We should add a CSS coding standard:

Browser hacks and !important styles are only allowed in themes. Not in core/module CSS files.

That is, because they are more or less irreversible.

There are always proper ways to avoid them.

#5 drupal.css_.5.patch3.73 KBsun
PASSED: [[SimpleTest]]: [MySQL] 18,232 pass(es).
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Yes, please.

Yes please, some more!

+1 This keeps css more maintainable.

Although we shoud make some exceptions for system module (like .clearfix)

I love standards.

Is this a meta issue? Or will a single patch resolve all CSS standard issues?

Category:feature» task
Status:Active» Needs review
new3.73 KB
PASSED: [[SimpleTest]]: [MySQL] 18,232 pass(es).
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Why not? Actually, that's *much less* than I imagined :)

There must be more CSS hacks then just this...

Title:CSS coding standards: No browser hacks, no !important in core/module CSS, only themesCSS coding standards: No browser hacks, no !important in core/modules, ONLY IN THEMES

Clarifying title. ;)

+++ modules/system/system-behavior.css 3 Mar 2010 20:19:18 -0000
@@ -63,11 +63,6 @@ html.js fieldset.collapsible legend span
html.js fieldset.collapsible {
   position: relative;

Looking at this (again...), it's quite unusual to apply totally different (wrapping) styles to elements, just because JavaScript is enabled, or not? Totally prone to errors IMO... who actually tests core with JS disabled?!

Powered by Dreditor.

All fieldset-specific stuff now lives in a patch over in #745380: CSS contains too many needless differences between JS and no-JS versions

Status:Needs review» Needs work

Aforementioned issue has been committed.

+++ misc/vertical-tabs.css 3 Mar 2010 20:24:45 -0000
@@ -16,7 +16,7 @@ div.vertical-tabs ul.vertical-tabs-list
div.vertical-tabs .vertical-tabs-panes fieldset.vertical-tabs-pane {
-  margin: 0 !important;
+  margin: 0;

Can someone explain this !important?

+++ modules/contextual/contextual.css 3 Mar 2010 20:07:11 -0000
@@ -88,8 +88,7 @@ div.contextual-links-wrapper a {
ul.contextual-links li a {
-  /* Color made important so not easily overriden with '#footer a' type selectors */
-  color: #333 !important;
+  color: #333;

Let's straight roll back that patch.

+++ modules/system/system.css 3 Mar 2010 20:24:58 -0000
@@ -125,10 +125,10 @@ tr.odd .form-item, tr.even .form-item {
tr.merge-down, tr.merge-down td, tr.merge-down th {
-  border-bottom-width: 0 !important;
+  border-bottom-width: 0;
tr.merge-up, tr.merge-up td, tr.merge-up th {
-  border-top-width: 0 !important;
+  border-top-width: 0;

Prefixing the selectors with 'table' should probably be sufficient.

132 critical left. Go review some!


What about "!important may only be used when the CSS declaration is ment not to be overridden in any circumstance"?

Would be cool to resolve the 2-3 remaining issues before beta. Any takers?

Assigned:sun» Unassigned

@sun, was drupal.css_.5.patch committed? If so, what are the 2 - 3 remaining issues you mentioned?

The remaining issues are those outlined in #10

I agree that !important should not be used in core and that styling elements based on JS being enabled is a bit annoying. I especially don't think modules should have any !important's...

+++ modules/contextual/contextual.css 3 Mar 2010 20:07:11 -0000
@@ -88,8 +88,7 @@ div.contextual-links-wrapper a {
ul.contextual-links li a {
-  /* Color made important so not easily overriden with '#footer a' type selectors */
-  color: #333 !important;
+  color: #333;

This is definitely there for the reason the comment states but I've got a problem with these contextual links. I don't like the way they are handled - I think that its css should always load LAST, personally. I hate when I style list items and then my contextual links are all messed up. It creates unnecessary work that I usually just don't even bother with and my cogs are a mess. ;) Obviously that is a whole other issue.

Maybe the way to 'solve' this is to add additional selectors? a bit clunky and not really a proper solution but maybe it would help in getting rid of the !important:

#header ul.contextual-links li a,
#content ul.contextual-links li a,
#footer ul.contextual-links li a,
ul.contextual-links li a {
  color: #333;


Version:7.x-dev» 8.x-dev
Component:markup» CSS

We can't be dogmatic about !important. It's a tool, not a curse. Take these declarations in system.base.css for example.

* Hide elements visually, but keep them available for screen-readers.
* Used for information required for screen-reader users to understand and use
* the site where visual display is undesirable. Information provided in this
* manner should be kept concise, to avoid unnecessary burden on the user.
* "!important" is used to prevent unintentional overrides.
.element-invisible {
  position: absolute !important;
  clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);
  overflow: hidden;
  height: 1px;
* The .element-focusable class extends the .element-invisible class to allow
* the element to be focusable when navigated to via the keyboard.
.element-invisible.element-focusable:focus {
  position: static !important;
  clip: auto;
  overflow: visible;
  height: auto;

The !importants are necessary to ensure proper functioning of these accessibility-enabling classes. When you override them, which we do in contextual.base.css

/* Override the position for contextual links. */
.contextual-region .element-invisible.element-focusable:active,
.contextual-region .element-invisible.element-focusable:focus,
.contextual-region:hover .element-invisible.element-focusable,
.contextual-region-active .element-invisible.element-focusable,
.touch .contextual-region .element-invisible.element-focusable  {
  position: relative !important;

You do it with intention. An absolute interdiction on the use of !important in our guidelines might cause some overzealous and green CSS purists to mess with these declarations.

I like what the proposed CSS Architecture guidelines have to say about !important

The !important flag should be used appropriately. Since it overrides all external stylesheet rules, it is useful for states that must supersede all others, no matter the module variant or other element state. For example, error or disabled states are appropriate places to use !important, since they must be consistent and always apply when present. Never use !important to resolve specificity problems for general CSS rules. Additionally, module developers should take extra care with the !important flag, since all module CSS should be easy to override.

Status:Needs work» Fixed

I agree with Jesse. But I'll bet we have some !importants that could be removed somewhere.

The patch above is way out-of-date, so let's close this issue and re-open a new issue when we start implementing the new CSS Architecture guidelines in D8.

Title:CSS coding standards: No browser hacks, no !important in core/modules, ONLY IN THEMESCSS coding standards: No !important in core/contrib modules, ONLY IN THEMES
Status:Fixed» Active

The point of this issue is to explicitly disallow usage of !important in CSS of core and contributed modules, unless there's a very very good reason for using it.

One of those very good reasons are the .element-hidden, .element-invisible, etc classes defined in system.base.css. Those do not need any further explanation/clarification.

I didn't have time to check whether the remaining instances in #10 still exist, but all of them are problematic. It's also possible that latest HEAD contains new instances.

Likewise, as @nomonstersinme mentioned, elements/widgets that receive special styling (like contextual links) are a "third" category, which we need to address. As a themer, I need to be able to (partially) adjust/override those styles and I certainly don't want to and should not have to use !important for everything I define. At the same time, if my other CSS targets more specific elements that also happen to be contained within those specially styled elements, then my custom styles should not negatively affect those elements.