Universal selectors Redirect 1


An Asterisk (*) is the universal selector for CSS. It matches a single element of any type. Omitting the asterisk with simple selectors has the same effect. For instance, *.warning and .warning are considered equal.

In CSS 3, the asterisk (*) may be used in combination with namespace

  • ns|* - matches all elements in namespace ns
  • *|* - matches all elements
  • |* - matches all elements without any declared namespace


*.warning {color:red;}
*#maincontent {border: 1px solid blue;}
<p class="warning">
  <span lang="en-us">A green span</span> in a red paragraph.
<p id="maincontent" lang="en-gb">
  <span class="warning">A red span</span> in a green paragraph.

Note: Use the universal selector very carefully, as it is the most expensive CSS selector in terms of webpage performance.


Specification Status Comment
CSS Selectors Level 3 Recommendation  
CSS 2.1 Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Combination with namespace support (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) 8 1.3
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? ? 1.0 (1) ? ? ?
Combination with namespace support ? ? ? ? ? ?

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: Sheppy,