David Walsh Blog

CSS pointer-events

The responsibilities taken on by CSS seems to be increasingly blurring with JavaScript. Consider the -webkit-touch-callout CSS property, which prevents iOS’s link dialog menu when you tap and hold a clickable element. The pointer-events property is even more JavaScript-like, preventing:

One CSS property is capable of doing just that!


The pointer-events property can have many values, but many of them are only applicable to SVG*: auto, none, visiblePainted*, visibleFill*, visibleStroke*, visible*, painted*, fill*, stroke*, all*, and inherit. The none value prevents the click, state, and cursor actions:

.disabled { pointer-events: none; }

A few quick notes about pointer-events:

I first noticed pointer-events used on the Firefox Marketplace website for disabled buttons. A bonus in this case is styleability; think about how awful elements with the disabled attribute look! Of course, don’t use pointer-events on elements that could trigger critical functionality — the style can simply be remove via the console!