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Using Pseudo-Classes and Pseudo-Elements in CSS

Posted on:April 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM

CSS provides a wide range of selectors to style elements in various ways. In addition to the basic selectors, CSS also offers pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements, which allow you to apply styles based on specific states or parts of an element.

Pseudo-classes are used to select elements based on a specific state, such as when the user hovers over the element or clicks on it. The most commonly used pseudo-classes include:

Here is an example of how to use the :hover pseudo-class to change the background color of a button:

button:hover {
  background-color: #ff0000;

Pseudo-elements, on the other hand, allow you to style specific parts of an element, such as the first letter or line. The most commonly used pseudo-elements include:

Here is an example of how to use the ::before pseudo-element to add an icon before a link:

a::before {
  content: "\\f08e";
  font-family: FontAwesome;
  margin-right: 5px;

It’s important to note that pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements can be combined with other selectors to create more specific styles. For example, you can use the descendant selector to apply styles to an element based on its relationship to another element, and then use a pseudo-class to apply styles based on a specific state.

nav ul li a:hover {
  color: #ff0000;

In this example, the hover pseudo-class is applied to the anchor tag within a list item within an unordered list within a navigation element.


By using pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements, you can create dynamic and engaging styles for your web pages, allowing you to enhance the user experience and add visual interest to your designs.

What’s next?

In the coming article, we will be covering attribute selectors in CSS. Don’t forget to follow and share this with your friends that are just starting their web development journey.