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CSS-only directionally aware hover

CSS-only directionally aware hover

Using :hover and the sibling selector (~), we can apply different styles to elements based on their position. Removing the visibility transition gets rid of the previous element's ghost for a cleaner slide-in with no slide-out. Layout and images are auto-generated with Pug. Refresh for something different,

A simplified pen if you have trouble understanding how it works.

A Pen by Giana on CodePen.


- var lipsum = ['Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.', 'Autem possimus perspiciatis, eaque quos repudiandae modi labore sed repellat dolorum magnam praesentium expedita esse tempore saepe nulla.','Quam molestiae ipsa sapiente mollitia, nobis.', 'Facere illo pariatur necessitatibus fugit quo impedit, quae, corporis placeat recusandae dolor ipsa nobis!', 'Doloremque quisquam molestias, est laudantium vero aliquid dolorum inventore atque sint perferendis qui dolor voluptas consequuntur non.' , 'Veritatis eos similique eveniet tempora.', 'Voluptates impedit dolore eum nisi quas, velit, iste aut labore recusandae temporibus provident distinctio molestias culpa iusto!', 'Ipsam incidunt assumenda hic veritatis odio mollitia, tempora, aut quo nam quisquam officia consequatur aspernatur.'];
h1 Hover around the boxes below
- var rows = 4;
while rows--
- var cols = Math.floor(Math.random() * 6 + 1);
while cols--
- var photo = Math.floor(Math.random() * 300);
.photo-container(style="background-image:url(" + photo + ");")
h2 Image #{photo}
p #{lipsum[cols]}
/* The magic */
.col {
// Prepare for absolute slide
overflow: hidden;
position: relative;
.slide {
// Position inside column
position: absolute;
top: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0; left: 0;
Visibility delay gives the previously hovered element time to slide out before disappearing.
Remove the `visibility` transition to slide in current element without sliding out previous element
$speed: 0.275s;
transition: all $speed ease-in-out, visibility 0s $speed;
visibility: hidden;
will-change: transform;
// Slides start below their columns, giving upward motion on hover
transform: translateY(100%);
.row:hover {
// Next row, slides are above their columns, giving downward motion on hover
& ~ .row .slide { transform: translateY(-100%); }
// Current row, slides to the right of their columns, giving left motion on hover
.slide { transform: translateX(100%); }
// Current row, next slides, slides to the left of their columns, giving right motion on hover
& .col:hover ~ .col .slide { transform: translateX(-100%); }
// Current slide
.col:hover .slide {
transform: none;
visibility: visible;
transition-delay: 0s;
/* Pen styling */
// This a mess, ignore
* { box-sizing: border-box; }
body {
background: #fefefe;
color: #333;
font: 14px /1.5 "Fira Sans", sans-serif;
h1 {
font-size: 2.5rem;
font-weight: 300;
margin: 1.5em 0.5rem 1em;
text-align: center;
.container {
margin: 0 auto;
padding: 2rem;
max-width: 1200px;
.row {
display: flex;
.col {
color: #fff;
flex: 1 1 auto;
min-height: 260px;
position: relative;
h2 {
font-weight: 300;
font-size: (14 * 1.33333) / 14 * 1rem;
line-height: 1.25;
margin: 0;
position: absolute;
bottom: 1.5rem; right: 1.5rem;
z-index: 0;
// Some size difference for variety
.col:nth-child(2) { min-width: 20%; }
.col:nth-child(4) { min-width: 33%; }
.col:nth-child(3) + .col:nth-child(3) { min-width: 50%; }
// Photo is in its own container, so we can zoom it
.photo-container {
background: #0f0523 50% 50% / cover;
position: absolute;
top: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0; left: 0;
transition: 1s;
transform-origin: bottom right;
&::before {
background: linear-gradient(transparent, rgba(#431133, 0.5), #000320);
content: '';
position: absolute;
top: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0; left: 0;
.col:hover & {
transform: scale(1.25);
// Basic slide styles
.slide {
background: rgba(#190115, 0.8);
padding: 0 1.5rem;
<link href="" rel="stylesheet" />
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