IE8 ghost :after and :before pseudo elements

IE8 has a strange bug (what bugs aren't strange in IE ?) when dealing with :after and :before pseudo-elements.

I was adding a nice looking arrow after one of my elements using :after. I wanted this arrow to only display when my element was hovered, so I wrote the following code :

<a href="#">Example</a>
a {
  position:relative;
  display:block;
  height:30px;
}
a:after {
  position:absolute;
  content:"";
  top:0px;
  right:-15px;
  width:15px;
  height:30px;
  background:url(arrow.gif) top left no-repeat;
  display:none;
}
a:hover:after {
  display:block;
}

As you can see, nothing too fancy. I positionned my arrow using an empty :after element and a backgroundimage. I defaulted the arrow to hidden, and only show it when hovering the element.

IE in action

It does work pretty well in moder browsers. It also seems to work on IE8. When you hover the element in IE8, the arrow gets displayed. But it does not gets hidden when you stop hovering it.

There's a kind of ghost element that keeps getting displayed. It gets removed if you directly mouse it, or scroll your page, or alt-tab, etc. This clearly is a display artefact.

To counter this I had to write it in an other fashion (less readable in my opinion). Removing the default a:after rule and adding all properties to a:hover:after :

a {
  position:relative;
  display:block;
  height:30px;
}
a:hover:after {
  position:absolute;
  content:"";
  top:0px;
  right:-15px;
  width:15px;
  height:30px;
  background:url(arrow.gif) top left no-repeat;
  display:block;
}

Update

It should be noted that more generally, I gets confused and create ghost elements and styling when we try to update the :after/:before properties based on a rule selecting its parent.

There seems to have a little lag/delay before the properties gets applied, and most of the time they do not.


Tags : #bug #css #ghost #ie8 #before #after

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