Using a brightness() filter to generically highlight content

September 11th, 2020

Rick Strahl:

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve implemented a custom ‘button’ like CSS implementation. Over the years I’ve used images, backgrounds, gradients, and opacity to effectively ‘highlight’ a control. All that works of course, but the problem with most of these approaches is that one way or the other you’re hard coding a color value, image, or gradient.

You certainly have a lot more control if you specify exact colors, but if you can pull off brightening, darkening, or even a hue-shift in a way that feels cohesive on your site, it’s certainly a lot less code to maintain,

.button.specific-button {
  background: #4CAF50;
.button.specific-button:hover {
  background: #A5D6A7;

/* vs. */
.button:hover {
  filter: brightness(120%);

/* or maybe you're super hardcore and do it everywhere */
:hover {
  filter: brightness(120%) saturate(120%);

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