Description

The universal selector matches any element type. It can be implied (and therefore omitted) if it isn’t the only component of the simple selector. The two selector examples shown here are equivalent:

*.warning {
  ⋮ declarations
}
.warning {
  ⋮ declarations
}

It’s important not to confuse the universal selector with a wildcard character—the universal selector doesn’t match “zero or more elements.” Consider the following HTML fragment:

<body>
  <div>
    <h1>The <em>Universal</em> Selector</h1>
    <p>We must <em>emphasize</em> the following:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>It's <em>not</em> a wildcard.</li>
      <li>It matches elements regardless of <em>type</em>.</li>
    </ul>
    This is an <em>immediate</em> child of the division.
  </div>
</body>

The selector div * em will match the following em elements:

  • “Universal” in the h1 element (* matches the <h1>)
  • “emphasize” in the p element (* matches the <p>)
  • “not” in the first li element (* matches the <ul> or the <li>)
  • “type” in the second li element (* matches the <ul> or the <li>)

However, it won’t match the <em>immediate</em> element, since that’s an immediate child of the div element—there’s nothing between <div> and <em> for the * to match.

Example

This rule set will be applied to every element in a document:

* {
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}

Get your free chapter of Level Up Your Web Apps with Go

Get a free chapter of Level Up Your Web Apps with Go, plus updates and exclusive offers from SitePoint.


No Reader comments

Related books & courses
Available now on SitePoint Premium

Preview for $1