Master useful CSS pseudo-elements

Tapajyoti Bose
2 min readMar 7, 2021

Pseudo Elements in CSS enable the developers to style parts of an element, giving them the granular access to styling. In this article, we will cover some lesser used but pretty useful Pseudo Elements, which can help you CSS game to the next level!


The ::selection CSS pseudo-element styles the part of a document that is selected by a user (such as clicking and dragging the mouse across text to highlight it).


The ::marker CSS pseudo-element selects the marker box of a list item and generally contains a bullet or number. It works on any element or pseudo-element where the display property is set to list-item ( display: list-item), such as <li> elements.


The ::placeholder CSS pseudo-element can be used to target the placeholder text in an <input> or <textarea> element.


The ::slotted() CSS pseudo-element represents any element that has been placed into a slot inside an HTML template.

This only works when used inside CSS placed within a Shadow DOM. Note also that this selector won’t select a text node placed into a slot, but targets actual elements.

First Line & First Letter

Just as the name suggests, the ::first-line and ::first-letter CSS pseudo-elements applies styles to the first line and the first letter respectively (of a block-level element). In case of ::first-line, the length of the first line depends on many factors, including the width of the element, the width of the document, the font size of the text and may even depend on the screen size. ::first-letter only styles the first letter when not preceded by other content (such as images or inline tables).

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Originally published at on March 7, 2021.



Tapajyoti Bose

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