In my HTML below, when I hover on the <a> element I want to change the colour of the <h1> element using only CSS. Is there a way to achieve this?

<h1>Heading</h1>
<a class="button" href="#"></a>

What if I wrap a div around it with an id in it?

<div id="banner">
    <h1>Heading</h1>
    <a class="button" href="#"></a>
</div>

Will this help?

Solution 1

You can make a sibling that follows an element change when that element is hovered, for example you can change the color of your a link when the h1 is hovered, but you can't affect a previous sibling in the same way.

h1 {
    color: #4fa04f;
}
h1 + a {
    color: #a04f4f;
}
h1:hover + a {
    color: #4f4fd0;
}
a:hover + h1 {
    background-color: #444;
}
<h1>Heading</h1>
<a class="button" href="#">The &quot;Button&quot;</a>
<h1>Another Heading</h1>

We set the color of an H1 to a greenish hue, and the color of an A that is a sibling of an H1 to reddish (first 2 rules). The third rule does what I describe -- changes the A color when the H1 is hovered.

But notice the fourth rule a:hover + h1 only changes the background color of the H1 that follows the anchor, but not the one that precedes it.

This is based on the DOM order, and it's possible to change the display order of elements, so even though you can't change the previous element, you could make that element appear to be after the other element to get the desired effect.
Note that doing this could affect accessibility, since screen readers will generally traverse items in DOM order, which may not be the same as the visual order.


Edit

This should now be possible using the has selector, in the browsers that support it.
See the comments in the CSS below.
I will edit again in the future; currently my Chrome and Safari browsers are not yet at versions that support it.

h1 {
    color: #4fa04f;
}
h1 + a {
    color: #a04f4f;
}
h1:hover + a {
    color: #4f4fd0;
}
a:hover + h1 {
    background-color: #444;
}
/* Select an H1 heading that has an <a>nchor as a sibling */
h1:has(+ a) {
    background-color: cyan;
}

/* Select an H1 heading that has a currently-hovered <a>nchor as a sibling */
h1:has(+ a:hover) {
    background-color: yellow;
}
<h1>Heading</h1>
<a class="button" href="#">The &quot;Button&quot;</a>
<h1>Another Heading</h1>

Solution 2

There is no CSS selector that can do this (in CSS3, even). Elements, in CSS, are never aware of their parent, so you cannot do a:parent h1 (for example). Nor are they aware of their siblings (in most cases), so you cannot do #container a:hover { /* do something with sibling h1 */ }. Basically, CSS properties cannot modify anything but elements and their children (they cannot access parents or siblings).

You could contain the h1 within the a, but this would make your h1 hoverable as well.

You will only be able to achieve this using JavaScript (jsFiddle proof-of-concept). This would look something like:

$("a.button").hover(function() {
    $(this).siblings("h1").addClass("your_color_class");
}, function() {
    $(this).siblings("h1").removeClass("your_color_class");
});

Solution 3

#banner:hover h1 {
  color: red;
}

#banner h1:hover {
  color: black;
}

a {
  position: absolute;
}
<div id="banner">
  <h1>Heading</h1>
  <a class="button" href="#">link</a>
</div>

The Fiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/joplomacedo/77mqZ/

The a element is absolutely positioned. Might not be perfect for your exisiting structure. Let me know, I might find a workaround.

Solution 4

It is indeed possible to achieve this with only a few lines of CSS and some basic Flexbox understanding.

As Stephen P said in his answer, the adjacent sibling combinator does select immediately following siblings. To achieve what the OP asked, you could use two flex approaches:

Approach 1 (using "flex-flow" shorthand property)

.flex-parent {
  display: flex;
  flex-flow: column-reverse wrap
}

.flex-child-1:hover + .flex-child-2 {
  color: #FF3333;
}
<div class="flex-parent">
    <a class="flex-child-1">Hover me</a>  
    <h1 class="flex-child-2">I am changing color</h1>
</div>

Approach 2 (using "order" property and multiple children)

.flex-parent {
  display: flex;
  flex-direction: column;
}

.flex-child-1 {
  order: 2;
}

.flex-child-2 {
  order: 1;
}

.flex-child-3 {
  order: 3;
}

.flex-child-1:hover+.flex-child-2 {
  color: #FF3333;
}
<div class="flex-parent">
  <h1 class="flex-child-3">I am not changing color</h1>
  <a class="flex-child-1">Hover me</a>
  <h1 class="flex-child-2">I am changing color</h1>
</div>

Bonus:

CodePen Bonus

Solution 5

http://plnkr.co/edit/j5kGIav1E1VMf87t9zjK?p=preview

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>

  <head>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">
    <script src="script.js"></script>
    <style>
      ul:hover > li
      {
        opacity: 0.5;
      }
      ul:hover li:hover 
      {
        opacity: 1;
      }
    </style>
  </head>

  <body>
    <h1>Hello Plunker!</h1>
    <ul>
      <li>Hello</li>
      <li>Hello</li>
      <li>Hello</li>
      <li>Hello</li>
      <li>Hello</li>
    </ul>
  </body>

</html>

here is an example how it can be done in pure css , hope it helps somebody

Solution 6

Try this one-line pure CSS solution:

.parent:hover .child:not(:hover) {
  /* this style affects all the children *except* the one you're hovering over */
  color: red;
}

More info here: https://codyhouse.co/nuggets/styling-siblings-on-hover

Solution 7

Change the H1 tag into a link, style it the same as the normal text maybe? And then use this,

a:link {color:#FF0000;}      
a:hover {color:#FF00FF;}

And it should work when you hover :) you can also make it specific by containing it in a div and then targeting it like this:

.exampledivname a:link {color:#FF0000;}      
.exampledivname a:hover {color:#FF00FF;}

This should help.

Solution 8

Someone helped me with this so I thought I would share here as well.

In your first example that is indeed impossible with pure CSS. However, when you wrap it with a parent container you then have the ability to do a bunch of stuff with hovering children.

#banner:hover>h1{
  color:red;
}
h1:hover{
  color:black !important;
}
#banner{
  display:inline-block;
}
.button{
  display:inline-block;
  font-size:24px;
  width:100%;
  border:1px solid black;
  text-align:center;
}
h1{
  padding:0;
  margin:0;
}
<div id="banner">
    <h1>Heading</h1>
    <a class="button" href="#">Button!</a>
</div>

The parent just controls the children who aren't currently being hovered. You then can set hover states for individual elements and classes to make sibling selection possible without JS.

Here is a more advanced example of this in action

https://codepen.io/levyA/pen/gOrdaLJ

Solution 9

For set styles in sibling elements you can use ~ character in first case when h1 hovered set color for a tag and in second case when a is hovered, change background color of h1 section

h1:hover ~ a {
    color: #e34423;
}
a:hover ~ h1 {
    background-color: #eee;
}

Solution 10

This might work, I've recently used this idea to stop sibling elements in an animation.

h1 { color: inherit; }

#banner:hover { color: your choice; }