I was wondering if there is a way to change the color on the bullets in a list.

I have a list like this:

<ul>
   <li>House</li>
   <li>Car</li>
   <li>Garden</li>
</ul>

It is not possible for me to insert anything in the li's such as a 'span' og a 'p'. So can I change the color of the bullets but not the text in some smart way?

Solution 1

I managed this without adding markup, but instead using li:before. This obviously has all the limitations of :before (no old IE support), but it seems to work with IE8, Firefox and Chrome after some very limited testing. The bullet style is also limited by what's in unicode.

li {
  list-style: none;
}
li:before {
  /* For a round bullet */
  content: '\2022';
  /* For a square bullet */
  /*content:'\25A0';*/
  display: block;
  position: relative;
  max-width: 0;
  max-height: 0;
  left: -10px;
  top: 0;
  color: green;
  font-size: 20px;
}
<ul>
  <li>foo</li>
  <li>bar</li>
</ul>

Solution 2

If you can use an image then you can do this. And without an image you won't be able to change the color of the bullets only and not the text.

Using an image

li { list-style-image: url(images/yourimage.jpg); }

See

list-style-image

Without using an image

Then you have to edit the HTML markup and include a span inside the list and color the li and span with different colors.

Solution 3

We can combine list-style-image with svgs, which we can inline in css! This method offers incredible control over the "bullets", which can become anything.

To get a red circle, just use the following css:

ul {
  list-style-image: url('data:image/svg+xml,<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 10 10" width="10" height="10"><circle fill="red" cx="5" cy="5" r="2"/></svg>');
}

But this is just the beginning. This allows us to do any crazy thing we want with those bullets. circles or rectangles are easy, but anything you can draw with svg you can stick in there! Check out the bullseye example below:

Width/height attributes

Some browsers require width and height attributes to be set on the <svg>, or they display nothing. At time of writing, recent versions of Firefox exhibit this problem. I've set both attributes in the examples.

Encodings

A recent comment reminded me of encodings for the data-uri. This was a pain-point for me recently, and I can share a bit of information I've researched.

The data-uri spec, which references the URI spec, says that the svg should be encoded according to the URI spec. That means all sorts of characters should be encoded, eg < becomes %3C.

Some sources suggest base64 encoding, which should fix encoding issues, however it will unnecessarily increase the size of the SVG, whereas URI encoding will not. I recommend URI encoding.

More info:

browser-support: >ie8

css tricks on svgs

mdn on svgs

Solution 4

Building off @Marc's solution -- since the bullet character is rendered differently with different fonts and browsers, I used the following css3 technique with border-radius to make a bullet that I have more control over:

li:before {
    content: '';
    background-color: #898989;
    display: inline-block;
    position: relative;
    height: 12px;
    width: 12px;
    border-radius: 6px;
    -webkit-border-radius: 6px;
    -moz-border-radius: 6px;
    -moz-background-clip: padding;
    -webkit-background-clip: padding-box;
    background-clip: padding-box;
    margin-right: 4px;
    top: 2px;
}

Solution 5

I know this is a really, really, old question but i was playing around with this and came up with a way i have not seen posted. Give the list a color and then overwrite the text color using ::first-line selector. I'm no expert so maybe there is something wrong with this approach that I'm missing, but it seems to work.

li {
  color: blue;
}

li::first-line {
  color: black;
}
<ul>
  <li>House</li>
  <li>Car</li>
  <li>Garden</li>
</ul>

Solution 6

Building off both @Marc and @jessica solutions - This is the solution that I use:

li { 
   position:relative;
}
li:before {
      content:'';
      display: block;
      position: absolute;
      width: 6px;
      height:6px;
      border-radius:6px;
      left: -20px;
      top: .5em;
      background-color: #000;
}

I use em for font sizes so if you set your top value to be .5em it will always be placed to the mid point of your first line of text. I used left:-20px because that is the default position of bullets in browsers: parent padding/2

Solution 7

::marker

You can use the ::marker CSS pseudo-element to select the marker box of a list item (i.e. bullets or numbers).

ul li::marker {
  color: red;
}

Note: At the time of posting this answer, this is considered experimental technology and has only been implemented in Firefox and Safari (so far).

Solution 8

I really liked Marc's answer too - I needed a set of different colored ULs and obviously it would be easier just to use a class. Here is what I used for orange, for example:

ul.orange {
    list-style: none;
    padding: 0px;
}
ul.orange > li:before {
    content: '\25CF ';
    font-size: 15px;
    color: #F00;
    margin-right: 10px;
    padding: 0px;
    line-height: 15px;
}

Plus, I found that the hex code I used for "content:" was different than Marc's (that hex circle seemed to sit a bit too high). The one I used seems to sit perfectly in the middle. I also found several other shapes (squares, triangles, circles, etc.) right here

Solution 9

For me the best option is to use CSS pseudo elements, so for disc bullet styling it would look like that:

ul {
  list-style-type: none;
}

li {
  position: relative;
}

li:before {
  content: '';
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  width: 5px; /* adjust to suit your needs */
  height: 5px; /* adjust to suit your needs */
  border-radius: 50%;
  left: -15px; /* adjust to suit your needs */
  top: 0.5em;
  background: #f00; /* adjust to suit your needs */
}
<ul>
  <li>first</li>
  <li>second</li>
  <li>third</li>
</ul>

Notes:

  • width and height should have equal values to keep pointers rounded
  • you may set border-radius to zero if you want to have square list bullets

For more bullets styles you may use other css shapes https://css-tricks.com/examples/ShapesOfCSS/ (choose this which doesn't require pseudo elements to work, so for example triangles)

Solution 10

Building on @ddilsaver's answer. I wanted to be able to use a sprite for the bullet. This appears to work:

li {
  list-style: none;
  position: relative;
}

li:before {
  content:'';
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  width: 20px;
  height: 20px;
  left: -30px;
  top: 5px;
  background-image: url(i20.png); 
  background-position: 0px -40px; /* or whatever offset you want */
}

Solution 11

I tried this today and typed this:
I needed to display color markers in my lists (both bullets and numbers). I came upon this tip and wrote in in my stylesheet whith mutualization of the properties:

ul,
ol {
  list-style: none;
  padding: 0;
  margin: 0 0 0 15px;
}
ul {}
ol {
  counter-reset: li;
}
li {
  padding-left: 1em; 
}
ul li {}
ul li::before,
ol li::before {
  color: #91be3c;
  display: inline-block;
  width: 1em;
}
ul li::before {
  content: "\25CF";
  margin: 0 0.1em 0 -1.1em;
}
ol li {
  counter-increment: li;
}
ol li::before {
  content: counter(li);
  margin: 0 0 0 -1em;
}

I chose a different character to display a bullet, watching it here. I needed to adjust the margin accoardingly, maybe the values won't apply with the font you chose (the numbers use your webfont).

Solution 12

Try using this instead:

ul {
  color: red;
}

Solution 13

Inline version, works for Outlook Desktop:

<ul style="list-style:square;">
  <li style="color:red;"><span style="color:black;">Lorem.</span></li>
  <li style="color:red;"><span style="color:black;">Lorem.</span></li>
</ul>

JSFiddle.