Omitted selector in CSS2 rulesets

Chris Lilley chris at
Tue May 25 14:18:36 BST 1999

abrahams at wrote:
> The core syntax of CSS2 (Sec. 4.1.1 of the spec) specifies that the
> selector in a ruleset is optional.  The syntax in Appendix D says the
> same thing, but more elaborately.   Can anyone explain the rationale
> behind making the selector optional, or what the effect is of a ruleset
> without a selector?

These two rules are identical in effect, one has no selector:

* { font-family: Garamond }
{ font-family: Garamond }

Think of the selector as a filter, that screens out non-matching
elements. If there is no selector, all elements are matched.


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