Cool stuff pt. 4 - CSS Pseudo-elements

When styling an element, you may want to add extra style that isn’t possible with just the element itself. But before you add an extra div or span to your HTML, consider using a pseudo-element instead to keep your HTML clean and semantic.

What are CSS pseudo-elements?

Pseudo-elements are a way to add style to an element that isn’t part of the document tree. They are used to style specific parts of an element, such as the first letter, first line, or even the space before or after the element

Pseudo-elements are denoted by two colons :: followed by the name of the pseudo-element. For example, ::first-line or ::before. For this post, we will focus on the ::before and ::after pseudo-elements.

illustration of the before and after pseudo-elements

What can I do with pseudo-elements?

One way you can think of the ::before and ::after pseudo-elements is as if they were additional stylable elements. This can be useful for adding decorative content, such as shapes, icons, or text, to an element without adding extra HTML.

See the Pen pseudo-elements example by Brian Michael Poblete (@brian-pob) on CodePen.