:focus-visible

The :focus-visible pseudo-class applies while an element matches the :focus pseudo-class and the UA (User Agent) determines via heuristics that the focus should be made evident on the element. (Many browsers show a "focus ring" by default in this case.)

Try it

This selector is useful to provide a different focus indicator based on the user's input modality (mouse vs. keyboard).

Syntax

:focus-visible

Examples

Basic example

In this example, the :focus-visible selector uses the UA's behavior to determine when to match. Compare what happens when you click on the different controls with a mouse, versus when you tab through them using a keyboard. Note the difference in behavior from elements styled with :focus.

<input value="Default styles" /><br />
<button>Default styles</button><br />
<input class="focus-only" value=":focus only" /><br />
<button class="focus-only">:focus only</button><br />
<input class="focus-visible-only" value=":focus-visible only" /><br />
<button class="focus-visible-only">:focus-visible only</button>
input,
button {
  margin: 10px;
}

.focus-only:focus {
  outline: 2px solid black;
}

.focus-visible-only:focus-visible {
  outline: 4px dashed darkorange;
}

Providing a :focus fallback

If your code has to work in old browser versions that do not support :focus-visible, check supports of :focus-visible with @supports and repeat the same focus styling in it, but inside a :focus rule. Note that even if you do not specify anything at all for :focus, old browsers will simply display the native outline, which can be enough.

<button class="button with-fallback" type="button">
    Button with fallback
</button>
<button class="button without-fallback" type="button">
  Button without fallback
</button>
.button {
  margin: 10px;
  border: 2px solid darkgray;
  border-radius: 4px;
}

.button:focus-visible {
  /* Draw the focus when :focus-visible is supported */
  outline: 3px solid deepskyblue;
  outline-offset: 3px;
}

@supports not selector(:focus-visible) {
  .button.with-fallback:focus {
    /* Fallback for browsers without :focus-visible support */
    outline: 3px solid deepskyblue;
    outline-offset: 3px;
  }
}

Accessibility concerns

Low vision

Make sure the visual focus indicator can be seen by people with low vision. This will also benefit anyone use a screen in a brightly lit space (like outside in the sun). WCAG 2.1 SC 1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast requires that the visual focus indicator be at least 3 to 1.

Cognition

It may not be obvious as to why the focus indicator is appearing and disappearing if a person is using mixed forms of input. For users with cognitive concerns, or who are less technologically literate, this lack of consistent behavior for interactive elements may be confusing.

Specifications

Specification
Selectors Level 4
# the-focus-visible-pseudo

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also