:active (CSS selector)

Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
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:active {
declaration block


This pseudo-class matches any element that’s in the process of being activated. It would apply, for instance, for the duration of a mouse-click on a link, from the point at which the mouse button’s pressed down until the point at which it’s released again. The pseudo-class does not signify a link to the active, or current, page—that’s a common misconception among CSS beginners.


This rule will set the font color of an active HTML link to #cccccc:

a:active {
  color: #cccccc;


Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
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Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6 incorrectly apply this pseudo-class to links that have keyboard input focus—a state that should be matched by :focus, which those browsers do not support.

Internet Explorer versions up to and including 7:

  • Apply :active only to HTML a elements that have an href attribute.
  • Ignore :active unless it’s the last part of a pseudo-class chain.

In Internet Explorer version 8 the manipulation of elements with negative z-index is buggy when used in conjunction with :hover or :active rules (source James Hopkins).

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