How to use the attr() CSS method?

Published August 20, 2020

WARNING 🤯: This is a new method and may not work in some browsers as of now.

To get attribute values from HTML elements to css, you can use the attr() CSS function.

Consider this html, where you have a h1 tag with class name heading.

<h1 class="heading">Hello World!</h1>

Now Let's style this h1 tag with some CSS.

.heading {
  background-color: black;
  color: red;

Now you may ask what's cool about this? This is just normal stuff. 🧐

What if we need to give custom background colors and text colors whenever we make another h1 tag?

This is not possible because we have already hard coded the styles in CSS.

But not anymore!! That is why we have attr() CSS function.

The attr() function helps us to get values from attributes of HTML elements.

Now let's rewrite our html and add custom properties called data-bgcolor and data-textcolor in the h1 tag.

<h1 class="heading" data-bgcolor="black" data-textcolor="red">Hello World!</h1>

Now lets use the attr() function in CSS to the values of the custom attributes in CSS.

.heading {
  background-color: attr(data-bgcolor color);
  color: attr(data-textcolor color);
  • Here we are getting the values of both the data-bgcolor and data-textcolor custom attributes from the h1 tag to the CSS.

  • The attr() function accepts the name of the custom attribute or native attribute name followed by a space and the unit for example,

    • for strings - string
    • for any kind of colors - color
    • for numbers - number

In our case, we have given the unit as color since we want to change the background-color property and color property.

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