Using CSS filter property for hover styles

For those unfamiliar with the filter property head on over the MDN to get aquainted. I’m also using SCSS throughout this post so again, if you’re unfamiliar, take a look at the Sass website.

I was playing around with a site (still in development) the other day & I had to style up a button, so I did the usual

  1. gentle gradient background
  2. slightly brighter on hover
  3. reverse gradient when active

The SCSS looked like this:

.btn {
  border: 1px solid #007600;
  color: #FFFFFF;
  padding: 0.75em 1.5em;
  font-size: 1rem;
  cursor: pointer;
  border-radius: 5px;
  outline: none;
  
  background: linear-gradient(#009000, #007600);
  
  &:hover {
    background: linear-gradient(#00ac00, #008d00);
  }
  
  &:active {
     background: linear-gradient(#008d00, #00ac00);
  }
}

This gives: http://cdpn.io/qeiHL.

As you can see, that’s four colours. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this I started thinking about whether I could use filter to take care of the brightness for me, saving me a couple of colours. The answer was yes, I could, using the brightness() function as seen below:

.btn {
  border: 1px solid #007600;
  color: #FFFFFF;
  padding: 0.75em 1.5em;
  font-size: 1rem;
  cursor: pointer;
  border-radius: 5px;
  outline: none;
  
  background: linear-gradient(#009000, #007600);
  
  &:hover {
    -webkit-filter: brightness(120%);
    filter: brightness(120%);
  }
  
  &:active {
     background: linear-gradient(#007600, #009000);
  }
}

This gives: http://cdpn.io/bxunC.

Note: I’ve only used the -webkit prefix, because that’s the only prefix at the moment, as will be discussed later.

Now there are only two colours & the brightening on hover is handled by the filter effect with the brightness() function.

You can actually take this even further & use some of the other filter functions like sepia(), hue-rotate(), invert() or saturate() as well, some examples of that can be seen in this pen.

Browser Support

filter doens’t yet have amazing browser support as anyone using Firefox will have noticed. It’s currently supported via the -webkit prefix in Chrome 29+, Opera 17+ & Safari 6+, however it’s not supported in Firefox or Internet Explorer yet. According to Can I use… it’s due for support in Firefox soon, but not IE.

This means that, for the time being, it’s probably not worth using this in production just yet, but it’s still a nice option to consider for the future!

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About ParkJi

Me!

My name is Ben Parker, I'm a 27 year old front end web developer with a passion for web design, standards & new & innovative technologies.