Ability to style CSS Combinators: combo classes, pseudo classes, nested classes

When I add a css class and then add another css class on top of it, the resulting css rule in the code is a compound rule. Most of the time this is fine, but there are times I need the two rules to be separate. Please expand on the css layering, by giving us granular options for creating single-class or compound rules, and maybe even some complex bits like parent/sibling selectors, or ":" suffix rules.

Mainly, if I've got two elements, and one's got classes A->B->D while the other's got classes A->C->D, I don't want to have to define D twice, like I do now.

  • Brendan Keyworth
  • Sep 20 2017
  • Jan 19, 2021

    Admin response

    Hi all - jumping in with an update here. While we’re not planning specifically to build support for these types of CSS targeting rules, we do have plans to build a lot more power into symbols that will enable you to create more reusable, manageable component-based design systems. Will share more updates on that as we have them!

  • Ruben commented
    8 Feb 08:17am


  • Cyrille Berne commented
    19 Dec, 2023 10:06pm

    Webflow class system is a nightmare for perfectionists, which is supposedly its target audience. Please do something, Webflow is not above other websites builders for nothing. Don't oversimplify.

  • Devin Smith commented
    27 Nov, 2023 09:41pm

    This limitation is a real drag. I love Webflow, but not having this capability when it's such a basic thing in CSS is tough. I recognize that it's probably neither here nor there for people who do not know how to write HTML or CSS, but this feels like a downgrade whenever I build a site. Can you please reconsider on this?

  • Lennart Hennig commented
    20 Sep, 2023 03:39pm

    Another idea that obviously EVERYONE wants and is ignored by webflow for 6 years. If I was running this company I would make the first two pages of the wishboard mandatory projects for the product team. Embarrassing.

  • Kyle Palermo commented
    2 Jun, 2023 04:28pm

    For developers coming into Webflow, the lack of really basic css selector control is a huge turn off. If you want more adoption, at some point you're going to have to open up the platform to modern css. I think this would be a hell of a lot more useful for developers than a React integration :)

  • Guest commented
    14 May, 2023 11:25am

    Yes please, the current combo classes are kinda getting less useful the more you actually try to use them.

  • Wouter van Waning commented
    12 May, 2023 12:19pm

    The lack of this feature makes every Webflow project so needlessly more bloated and messy to work with. Fundamental CSS logic missing, for what it seams no reason at all.... Love the way you describe this Brendan, even though the fact that you wrote this has been 6 years ago...

  • Mehnz commented
    8 Apr, 2023 05:13am

    sometimes I'd like to just say Go that thing yourself, just a few world class developer away to graphql your entire infastructure while you go keep hiring new dmos cmos ufos. ...you realize at your pace webflow will never run parallel with the cutting edge? nvm, all the 2603 voters from 2017 to present... all are doing fine, just that weird taste you've left us thinking the love was mutual.

  • Alex Bass commented
    24 Mar, 2023 01:52am

    This please, I know I'm making SUCH a mess with CSS classes because of how Webflow handles it by default 😩

  • Corgi Bradbury commented
    6 May, 2022 02:27pm

    Adding my vote. Symbols have nothing to do with this---I want to be able to target all elements of a specific kind inside a given class. The fact this functionality already exists within Webflow (as noted below by Michael David) but can only be used if you hack around it is nothing short of bizarre.

    Reposting the link Michael shared below for visibility:


  • Parcion commented
    31 Dec, 2021 10:14pm

    Please give us the ability to more easily manage and work with our css. This has nothing to do with symbols so the admin response is not applicable. We need the ability to be able to convert combo classes into a new singular class, and the ability to use more global classes. I like the combo class idea but it is running wild and needs to be tamed LOL.

  • Lonnie Kuhn commented
    25 Nov, 2021 10:31am

    In CSS, pattern matching rules determine which style rules apply to elements in the ... CSS gives so much power to the "class" attribute, that authors could

  • Derek Adams commented
    18 Oct, 2021 09:45am

    the column combinator; the :drop() pseudo-class ... querySelectorAll() function defined in [DOM] or the selector of a CSS style rule.

  • Mike Escoffery commented
    19 Jul, 2021 06:47pm

    What is with the Admin Response?

    Did anybody ask for more power in symbols? I never use symbols, they have no use on small projects. But the basics of how CSS works I use in Every Single project.

  • Nicole Cmar commented
    27 Feb, 2021 09:57am

    Pleeassse Webflow, give us this! I'm still getting used to Webflow and have some SCSS knowledge, and the combo classes make no sense. Sometimes I search for several minutes just to figure out the inheritance, meanwhile if I had a global class, it would be so easy to edit. Symbols don't help on this part because there's still so so many classes. Improvements are definitely needed!

  • Tom Rauscher commented
    14 Feb, 2021 02:29am

    I'm disappointed by this response. The inheritance dropdown that let's you switch between combo classes and device rules is like... 95% of the functionality here...

    Why not just let us select the specific class in this dropdown?

    In my screenshot I've got a Column class and a combo class for a Column with padding. If I could just select the Padding class in this dropdown I would literally have a utility class I could use everywhere for even padding without even thinking about it. It would speed us up so much.

  • Michael David commented
    28 Jan, 2021 07:21am

    There is already the ability to create descendant selectors in the rich text element, so the UI and functionality exists. This functionality should be expanded so that it can be applied anywhere – so that any class can be applied on the condition of it being nested in the selected parent element.

    You can even hack the RTE nested selector functionality to do this elsewhere, as described here: https://forum.webflow.com/t/how-to-define-css-descendant-selectors-in-webflow/135561

    So, it shouldn't be a stretch at this point to implement this very much needed feature that every CSS-aware designer is desparately asking for.

  • Giles Holland commented
    21 Jan, 2021 07:30pm

    In response to the admin response of 19 Jan 2021: That isn't going to help. Symbols and utility classes are fundamentally different things. Nothing you can do to expand symbols is going to cover this gap. I have never seen a company ignore user feedback and engender as much user frustration as Webflow does. Whether it's critical feature requests voted by thousands of users, or countless bugs reported years ago. You're alive for now because there's nothing nearly as good out there, but it won't stay that way forever. This is an unsustainable philosophy.

  • Tom Binroth commented
    21 Jan, 2021 10:06am

    I don't know why Webflow ignores this feature request. Child selectors are an essential part in CSS styling. I need to style paragraphs and headlines in multiple sections. Styling a lot of text is a pain and time consuming process in Webflow.

    Symbols and Combo classes do not solved this issue at all. It will increase the CSS file. We still have create new classes and apply them one by one.

    Hopefully Child Selector will be supported at some point. The current state is a huge disappoiment.

  • Alexander Wong commented
    19 Jan, 2021 04:13pm

    @Admin Response

    Symbols are completely another use case, the reason we need at least "Pseudo Classes" styling is to help out how a page is styled. Especially important for us who are agencies who build sites for our clients. It seems like your Product team is too disconnected from your actual paying user's needs.

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