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Grouping selectors

From: CSS: Core Concepts

Video: Grouping selectors

Often you'll find that several different elements on the page require the exact same styling. Now while you can create multiple selectors to do this, it's much more efficient to group selectors together. Now in some of our past exercise files, we've done element grouping without really talking too much about the syntax, so in this movie I just want to take a brief moment to discuss the syntax of grouping selectors together and some of the benefits that we get from them. So I've got the grouping.htm file open, and you can find this in the 02_08 folder. And scrolling through my code, it doesn't take long to figure out that I've got some inefficient styles here.

Grouping selectors

Often you'll find that several different elements on the page require the exact same styling. Now while you can create multiple selectors to do this, it's much more efficient to group selectors together. Now in some of our past exercise files, we've done element grouping without really talking too much about the syntax, so in this movie I just want to take a brief moment to discuss the syntax of grouping selectors together and some of the benefits that we get from them. So I've got the grouping.htm file open, and you can find this in the 02_08 folder. And scrolling through my code, it doesn't take long to figure out that I've got some inefficient styles here.

You can see, for example, that all of these selectors, aside, article, section, header, all I'm really doing is telling them to display as block-level elements. And that's really designed to tell non- conforming user agents know what to do with these new HTML5 tags. So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have a separate rule doing this for each one of those elements when I could just sort of group them together. So what I am going to do is, right after aside, I am just going to type in a comma and add article, section, header, footer, nav.

And that's going to allow me to take each one of these selectors below it and get rid of it. And look at all the space that I am saving in my CSS now; it's much more efficient. So to group a selector together, here's all you need to do. You just use a comma. Now the amount of whitespace doesn't really matter. You could have whitespace between both of them or not. That's still going to work. It doesn't really matter. So really it's just personal preferences. It's whichever you think is a little bit more readable. Also notice that I can use as many selectors as I want. I am not limited to grouping just one or two selectors together.

I can throw three, four, five, six; It doesn't really matter. In this case, also these are all element selectors. You are not limited to just element selectors. Any type of selector you have you can group with other selectors. So later on when we learned about descendant selectors and nth-child selectors and all sorts of crazy selector types, you can group all of those as well. Now in this case we're just saving a little bit of space, but group selectors can also help make your content be a little bit more manageable too. Let me show you what I mean.

If I scroll down, I can see again we just have some h1s and h2s. The h2s are inside the asides down here, although there is a subheading down here that's not. But what if I wanted the h1s' and the h2s' formatting to be very similar? Maybe the only thing different, for example, is maybe I just want h1s to be red. So they are not exactly the same. The h1 has a color that's going to be different than the h2 selectors, but they are very, very similar. Well, in this case, I can sort of use grouping to help me make my styles a little bit more manageable but not replace everything.

Let me show you what I mean. So after the h1 rule, I am going to create another rule with a group selector that says h1, h2. So this is perfectly acceptable. I can have as many of these in a row as I want, and anything that's in here, if it conflicts, will overwrite this one due to the cascade, and we'll talk about that a little bit later on as well. So here for h1, h2 I am just going to do font-family, and we'll do Georgia. Below that we are going to do font- size, and we'll make that 1.4em, so they are going to be the same size, and then finally we will take font-weight and we will make that normal.

So most of the time headings are bold. We are going to tell these headings, don't be bold. So essentially h1s and h2s are going to look exactly the same except for the fact that h1s will be red. So if I save this, test this in one of my browsers, I can see that it's doing just that. The headings are all the same size. They are not bold. But the h2s are all black, where the heading one is red. This means that if I want to make any change to this formatting, so, for example, if I go back into my code and let's say I decide that I also want them to be italicized, So I could come in and say font-style: italic, save that, refresh it, and now they're all italicized as well.

So I didn't have to do that. If all my h1 styling was in one selector and my h2 is in another, I would then have to make that change in two separate selectors. Now I only have to make it in one. So, I can take those minor differences and split them out in their own selectors and sort of group all of the things that are going to be the same to put them in one centralized location that I can go ahead and update just once. So as a web designer, you want to try to write the most efficient styles as possible. That's really what you are going for. So knowing how and when to group selectors together can be a really big part of writing those efficient styles.

Just be sure to carefully plan out your styles so that you're only using group selectors when they are appropriate.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CSS: Core Concepts
CSS: Core Concepts

81 video lessons · 40121 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 4m 57s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 2s
  2. 1h 7m
    1. Exploring default styling
      4m 56s
    2. CSS authoring tools
      2m 29s
    3. CSS syntax
      4m 45s
    4. Writing a selector
      4m 10s
    5. Setting properties
      8m 40s
    6. Common units of measurement
      7m 47s
    7. Inline styles
      5m 1s
    8. Embedded styles
      5m 19s
    9. Using external style sheets
      10m 34s
    10. Checking for browser support
      8m 48s
    11. Dealing with browser inconsistencies
      5m 30s
  3. 2h 15m
    1. Structuring HTML correctly
      2m 51s
    2. Element selectors
      4m 52s
    3. Class selectors
      6m 4s
    4. ID selectors
      3m 27s
    5. Using classes and IDs
      10m 7s
    6. Element-specific selectors
      4m 35s
    7. The universal selector
      5m 42s
    8. Grouping selectors
      4m 49s
    9. Descendent selectors
      7m 32s
    10. Child selectors
      5m 7s
    11. Adjacent selectors
      5m 30s
    12. Attribute selectors
      12m 43s
    13. Pseudo-class selectors
      3m 54s
    14. Dynamic pseudo-class selectors
      8m 29s
    15. Structural pseudo-class selectors
      6m 45s
    16. Nth-child selectors
      13m 10s
    17. Pseudo-element selectors
      12m 40s
    18. Targeting page content: Lab
      8m 56s
    19. Targeting page content: Solution
      7m 59s
  4. 42m 39s
    1. What happens when styles conflict?
      4m 0s
    2. Understanding the cascade
      5m 47s
    3. Using inheritance
      6m 11s
    4. Selector specificity
      6m 55s
    5. The !important declaration
      4m 5s
    6. Reducing conflicts through planning
      3m 33s
    7. Resolving conflicts: Lab
      6m 45s
    8. Resolving conflicts: Solution
      5m 23s
  5. 1h 47m
    1. Setting a font family
      7m 10s
    2. Using @font-face
      9m 18s
    3. Setting font size
      7m 35s
    4. Font style and font weight
      6m 52s
    5. Transforming text
      3m 58s
    6. Using text variants
      2m 49s
    7. Text decoration options
      4m 26s
    8. Setting text color
      3m 2s
    9. Writing font shorthand notation
      8m 49s
    10. Controlling text alignment
      6m 33s
    11. Letter and word spacing
      9m 11s
    12. Indenting text
      4m 30s
    13. Adjusting paragraph line height
      10m 30s
    14. Controlling the space between elements
      6m 41s
    15. Basic text formatting: Lab
      8m 45s
    16. Basic text formatting: Solution
      7m 14s
  6. 2h 1m
    1. Understanding the box model
      16m 53s
    2. Controlling element spacing
      14m 29s
    3. Controlling interior spacing
      10m 49s
    4. Margin and padding shorthand notation
      6m 27s
    5. Adding borders
      8m 57s
    6. Defining element size
      10m 7s
    7. Creating rounded corners
      6m 58s
    8. Background properties
      2m 51s
    9. Using background images
      5m 10s
    10. Controlling image positioning
      10m 25s
    11. Using multiple backgrounds
      7m 5s
    12. Background shorthand notation
      5m 25s
    13. Styling container elements: Lab
      7m 55s
    14. Styling container elements: Solution
      8m 17s
  7. 47m 51s
    1. Color keyword definitions
      5m 4s
    2. Understanding hexadecimal notation
      6m 5s
    3. Using RGB values
      4m 58s
    4. Using HSL values
      5m 17s
    5. Working with opacity
      2m 23s
    6. Using RGBa and HSLa
      3m 8s
    7. Styling drop shadows
      5m 38s
    8. CSS gradients
      6m 32s
    9. Working with color: Lab
      4m 26s
    10. Working with color: Solution
      4m 20s
  8. 1m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 58s

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