Style Spelling and Grammar Errors with the ::spelling-error and ::grammar-error pseudo-elements

Part of the CSS Pseudo-Elements Level 4 Specification are ways to style spelling and grammar errors.

By default spelling errors — words you have mistyped — get a red dotted underline, thanks to the ::spelling-error pseudo-class selector you can tweak that. Grammar errors — such as a missing capital letter at the beginning of a sentence — can be styled with the ::grammar-error pseudo-class selector.

::spelling-error {
  text-decoration: underline wavy red;

::grammar-error {
  text-decoration: underline wavy blue;


Embedded below is a demo that shows the output of the browser you are visiting with, and the wanted output:

See the Pen The Future of CSS: Style Grammar and Spelling Errors (Demo) by Bramus (@bramus) on CodePen.

As you can see your browser does not yield the proper output, as ::spelling-error/::grammar-error currently have no support in any browser at the time of writing:


Once these highlight pseudo-elements do gain browser support, do note that they can only be styled by a limited set of properties that do not affect layout. Only following properties apply to the highlight pseudo-elements:

  • color
  • background-color
  • text-decoration and its associated properties
  • text-shadow
  • stroke-color, fill-color, and stroke-width


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Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

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