CSS user-select

By  on  

In my quest to contribute to every Mozilla project possible, I spent some time last Friday making updates to Firefox DevTools.  The JSON Viewer component needed some love so that was first on my list.  While viewing the CSS for the JSON Viewer component, I saw something I hadn't recognized:  CSS user-select:

.heading {
  -moz-user-select: none; /* don't allow selection */
}

After a bit of research, I found that you can control what content can be is selected using CSS:

  .dont-select {
    user-select: none;
  }

  .control-select {
    user-select: none; /* don't select anything */
    user-select: auto; /* let the browser decide */
    user-select: all; /* select everything */
    user-select: text; /* select only text */
    user-select: contain; /* selection contained within element bounds */
  }

When I think about it, there's certainly an argument to be made that you'd prefer some content be selected and copied and others content not, like advertisements or images.

This falls into the family of CSS pointer-events where CSS is used for something other than display.  My first thought is that selection preference should be done via a HTML attribute, like autocomplete and autocorrect are.  Anyways, give the demo a roll!

Recent Features

  • By
    CSS Filters

    CSS filter support recently landed within WebKit nightlies. CSS filters provide a method for modifying the rendering of a basic DOM element, image, or video. CSS filters allow for blurring, warping, and modifying the color intensity of elements. Let's have...

  • By
    Write Simple, Elegant and Maintainable Media Queries with Sass

    I spent a few months experimenting with different approaches for writing simple, elegant and maintainable media queries with Sass. Each solution had something that I really liked, but I couldn't find one that covered everything I needed to do, so I ventured into creating my...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    MooTools Image Preloading with Progress Bar

    The idea of image preloading has been around since the dawn of the internet. When we didn't have all the fancy stuff we use now, we were forced to use ugly mouseover images to show dynamism. I don't think you were declared an official...

  • By
    Redacted Font

    Back when I created client websites, one of the many things that frustrated me was the initial design handoff.  It would always go like this: Work hard to incorporate client's ideas, dream up awesome design. Create said design, using Lorem Ipsum text Send initial design concept to the client...

Discussion

  1. MaxArt

    Been using that for a while – obviously, the most common usage is none.
    It’s odd it’s still not been finalized and it’s been used like this for *several years* already, still with vendor prefixes and all.

  2. user-select: contain; seems like it could come in handy and it would be easier to change the values via CSS than everywhere in the markup. Support isn’t too shabby either…

    http://caniuse.com/#search=user-select

    I enjoyed the demos. Thanks for sharing.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!