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    Universal selectors

    Summary

    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

    Example

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

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

    Specifications

    Specification Status Comment
    Selectors Level 3
    The definition of 'universal selector' in that specification.
    Recommendation Defined behavior in regard of namespaces and added hint that omitting the selector is allowed within pseudo-elements
    CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
    The definition of 'universal selector' in that specification.
    Recommendation Initial definition

    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 ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Last updated by: MusikAnimal,