Which Css Style Gets Applied First

CSS Programming

Hey there! If you’ve ever struggled with CSS styles not being applied in the way you expected, you’re not alone. Understanding the cascade and specificity of CSS is crucial to getting styles to apply as intended. Let’s dive deep into the world of CSS and explore which styles get applied first.

The Cascade

The cascade in CSS refers to the order in which styles are applied to an element. When multiple styles conflict, it’s essential to know which one takes precedence. The cascade is based on the origin, importance, and specificity of styles.

Origin of Styles

Styles can come from various sources, such as user-agent stylesheets, author stylesheets, and user stylesheets. User styles take precedence over author styles, which, in turn, take precedence over user-agent styles. Understanding the origin of styles helps in determining which styles will be applied.

Importance of Styles

!important is a declaration in CSS that gives a style the highest priority. Styles marked with !important will override any other styles, regardless of specificity. While this can be useful in specific cases, it’s generally best to avoid using !important to maintain a clear and predictable cascade.

Specificity of Styles

Specificity determines which rule is applied when multiple rules have equal weight in the cascade. It is calculated based on the number of ID selectors, class selectors, and element selectors in a rule. Understanding specificity is crucial for resolving conflicts between styles.

Order of Application

Once the cascade is understood, the next step is to determine the order in which styles are applied. In general, styles are applied from the broadest scope to the most specific scope. This means that user-agent styles are applied first, followed by author styles, and finally, user styles. Within each scope, specificity plays a significant role in determining which styles take precedence.


Navigating the cascade and specificity of CSS can be challenging, but with a solid understanding, you can confidently control how styles are applied to your web elements. Remember to leverage specificity wisely and minimize the use of !important to maintain a clear and predictable cascade. Cheers to mastering the intricacies of CSS styling!