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Select an element which doesn't descend from another in CSS


There may be times when we may want to style elements that are not direct descendants of the elements that we want to style.

In Select an Element Which Doesn't Descend From Another in CSS Chris Nielsen outlines a way to do this using articles and links as examples.

This is a skeleton of the content.

		<article class="archived">
				<a href="#">Link</a>

If we want to select a a element that is not a direct descendant of an element with the class .archived, we might start with code like this:

:not(.archived) > a {
  background-color: hotpink;

But this will not work for any but the most basic example that have a elements whose parents do not have the archived class.

instead we can use the following selector:

a:not(.archived *) {
  background-color: oklch(0.65 0.27 341);

The change to the CSS represents something different: It means match all a elements who are not a descendant of an element with class archived.

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