child of) another element

:last-child - Target the last element immediately inside (or child of) another element

:nth-child() - Target the nth element immediately inside (or child of) another element. Admits integers, even, odd, or formulas

a:not(.name) - Selects all a elements that are not of the .name class

::after Allows inserting content onto a page from CSS, instead of HTML. While the end result is not actually in the DOM, it appears on the page as if it is. This content loads after HTML elements.

::before Allows inserting content onto a page from CSS, instead of HTML. While the end result is not actually in the DOM, it appears on the page as if it is. This content loads before HTML elements.

πŸ‘‰ We can use pseudo-classes to define a special state of an element of the DOM. But they don’t point to an element by themselves .

:hover- selects an element that is being hovered by a mouse pointer

:focus selects an element receiving focus from the keyboard or programatialy

:active selects an element being clicked by a mouse pointer

:link selects all links that have not been clicked yet

:visited selects a link that has already been clicked

The nth-child selector is a css psuedo-class taking a pattern by which to match one or more elements relative to their position among siblings.

  a:nth-child(pattern) {
    /* Css goes here */
  }

Pattern The patterns accepted by nth-child can come in the form of keywords or an equation of the form An+B.

Odd

  • Odd returns all odd elements of a given type.

    a:nth-childe(odd) {
    /* CSS goes here */
    }

    Even

  • πŸ‘‰ Even returns all even elements of a given type.

    a:nth-childe(even) {
    /* CSS goes here */
    }

    An+B Returns all elements matching the equation An+B for every positive integer value of n (in addition to 0).

For example, the following will match every 3rd anchor element:

  a:nth-childe(3n) {
    /* CSS goes here */
  }

Class and ID selectors

Class -- selects all elements with class attribute containing foo or only p elements with that class

.foo {
    bar: fum;
}
p.foo {
    bar: fum;
}

ID -- selects the element with 'baz' id attribute value

#foo {
    bar: fum;
}

Contextual selectors

Descendant -- selects all p elements within the infinite-level hierarchy of element #foo descendants

#foo p {
    bar: fum;
}

Adjacent sibling -- selects the sibling element p that is immediately next to h2 element

h2 + p {
    foo: bar;
}

Child -- selects all p elements that are immediate children of #foo element

#foo > p {
    bar: fum;
}

General sibling -- selects all elements p that are siblings to the h2 element

h2 ~ p {
    foo: bar;
}

Pseudo-class selectors

Unvisited link -- applies to link elements that have not been visited

a:link {
    foo: bar;
}

Visited link -- applies to link elements that have been visited

a:visited {
    foo: bar;
}

Focus state -- applies to selected .foo element that is ready for input

.foo:focus {
    bar: fum;
}

Hover state -- applies when mouse pointer is over the .foo element

.foo:hover {
    bar: fum;
}

Active state -- applies when .foo element is in process of being clicked

.foo:active {
    bar: fum;
}

Pseudo-class selectors that apply to siblings

First child -- selects the specified .foo element when it is the first child of its parent

.foo:first-child {
    bar: fum;
}

Last child -- selects the specified .foo element when it is the last child of its parent

.foo:last-child {
    bar: fum;
}

Only child -- selects the specified .foo element when it is the only child of its parent

.foo:only-child {
    bar: fum;
}

First of type -- selects the h2 element when it is the first element of its type within its parent element

h2:first-of-type {
    foo: bar;
}

Last of type -- selects the h2 element when it is the last element of its type within its parent element

h2:last-of-type {
    foo: bar;
}

Only of type -- selects the h2 element when it is the only element of its type within its parent element

h2:only-of-type {
    foo: bar;
}

Nth child -- selects the nth .foo child element

.foo:nth-child(n) {
    bar: fum;
}

Nth last child -- selects the nth .foo child element counting backwards

.foo:nth-last-child(n) {
    bar: fum;
}

Nth of type -- selects the nth h2 child element of its type

h2:nth-of-type(n) {
    foo: bar;
}

Nth last of type -- selects the nth h2 child element of its type counting backwards

h2:nth-last-of-type(n) {
    foo: bar;
}

Useful n values:

  • odd or 2n+1 -- every odd child or element
  • even or 2n -- every even child or element
  • n -- every nth child or element
  • 3n -- every third child or element (3, 6, 9, ...)
  • 3n+1 -- every third child or element starting with 1 (1, 4, 7, ...)
  • n+6 -- all but first five children or elements (6, 7, 8, ...)
  • -n+5 -- only first five children or elements (1, 2, ..., 5)

Pseudo-element selectors

First letter -- selects the first letter of the specified .foo element, commonly used with :first-child to target first paragraph

.foo::first-letter {
    bar: fum;
}

First line -- selects the first line of the specified .foo element, commonly used with :first-child to target first paragraph

.foo::first-line {
    bar: fum;
}

Before -- adds generated content before the .foo element when used with content property

.foo::before {
    bar: fum;
    content: 'baz';
}

After -- adds generated content after the .foo element when used with content property

.foo::after {
    bar: fum;
    content: 'baz';
}

Attribute selectors

Present -- selects .foo elements with bar attribute present, regardless of its value

.foo[bar] {
    fum: baz;
}

Exact -- selects .foo elements where the bar attribute has the exact value of fum

.foo[bar="fum"] {
    baz: qux;
}

Whitespace separated -- selects .foo elements with bar attribute values contain specified partial value of fum (whitespace separated)

.foo[bar~="fum"] {
    baz: qux;
}

Hyphen separated -- selects .foo elements with bar attribute values contain specified partial value of fum immediately followed by hyphen (-) character

.foo[bar|="fum"] {
    baz: qux;
}

Begins with -- selects .foo elements where the bar attribute begins with fum

.foo[bar^="fum"] {
    baz: qux;
}

Ends with -- selects .foo elements where the bar attribute ends with fum

.foo[bar$="fum"] {
    baz: qux;
}

Contains -- selects .foo elements where the bar attribute contains string fum followed and preceded by any number of other characters

.foo[bar*="fum"] {
    baz: qux;
}

Misc selectors

Not -- selects .foo elements that are NOT .bar elements

.foo:not(.bar) {
    fum: baz;
}

Root -- selects the highest level parent element in the DOM

:root {
    foo: bar;
}

Empty -- selects .foo elements that have no children or whitespace inside

.foo:empty {
    bar: fum;
}

In-range and Out-of-range -- selects .foo elements that have values in or out of range

.foo:in-range {
    bar: fum;
}
.foo:out-of-range {
    bar: fum;
}

Happy Coding!! πŸ€“ πŸ’»

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