CSS selectors define the elements to which a set of CSS rules apply.

Simple selectors

Type selector
Selects all elements that match the given node name.
Syntax: eltname
Example: input will match any <input> element.
Class selector
Selects all elements that have the given class attribute.
Syntax: .classname
Example: .index will match any element that has a class of "index".
ID selector
Selects an element based on the value of its id attribute. There should be only one element with a given ID in a document.
Syntax: #idname
Example: #toc will match the element that has the ID "toc".
Universal selector
Selects all elements. Optionally, it may be restricted to a specific namespace or to all namespaces.
Syntax: * ns|* *|*
Example: * will match all the elements of the document.
Attribute selector
Selects elements based on the value of the given attribute.
Syntax: [attr] [attr=value] [attr~=value] [attr|=value] [attr^=value] [attr$=value] [attr*=value]
Example: [autoplay] will match all elements that have the autoplay attribute set (to any value).

Combinators

Adjacent sibling combinator
The + combinator selects adjacent siblings. This means that the second element directly follows the first, and both share the same parent.
Syntax: A + B
Example: h2 + p will match all <p> elements that directly follow an <h2>.
General sibling combinator
The ~ combinator selects siblings. This means that the second element follows the first (though not necessarily immediately), and both share the same parent.
Syntax: A ~ B
Example: p ~ span will match all <span> elements that follow a <p>.
Child combinator
The > combinator selects nodes that are direct children of the first element.
Syntax: A > B
Example: ul > li will match all <li> elements that are nested directly inside a <ul> element.
Descendant combinator
The   combinator selects nodes that are descendants of the first element.
Syntax: A B
Example: div span will match all <span> elements that are inside a <div> element.

Pseudo-classes

Pseudo-classes allow the selection of elements based on state information that is not contained in the document tree.
Example: a:visited will match all <a> elements that have been visited by the user.

Pseudo-elements

Pseudo-elements represent entities that are not included in HTML.
Example: p::first-line will match the first line of all <p> elements.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4 Working Draft  
Selectors Level 3 Recommendation  
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1) Recommendation  
CSS Level 1 Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

We're converting our compatibility data into a machine-readable JSON format. This compatibility table still uses the old format, because we haven't yet converted the data it contains. Find out how you can help!

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 3.0 3.5 1.0
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.5 1.0 (1.9.2) ? ? 3.2

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: Jonathan002,