What are attribute selectors in CSS? | Complete Guide

What are attribute selectors in CSS

If you are looking to apply style rules to your website, then selectors are the indicated resource. There are several types of selectors, some of which are more popular. For this today We show you what attribute selectors are in CSS, so that you can get the most out of these tools.

Using CSS you can use several options that will help you greatly with the presentation of your website. Attribute Selectors They will serve to delimit elements, and make the customization work easier. Although this topic can be complicated for people not linked to it, learning about it can open many doors for you.

What does CSS mean? What are attribute selectors in CSS

If you are linked to the world of web design, you will have heard this term frequently. Cascading style sheets (CSS) is a programming language that allows you to quickly and easily create and modify an HTML document. This means that it is a language with which you can manage the design, make changes, presentation, improvements and also personalize web pages. Its name comes from the fact that it allows you to calculate properties inherited from another on several sheets. In web design this is called a waterfall.

What are attribute selectors in CSS?

CSS Selectors They are the tools you use to define the style you want to give to your CSS elements. There are many types of selectors in this language, each with its own syntax and utility. Using the correct programming rules helps the browser apply certain properties to specified elements. Programming Languages

For its part, Attribute selectors are one of the types of selectors we have in CSS. They are very useful, although sometimes not as well-known as other more common selectors such as class or tag selectors. CSS selectors are used to specify which fields we want to apply styles to.

In CSS, selectors serve to delimit the HTML elements of our web page to which we want to apply a style. CSS has many selectors that allow you to select elements with great precision when applying styles. These so-called attribute selectors ensure that you select HTML elements based on their attributes and/or values.

What are the types of attribute selectors? Programming language

  • [attribute_name] selects elements that have the attribute named attribute_name set regardless of its value.
  • [attribute_name=value] selects elements whose attribute named attribute_name is set to a value equal to value.
  • [attribute_name~=value] selects elements that have an attribute called attribute_name set and at least one of the attribute values ​​is value.
  • [attribute_name|=value], selects elements that have an attribute called attribute_name set.
  • [attribute_name$=value] Select tags whose attribute ends with this value.
  • [attribute_name^=value] Selects tags whose attribute starts with this value.

How to relate uppercase and lowercase letters?

If you want to relate the values ​​of the attributes Case-insensitive, you can use the value "i" before the closing bracket. This flag tells the browser to match all ASCII characters, regardless of whether they are uppercase or lowercase. Without this flag, values ​​are concatenated according to the case-sensitive language guidelines of the document. HTML is case sensitive.

What are attribute selector operators?

We can use some operators for attribute selectors that are not so well known, and that allow us to significantly refine the appearance of certain values ​​in the consulted attributes.

These are the operators available in attribute selectors

  • *= (containing): The * operator allows you to select elements that have a specific string as the value of an attribute at least once.
  • ^= (occurs at the beginning of the attribute value): Choose elements that have an attribute whose value starts with a specific string.
  • $= (occurs at the end of the attribute value): Selects elements that have an attribute whose value ends with a specific string.
  • ~= (contains an exact word or separated by spaces): Chooses elements whose attribute value has content that exactly matches a specified string, or contains a space-separated word with a specified string.
  • |= (contains the exact word or is separated by hyphens): Similar to above, but the word can be separated by hyphens instead of spaces.

How to use selectors in CSS? Web design

There are two possible ways to use selectors in CSS. If you have HTML code and CSS code in the same document, All you need to do is add a CSS selector in the head of your site.

On the other hand, if your HTML and CSS are in separate documents, you may have a document called index.html and another document called style.css. The index.html file must include a line of code that calls the CSS file, so that the styles display correctly on your website.

What other types of selectors do we find in CSS?

There are different groups of selectors. Be aware of what type of selector you need will help you use the ideal tool for your project. That's why we show you some below:

Type, class and identifier selectors

This group includes selectors that restrict an HTML element, like a file. It also contains selectors that restrict a class or identifier.

Pseudoclasses and pseudoelements

This group of selectors includes pseudoclasses, which They format specific states of an element. For example, the hover pseudo-class selects an element only when the mouse hovers over it. Also includes pseudo-elements that select a specific part of an element rather than the element itself


Through this series of selectors other selectors are combined, with the aim of separating different elements of our documents.

universal selector

Automatically the asterisk (*) which is the universal selector symbol, chooses all the elements of a certain document.

ID selector

This type was achieved with the objective of selecting elements that are based on the ID attribute.

If you are looking to control everything that happens on a website, definitely the best way to get it is through your own design. For them you can use tools such as attribute selectors. So If you were wondering what attribute selectors are in CSS, In this article we hope to have given you the answers. If you think we have left out something important, let us know in the comments.

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