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::selection

The ::selection CSS pseudo-element applies styles to the part of a document that has been highlighted by the user (such as clicking and dragging the mouse across text).

::selection {
  background-color: cyan;
}

Allowable properties

Only certain CSS properties can be used with ::selection:

In particular, background-image is ignored.

Syntax

/* Legacy Firefox syntax (version 61 and below) */
::-moz-selection

::selection

Examples

HTML

This text has special styles when you highlight it.
<p>Also try selecting text in this paragraph.</p>

CSS

/* Make selected text gold on a red background */
::selection {
  color: gold;
  background-color: red;
} 

/* Make selected text in a paragraph white on a blue background */
p::selection {
  color: white;
  background-color: blue;
}

Result

Accessibility concerns

Don't override selected text styles for purely aesthetic reasons — users can customize them to suit their needs. For people experiencing cognitive concerns or who are less technologically literate, unexpected changes to selection styles may hurt their understanding of the functionality.

If overridden, it is important to ensure that the contrast ratio between the text and background colors of the selection is high enough that people experiencing low vision conditions can read it.

Color contrast ratio is found by comparing the luminosity of the selected text and the selected text background colors. To meet current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), text content must have a contrast ratio of 4.5:1, or 3:1 for larger text such as headings. (WCAG defines large text as between 18.66px and 24px and bold, or 24px or larger.)

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Pseudo-Elements Level 4
The definition of '::selection' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition.

Note: ::selection was in drafts of CSS Selectors Level 3, but it was removed in the Candidate Recommendation phase because its was under-specified (especially with nested elements) and interoperability wasn't achieved (based on discussion in the W3C Style mailing list). It returned in Pseudo-Elements Level 4.

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Desktop
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
::selection 1 12 62
62
1
Prefixed
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
9 9.5 1.1
Mobile
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
::selection 37 18 62
62
4
Prefixed
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
14 1 1.0

See also

© 2005–2020 Mozilla and individual contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/::selection