In CSS, ::after creates a pseudo-element that is the last child of the selected element. It is often used to add cosmetic content to an element with the content property. It is inline by default.

/* Add an arrow after links */
a::after {
  content: "";
}

Note: The pseudo-elements generated by ::before and ::after are contained by the element's formatting box, and thus don't apply to replaced elements such as <img>, or to <br> elements.

Syntax

/* CSS3 syntax */
::after

/* CSS2 syntax */
:after

Note: CSS3 introduced the ::after notation (with two colons) to distinguish pseudo-classes from pseudo-elements. Browsers also accept :after, introduced in CSS2.

Examples

Simple usage

Let's create two classes: one for boring paragraphs and one for exciting ones. We can then mark each paragraph by adding a pseudo-element to the end of it.

HTML

<p class="boring-text">Here is some plain old boring text.</p>
<p>Here is some normal text that is neither boring nor exciting.</p>
<p class="exciting-text">Contributing to MDN is easy and fun.
Just hit the edit button to add new live samples, or improve existing samples.</p>

CSS

.exciting-text::after {
  content: "<- now this *is* exciting!"; 
  color: green;
}

.boring-text::after {
   content: "<- BORING!";
   color: red;
}

Result

Decorative example

We can style text or images in the content property almost any way we want.

HTML

<span class="ribbon">Notice where the orange box is.</span>

CSS

.ribbon {
  background-color: #5BC8F7;
}

.ribbon::after {
  content: "Look at this orange box.";
  background-color: #FFBA10;
  border-color: black;
  border-style: dotted;
}

Result

Tooltips

The following example shows the use of the ::after pseudo-element in conjunction with the attr() CSS expression and a data-descr custom data attribute to create a pure-CSS, glossary-like tooltip.

HTML

<p>Here is the live example of the above code.<br />
  We have some <span data-descr="collection of words and punctuation">text</span> here with a few
  <span data-descr="small popups which also hide again">tooltips</span>.<br />
  Don't be shy, hover over to take a <span data-descr="not to be taken literally">look</span>.
</p>

CSS

span[data-descr] {
  position: relative;
  text-decoration: underline;
  color: #00F;
  cursor: help;
}

span[data-descr]:hover::after {
  content: attr(data-descr);
  position: absolute;
  left: 0;
  top: 24px;
  min-width: 200px;
  border: 1px #aaaaaa solid;
  border-radius: 10px;
  background-color: #ffffcc;
  padding: 12px;
  color: #000000;
  font-size: 14px;
  z-index: 1;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Pseudo-Elements Level 4
The definition of '::after' in that specification.
Working Draft No significant changes to the previous specification.
CSS Transitions
The definition of 'transitions on pseudo-element properties' in that specification.
Working Draft Allows transitions on properties defined on pseudo-elements.
CSS Animations
The definition of 'animations on pseudo-element properties' in that specification.
Working Draft Allows animations on properties defined on pseudo-elements.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of '::after' in that specification.
Recommendation Introduces the two-colon syntax.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of '::after' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition, using the one-colon syntax

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support

Yes

Yes1

Yes

Yes1

1.52 3

11

9

81

7

41

4

41

Animation and transition support26 Yes4 No No No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support

Yes

Yes1

?

Yes

Yes1

? ? ? ?
Animation and transition support Yes ? Yes4 No No ?

1. Supported as :after.

2. Before Firefox 57, Firefox had a bug where ::after pseudo-elements were still generated, even if the content property value were set to normal or none.

3. Before Firefox 3.5, only the CSS level 2 behavior of :after was supported, which disallowed position, float, list-style-* and some display properties.

See Also