How to change the Style of the `title` Attribute using CSS

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Apr 5, 2024
6 min

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# Table of Contents

  1. How to change the Style of the title Attribute using CSS
  2. Styling the element's hover and ::after separately
  3. Using a different style for the custom title
  4. Showing an element on hover to simulate a custom title

# How to change the Style of the title Attribute using CSS

To change the style of the title attribute using CSS:

  1. Set the data-title attribute on the element to the value of the title attribute.
  2. When the user hovers over the element, use ::after to create a pseudo-element that shows the custom title.
index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> <style> body { margin: 100px; } a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; } a[data-title]:hover::after { content: attr(data-title); position: absolute; top: -100%; left: 0; z-index: 100; background-color: aquamarine; width: 250px; } </style> </head> <body> <h2>bobbyhadz.com</h2> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com</a > </body> </html>

style title attribute using after

The code for this article is available on GitHub

We first set the data-title attribute on the element to the value of the title we want to show when the user hovers over the element.

index.html
<a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com </a>

We set the position of the a element to relative, so we can set the position of the tooltip to absolute.

index.css
a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; }

The next step is to use the attr() CSS function to get the value of the data-title attribute directly in the stylesheet.

index.css
a[data-title]:hover::after { content: attr(data-title); position: absolute; top: -100%; left: 0; z-index: 100; background-color: aquamarine; width: 250px; }

You can also set the color of the title text.

index.css
a[data-title]:hover::after { content: attr(data-title); position: absolute; top: -100%; left: 0; z-index: 100; background-color: aquamarine; width: 250px; /* ๐Ÿ‘‡๏ธ set color of title text */ color: black; }

::after is used to create a pseudo-element that is the last child of the selected element.

The content of the pseudo-element is the text of the data-title attribute.

index.html
<a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com </a>

The next step is to set the position of the element to absolute, so we can use the top and left properties.

If the width of your title text exceeds the width of your element, you might have to increase the value of the width property on hover.

index.css
a[data-title]:hover::after { content: attr(data-title); position: absolute; top: -100%; left: 0; z-index: 100; background-color: aquamarine; /* increase width */ width: 250px; }

You can also increase the width directly on the element.

index.css
a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; width: 250px; }
The code for this article is available on GitHub

We used the custom data-title attribute so that the native title won't display eventually and interfere with the custom title.

The native title attribute can't be styled directly using CSS.

However, you can create a custom title that you can style.

The style of the native title attribute is defined by each browser and might slightly vary between browsers.

# Styling the element's hover and ::after separately

In some cases, you might want to style the element's :hover and ::after separately.

Here is an example that uses a box-shadow when styling the custom title.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> <style> body { margin: 100px; } a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; } a[data-title]::after { content: attr(data-title); background-color: pink; color: black; font-size: 1.2em; position: absolute; padding: 1px 5px 2px 5px; bottom: 1.1em; left: 50%; white-space: nowrap; box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #242424; opacity: 0; border: 1px solid #1b1b1b; z-index: 9999999; visibility: hidden; } a[data-title]:hover::after { visibility: visible; opacity: 1; transition: all 0.1s ease 0.4s; } </style> </head> <body> <h2>bobbyhadz.com</h2> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com</a > </body> </html>

style title hover and after separately

The code for this article is available on GitHub

The ::after pseudo-element is styled separately.

index.css
a[data-title]::after { content: attr(data-title); background-color: pink; color: black; font-size: 1.2em; position: absolute; padding: 1px 5px 2px 5px; bottom: 1.1em; left: 50%; white-space: nowrap; box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #242424; opacity: 0; border: 1px solid #1b1b1b; z-index: 9999999; visibility: hidden; }

We used the attr() function to get the value of the data-title attribute just like in the previous example.

This time we also used the box-shadow CSS property to display a shadow.

We initially set the element's opacity to 0 and its visibility to hidden.

When the user hovers over the element, the pseudo-element's visibility is set to visible and its opacity is set to 1.

index.css
a[data-title]:hover::after { visibility: visible; opacity: 1; transition: all 0.1s ease 0.4s; }

We also set up a transition to make the tooltip visible with a quick animation.

style title hover and after separately

You can play around with the values of the bottom and left CSS properties if you need to position the custom title somewhere else.

index.css
a[data-title]::after { content: attr(data-title); background-color: pink; color: black; font-size: 1.2em; position: absolute; padding: 1px 5px 2px 5px; bottom: -1.6em; left: 70%; white-space: nowrap; box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #242424; opacity: 0; border: 1px solid #1b1b1b; z-index: 9999999; visibility: hidden; }

position custom title somewhere else

Here is an example that shows the difference between the custom title and using the native title attribute.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> <style> body { margin: 100px; } a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; } a[data-title]::after { content: attr(data-title); background-color: pink; color: black; font-size: 1.2em; position: absolute; padding: 1px 5px 2px 5px; bottom: -1.6em; left: 70%; white-space: nowrap; box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #242424; opacity: 0; border: 1px solid #1b1b1b; z-index: 9999999; visibility: hidden; } a[data-title]:hover::after { visibility: visible; opacity: 1; transition: all 0.1s ease 0.4s; } </style> </head> <body> <h2>bobbyhadz.com</h2> <!-- ๐Ÿ‘‡๏ธ CUSTOM TITLE --> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com</a > <br /> <br /> <!-- ๐Ÿ‘‡๏ธ NATIVE TITLE --> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" title="Example title" >google.com</a > </body> </html>

custom title vs native title

The code for this article is available on GitHub

# Using a different style for the custom title

Here is an example that uses a style that more closely resembles the style of a native title attribute.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> <style> body { margin: 100px; } a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; } a[data-title]::after { content: attr(data-title); background-color: rgb(255, 226, 231); color: black; font-size: 1.1em; position: absolute; padding: 2px 6px 2px 5px; bottom: -1.6em; left: 70%; white-space: nowrap; box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #242424; opacity: 0; border: 1px solid #1b1b1b; border-radius: 6px; z-index: 9999999; visibility: hidden; background-image: -moz-linear-gradient( top, #f8f8f8, #bebebe ); background-image: -webkit-gradient( linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0, #f8f8f8), color-stop(1, #bebebe) ); background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient( top, #f8f8f8, #bebebe ); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient( top, #f8f8f8, #bebebe ); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient( top, #f8f8f8, #bebebe ); background-image: -o-linear-gradient( top, #f8f8f8, #bebebe ); } a[data-title]:hover::after { visibility: visible; opacity: 1; transition: all 0.1s ease 0.4s; } </style> </head> <body> <h2>bobbyhadz.com</h2> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com</a > <br /> <br /> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" title="Example title" >google.com</a > </body> </html>

using a different style for the custom title

The code for this article is available on GitHub

The code sample uses the background-image CSS property to set the background of the custom title to a gradient.

# Showing an element on hover to simulate a custom title

You can also show an element on hover to simulate a custom title.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> <style> body { margin: 100px; } a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; } a span { display: none; } a:hover span { position: absolute; top: 30px; padding: 5px 10px 5px 5px; display: block; z-index: 999999; left: 60%; margin: 8px; width: 200px; text-decoration: none; background-color: #f5f5f5; color: black; border: 1px solid gray; } </style> </head> <body> <h2>bobbyhadz.com</h2> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" >bobbyhadz.com <span>Example title text</span></a > <br /> <br /> <a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" title="Example title" >google.com</a > </body> </html>

show element on hover to simulate custom title

The code for this article is available on GitHub

Notice that we didn't create a pseudo-element using ::after this time.

Instead, we have a hidden span element nested within the a tag.

index.html
<a href="https://bobbyhadz.com" data-title="Example title" > bobbyhadz.com <span>Example title text</span> </a>

We set the position of the a element to relative.

style.css
a { position: relative; display: inline-block; margin-top: 50px; font-size: 1.5em; }

The next step is to hide the span element by setting its display attribute to none.

style.css
a span { display: none; }

When the user hovers over the a element, the display property of the span is set to block to show the custom title.

style.css
a:hover span { position: absolute; top: 30px; left: 60%; padding: 5px 10px 5px 5px; display: block; z-index: 999999; margin: 8px; width: 200px; text-decoration: none; background-color: #f5f5f5; color: black; border: 1px solid gray; }

You can use the top and left CSS properties if you need to position the title text somewhere else.

You might also have to adjust the value of the width property depending on the width of your title text.

# Additional Resources

You can learn more about the related topics by checking out the following tutorials:

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Copyright ยฉ 2024 Borislav Hadzhiev