CSS: after and before Pseudo Elements

CSS Pseudo Elements are useful for adding special effects to selectors, which would be difficult to achieve if we were to use real markup. For eg: styling of the first letter or first line of a paragraph. In a previous article, I had introduced the CSS First-Letter First-Line Pseudo Elements. In this article, we will take a quick overview of two more pseudo elements: ::after and ::before

Note: Pseudo elements are not new to CSS3. They were introduced in CSS2. In CSS3, you use double colon (::) for pseudo elements to differentiate them with pseudo classes.

The ::after and ::before pseudo elements are used to apply styles and generate content and insert it at the beginning and end of existing elements.

::before Pseudo Element

For e.g: Let us see how to insert text in front of every list item <li>. In this example, we are inserting text ‘Bakery Item’ in front of each <li> element.

Let us first declare an unordered list as shown below:

image

Now use the ::before pseudo element to add the text ‘Bakery Item’ to each li element

<head>
<title>after and before pseudo elements - DevCurry.com</title>
<style type="text/css">
 ul.bake li:before 
 {
  content: "Bakery Item: "; 
  font-style:italic;
 }
</style>
</head>

OUTPUT
before pseudo element

::after Pseudo Element
Similarly, let us say we want to add an image after each list item, like a green arrow that indicates that the item is available. Here’s how to do this using the ::after pseudo element. I have kept an image called ‘yes.jpg’ in the same folder as that of the html file
<head>
<title>after and before pseudo elements - DevCurry.com</title>
<style type="text/css">
  ul.bake li:before 
  {
    content: "Bakery Item: "; 
    font-style:italic;
  }

  ul.bake li:after
  {
    content: " " url("yes.jpg");
  }
</style>
</head>

OUTPUT
after pseudo element


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About The Author

Suprotim Agarwal
Suprotim Agarwal, ASP.NET Architecture MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) works as an Architect Consultant and provides consultancy on how to design and develop Web applications.

Suprotim is also the founder and primary contributor to DevCurry, DotNetCurry and SQLServerCurry. He is the Editor of a Developer Magazine called DNC Magazine. He has also written two EBooks 51 Recipes using jQuery with ASP.NET Controls. and The Absolutely Awesome jQuery CookBook

Follow him on twitter @suprotimagarwal

1 comment:

Moni L. said...

Thanks! This pointed me in the right direction. I was looking to add a small triangle after a list item to indicate that item was a dropdown using :after. I couldn't get it to work until I added content:"" url("image"); after reading this. Thanks again!