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Technique C15:Using CSS to change the presentation of a user interface component when it receives focus

About this Technique

This technique is Advisory for 1.4.1: Use of Color and Sufficient to meet 2.4.7: Focus Visible .



This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to demonstrate how visual appearance may be enhanced via style sheets to provide visual feedback when an interactive element has focus or when a user hovers over it using a pointing device. Highlighting the element that has focus or is hovered over can provide information such as the fact that the element is interactive or the scope of the interactive element.

Providing visual feedback may be possible through more than one mode. Usually, it is attained through using a mouse to hover over the element or a keyboard to tab to the element.


Example 2: Highlighting elements that receive focus

In this example, the :focus pseudo-class is used to change the style applied to input fields when they receive focus by changing the background color.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
      input[type=text]:focus-visible {
        outline:2px solid #0054AE;

      input[type=checkbox]:focus + label, input[type=radio]:focus + label {
        <label for="fname">Name: </label>
        <input autocomplete="name" type="text" name="fname" id="fname">
        <input type="radio" name="sex" value="male" id="sm">
        <label for="sm">Male</label>
        <input type="radio" name="sex" value="female" id="sf">
        <label for="sf">Female</label>

Working example of this code: Example of highlighting elements that receive focus.

Other sources

No endorsement implied.



For each element able to attain focus:

  1. Using a keyboard, tab to the component.
  2. Check that the focus indicator changes color.
  3. Check that the focus indicator is removed when the component loses focus.

Expected Results

  • Checks #2 and #3 true.
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