Removing the active/focus borders

Pre 2006

The list with active/focus border

Same list with no active/focus border


with active/focus normal dotted border

Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!

and with active/focus background color and image

Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!

and a three state flicker free button with active/focus image and no dotted border


copyright © stu nicholls - CSS play


I know that the purists will say that this shouldn't be done because the active/focus dotted border is there to show visitors who are using tabbed link selection which link is selected. But when we are using css we can style our own active/focus state and in this case the dotted border is not so necessary.

Opera v8.5, by the way, uses the letter 'A' to move down through the page links and 'Q' to move up. The links are highlighted using a blue background. Some image replacement methods do not display any highlight when using 'tabs'.

So with this in mind I have come up with a css only answer to remove the dotted active/focus border which up till now required javascript.

The top menu is a standard unordered list that has a hover and active/focus state but will add the dotted border when the link is clicked.

The lower menu has a little extra markup and styling and when an item is clicked it will not display the active/focus border.

The upper rabbit image has the standard dotted border when clicked and the lower image has a little extra markup and is styled to get rid of the dotted border and replace it with something a little more attractive. This method will not work in all circumstances but it may be a help in most.

I will leave it up to you whether you think this is 'going too far' ;o)

31st January 2012

Now that we can use the style outline:none; this is more or less redundant.


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Soft Geometry Creative Industries
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