What the heck is CSS specificity?

On: 21 Jun 2013
Category: CSS
Length: 8 min read

What is CSS specificity?

Specificity is the means by which browsers decide which CSS property values are the most relevant to an element and, therefore, will be applied. Specificity is based on the matching rules which are composed of different sorts of CSS selectors.

What is CSS selector specificity and how does it work?

If there are two or more conflicting CSS rules that point to the same element, the browser follows some rules to determine which one is most specific and therefore wins out. Think of specificity as a score/rank that determines which style declarations are ultimately applied to an element.

Why CSS specificity is bad?

It leads to confusion, messy and unorganized CSS, and a lot of hacks and convoluted CSS selectors. CSS Specificity helps us determine how styles interact with other conflicting styles.

What is the order of CSS specificity rule?

Specificity Hierarchy :Every element selector has a position in the Hierarchy. Inline style: Inline style has highest priority. Identifiers(ID): ID have the second highest priority. Classes, pseudo-classes and attributes: Classes, pseudo-classes and attributes are come next.

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What has the highest CSS specificity?

Inline styles have the highest specificity. In our specificity weight system, they have a value of 1000. Let’s try to make sense of it. The property values of selectors with a higher weight will always be applied over a selector with a lower weight.

How is specificity calculated?

The specificity is calculated as the number of non-diseased correctly classified divided by all non-diseased individuals. So 720 true negative results divided by 800, or all non-diseased individuals, times 100, gives us a specificity of 90%.

How does CSS cascade work?

Stylesheets cascade — at a very simple level, this means that the order of CSS rules matter; when two rules apply that have equal specificity the one that comes last in the CSS is the one that will be used.

Where do I put important CSS?

The ! important keyword (or statement) must be placed at the end of the line, immediately before the semicolon, otherwise it will have no effect (although a space before the semicolon won’t break it) If for some particular reason you have to write the same property twice in the same declaration block, then add !

Why do we need specificity?

Specificity is the percentage of persons without the disease who are correctly excluded by the test. Clinically, these concepts are important for confirming or excluding disease during screening. Ideally, a test should provide a high sensitivity and specificity.

What can a high degree of specificity lead to?

If two CSS selectors apply to the same element, the one with higher specificity wins.


How do I force CSS override?

Overriding the ! important modifier

  1. Simply add another CSS rule with ! important , and give the selector a higher specificity (adding an additional tag, id or class to the selector)
  2. add a CSS rule with the same selector at a later point than the existing one (in a tie, the last one defined wins).

How do you increase specificity in CSS?

nav class, but it also increases the specificity of the selector, again, with no real gain. Make heavy use of classes because they are the ideal selector: low specificity (or rather, all classes have the same specificity, so you have a level playing field), great portability, and high reusability.

How do I increase priority in CSS?

5 Answers

  1. specify a more specific selector, eg prefix an ID before it or prefix the nodename before the class.
  2. assign it after the other class.
  3. if two classes are in separate files, import the priority file second.
  4. ! important.

What are CSS rules?

A CSS rule is a grouping of one or more CSS properties which are to be applied to one or more target HTML elements. A CSS rule consists of a CSS selector and a set of CSS properties. The CSS selector determines what HTML elements to target with the CSS rule.

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