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Jamie Mc Manus
Jamie Mc Manus

Posted on • Updated on

Why Your :hover Selector isn't Working

The post is suitable for anyone with a basic knowledge of CSS

Have you ever tried to use the CSS hover selector but it just doesn't seem to work for you ? Or worse yet it applies to the wrong elements ?!?

If you're like me then it has happened a lot.

And for a long time I was stumped.

That is, until now.

Its in the Details

Lets take a look at an example of a hover effect:

.parent1 :hover{
  background-color:red;
}
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You'd guess that class would change the background colour of the parent1 class to red on hover right ?

Well you'd be wrong.

Now take a look at this one :

.parent1:hover{
  background-color:red;
}
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Would you believe that this one would change the background colour of the parent1 class to red ?

If so, you'd be correct.

But what is the difference ? You'd be forgiven if you can't tell the difference - I know I didn't at first.

It's the space character before the :hover.

The space character in CSS is a descendant combinator ,which in this case means it will apply the hover effect to all the child elements of the element - not the element itself.

That's a pretty big difference for such a seemingly innocuous space.

Comparison

Take a look at the below examples to see what I mean.


The Moral of the Story ?

Mind The Gap !

Slán go fóill

I hope this has cleared up any confusion about why your hover effects weren't working for you !

Feel free to ask questions, comment or contribute below!

And if you're feeling generous you can buy me a coffee with the link below ( and yes its all for coffee, I drink a copious amount of it while writing ☕ )

Buy Me A Coffee

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