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What is a CSS selector ?

CSS selector selects the elements on an HTML page which match pattern described in a selector and style rules adheres to the selector are applied on those selected elements.

CSS selector syntax

selector1 combinator selector2 combinator selector3 combinator.................................. selectorN

If a CSS statement is like

selector1 combinator selector2 combinator selector3 combinator.................................. selectorN {property : value; .......... }

then, a CSS selector is a chain of identifiers (to identify and select HTML elements ) separated with combinators ( e.g. +, ~ etc. ) up to the first curly brace of a CSS statement.

Types of CSS selectors

Type Hint (x and y are two different elements)
Grouping of selector x, y ......
Universal selector *
Type selectors Elementname
Descendant selectors x y
Child selectors x > y
Adjacent sibling selectors x + y
Attribute selectors [att] | [att=val] | [att~=val] | [att|=val] where att = attribute
Default attribute values in DTDs In XML you need to declare attributes in an DTD file. You must take care that a respective stylesheet must select attributes even if the default values are not included in the document tree.
Class selectors .classname
ID selectors #idname
Pseudo-elements :first-line | :first-letter | :before and :after
Pseudo-classes :first-child | :link and :visited | :hover, :active, and :focus | :lang

Pictorial presentation of CSS selector

css selector

 

Example of CSS selector

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<title>CSS selector example</title>
<style type="text/css">
p {
width: 500px; 
border: 1px solid silver;
color: maroon;
padding: 5px;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Example of CSS selector</h1>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque a interdum turpis. Sed viverra odio a leoaliquam porttitor. Duis sed sodales purus. Vestibulum lacus lorem, aliquam ut tincidunt a, pretium id ante.
<p>
Duis eget nisi sem, eu dignissim lorem. Suspendisse sit amet lorem leo. Nullam euismod posuere turpis, et sollicitudin elit hendrerit ac.Vestibulum sit amet mauris elit, vitae convallis neque. Vivamus at mattis ligula.</p>
<p>
Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Nullam non magna nec ipsum pharetra posuere. Proin libero arcu, rutrum non convallis vitae, rutrumpulvinar eros. In hac habitasse platea dictumst></p>
</body>
</html>

In this example, only p elements are selected in the HTML page, because name of the selector is p.

Result

Example of CSS selector

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque a interdum turpis. Sed viverra odio a leoaliquam porttitor. Duis sed sodales purus. Vestibulum lacus lorem, aliquam ut tincidunt a, pretium id ante.

Duis eget nisi sem, eu dignissim lorem. Suspendisse sit amet lorem leo. Nullam euismod posuere turpis, et sollicitudin elit hendrerit ac.Vestibulum sit amet mauris elit, vitae convallis neque. Vivamus at mattis ligula.

Pictorial presentation of CSS selector

css selector browser

 



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