Pseudo-classes

A pseudo-class is a keyword added to selectors that specifies a special state of the selected element(s). For example, it can be used to style an element when a user hovers over it, or when a user clicks it. CSS pseudo-classes can also be used to allow styling based on elements that are in a certain state, such as being disabled or having been visited before.

In general, what makes a pseudo-class different from a regular class is that classes are used to target specific elements on the page, while pseudo-classes are used to target elements based on their state or position.

Syntax

A pseudo-class starts with a colon (:) followed by the keyword.

selector:pseudo-class {
  /* your style here */
}

Some of the most commonly used pseudo-classes are:

Pseudo-class Description
:hover Used when a user hovers over an element with the mouse pointer.
:active Used to style an element when it is clicked.
:focus Used to highlight elements when they are selected or focused on by the user.
:visited Used to style elements that have been previously visited.
:first-child Used to style an element that is the first child of its parent element.
:last-child Used to style an element that is the last child of its parent element.
:not Used to target elements that do not match a given selector.
:enabled Used to style an element when it is enabled.
:disabled Used to style an element when it is disabled.

Example

The following example makes use of the :hover pseudo-class to change an element from purple with a dotted underline to yellow with a regular underline when a user hovers over it:

a {
color: purple;
text-decoration: underline dotted;
}
a:hover {
color: yellow;
text-decoration: underline;
}

When applied on an element, it will look like the following:

Hover Pseudo-Class

Another example would be to style all disabled buttons on the page by using the :disabled pseudo-class.

button:disabled {
opacity: 0.5;
}

In this example, when a button is disabled, it becomes slightly less visible by reducing its opacity to 50%.

Disabled Pseudo-Class

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