Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology


12th October 2007

On my web design journey, I have learned the wisdom that CSS styles for hyperlinks should be defined like the following:

a:link {…}

a:visited {…}

a:hover {…}

a:active {…}

List out the names of the pseudoselectors and you’ll soon work out where they got LVHA: Link, Visited, Hover and Active. However, I have recently spotted the following being used:

a {…}

a:hover {…}

The trick here is to define your style globally and only define specifics for the relevant pseudoselector, hover in this example. It works well in the likes of Mozilla and Opera but Internet Explorer is another story. Even IE7 needs the LVHA treatment. I spotted this when I observed unexpected changes in the appearance of link text after visiting the link: visited links startes to change colour. While I know that the likes of Jakob Nielsen frown upon non-changing link colour, I choose to ignore this and keep it constant so following the LVHA approach is needed to keep things as I would like them.

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