Heinzi Heinzi - 4 months ago 13
CSS Question

Styling disabled <select> (dropdown boxes) in HTML

One of our customers has a hard time reading the grey text in disabled controls in our web-based application:

IE9 example

We would like to change the style to a light grey background and a black text. Unfortunately, most browsers (including IE, which is what the customer is using) ignore the

color: ...
CSS attribute on disabled controls, so we cannot change the foreground color.

For text boxes (
input type="text"
), this can easily be workarounded by using the
instead of the
attribute. Unfortunately, this is not an option for dropdowns (
) or checkboxes (
input type="checkbox"

Is there an easy workaround for that? Preferebly one where the control does not need to be replaced by another type of control? (...since our controls are rendered by ASP.NET)

PS: Using the
selector in CSS does not make a difference.


In Internet Explorer 9, support will be added for the :disabled pseudo-selector (ref). I don't know whether that will honor the "color" property, but it seems likely.

In older versions of IE, you can adjust the background color (but not the color). Thus:

    <style type="text/css">
        select[disabled] { background-color: blue; }

That works in IE 7 and IE 8. You still can't alter the foreground color, but you can change the background color to contrast more strongly with the gray that IE assigns it when it's disabled.