Making the dotted line in a hyperlink disappear using CSS

Yes, yes, yes. We all have had this problem once. This is really bad.

Have you ever noticed how a sloppy dotted line appears when you make a hyperlink in HTML.  That very bad line which never appears to go away. And, when you are working on a client site, you are definitely dead for this.

By default, when your hyperlink is in active or focus state, a dreary, bad dotted lines appears around its corners. Well, there is a way to fix that.

This is a simple fix. However, the problem is not just limited to links, but, other media properties like embeds, flash, videos or images also mark this dotted line problem.


This problem is basically an accessibility problem. By this, what I meant is that people who want to access the internet using just their keyboard can do so. And, this is achieved by using “jump” as they say. In short, you use your keyboard to access the webpage.

And, this is done by browsing up and down using the arrow keys. Also, it is also used for accessing links. You use the arrow keys, and it displays a dotted line around the link which  tells you which link you are currently on, so that you can use it easily.

But those times are gone. Now people don’t use keyboards to access the web. They use their tablets or mobile phones. So, instead of being a usable thing, it has become more of an issue for modern day web-designers.


Not digging deep into the reasons – why, what or anything else, here’s the code. Copy it, paste it, done.

a:hover, a:active, a:focus {
outline: 0;

Actually, by using this code, you remove the hyperlink dotted line problem at once.


This does not finish here. You have other problems like the dotted line in embedded media like videos or games. Don’t worry, there is a workaround for that as well. And, it is quite same.

object, embed, iframe, video {
outline: 0;

So, as you can see, you can make the dotted line disappear from any element using the outline: 0; property.


If you are having trouble following along, I have made a video for the above tutorial. I think I’ll call this and other videos to come the “DIY & How-to Web-Designer videos”.


Watch the video on Vimeo. And, subscribe on Vimeo as well.


You saw how you can make disappear that dotted line from your element. But, did you know, you can use this similar technique to style an anchor tag. Noticed, how some websites have an hover effect. Using which, they enlarge or put a gradient background on hovers.

You can do that by using a:hover, a:active, a:focus. Just put in your styles that you require.

This was a simple tutorial which showed you how to get rid of a daily problem. If you liked it, share it with your friends.

Did you find a solution to your dotted line problem ? What else can we do to improve our user experience ? Tell me in the comments below.

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