user-select

The user-select CSS property controls whether the user can select text. This doesn't have any effect on content loaded as chrome, except in textboxes.

/* Keyword values */
user-select: none;
user-select: auto;
user-select: text;
user-select: contain;
user-select: all;

/* Global values */
user-select: inherit;
user-select: initial;
user-select: unset;

/* Mozilla-specific values */
-moz-user-select: none;
-moz-user-select: text;
-moz-user-select: all;

/* WebKit-specific values */
-webkit-user-select: none;
-webkit-user-select: text;
-webkit-user-select: all; /* Doesn't work in Safari; use only
                             "none" or "text", or else it will
                             allow typing in the <html> container */

/* Microsoft-specific values */
-ms-user-select: none;
-ms-user-select: text;
-ms-user-select: element;

Note: user-select is not an inherited property, though the initial auto value makes it behave like it is inherited most of the time. WebKit/Chromium-based browsers do implement the property as inherited, which violates the behavior described in the spec, and this will bring some issues. Until now, Chromium chooses to fix the issues, make the final behavior meets the specifications.

Syntax

none
The text of the element and its sub-elements is not selectable. Note that the Selection object can contain these elements.
auto

The used value of auto is determined as follows:

  • On the ::before and ::after pseudo elements, the used value is none
  • If the element is an editable element, the used value is contain
  • Otherwise, if the used value of user-select on the parent of this element is all, the used value is all
  • Otherwise, if the used value of user-select on the parent of this element is none, the used value is none
  • Otherwise, the used value is text
text
The text can be selected by the user.
all
The content of the element shall be selected atomically: If a selection would contain part of the element, then the selection must contain the entire element including all its descendants.  If a double-click or context-click occurred in sub-elements, the highest ancestor with this value will be selected.
contain
Enables selection to start within the element; however, the selection will be contained by the bounds of that element.
element This API has not been standardized. (IE-specific alias)
Same as contain. Supported only in Internet Explorer.

Formal definition

Initial valueauto
Applies toall elements
Inheritedno
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

auto | text | none | contain | all

Examples

HTML

<p>You should be able to select this text.</p>
<p class="unselectable">Hey, you can't select this text!</p>
<p class="all">Clicking once will select all of this text.</p>

CSS

.unselectable {
  -moz-user-select: none;
  -webkit-user-select: none;
  -ms-user-select: none;
  user-select: none;
}

.all {
  -moz-user-select: all;
  -webkit-user-select: all;
  -ms-user-select: all;
  user-select: all;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 4
The definition of 'user-select' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition. Also defines -webkit-user-select as a deprecated alias of user-select.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also