Css – How to disable text selection highlighting

cross-browsercsshighlighttextselection

For anchors that act like buttons (for example Questions, Tags, Users, etc. which are located on the top of the Stack Overflow page) or tabs, is there a CSS standard way to disable the highlighting effect if the user accidentally selects the text?

I realize that this could be done with JavaScript and a little googling yielded the Mozilla-only -moz-user-select option.

Is there a standard-compliant way to accomplish this with CSS, and if not, what is the "best practice" approach?

Best Solution

UPDATE January, 2017:

According to Can I use, the user-select is currently supported in all browsers except Internet Explorer 9 and its earlier versions (but sadly still needs a vendor prefix).


These are all of the available correct CSS variations:

.noselect {
  -webkit-touch-callout: none; /* iOS Safari */
    -webkit-user-select: none; /* Safari */
     -khtml-user-select: none; /* Konqueror HTML */
       -moz-user-select: none; /* Old versions of Firefox */
        -ms-user-select: none; /* Internet Explorer/Edge */
            user-select: none; /* Non-prefixed version, currently
                                  supported by Chrome, Edge, Opera and Firefox */
}
<p>
  Selectable text.
</p>
<p class="noselect">
  Unselectable text.
</p>


Note that user-select is in standardization process (currently in a W3C working draft). It is not guaranteed to work everywhere and there might be differences in implementation among browsers. Also, browsers can drop support for it in the future.


More information can be found in Mozilla Developer Network documentation.

The values of this attribute are none, text, toggle, element, elements, all and inherit.