Example of website with low text highlights on headings.

How to Add Low Text Highlights in Squarespace

By Elliot Olson

By Elliot Olson

Lead Web Designer + Digital Strategist

How to add low text highlights in squarespace | studio anansi | studio anansi

One of my fav additions are low highlights, aka lowlights.

Lowlights are a great way to draw attention to titles and text on your website.

Plus, you can use colors that tie into your overall site branding — so your site looks super sleek and cohesive.

(Psst…wondering how to pick the right colors for your website?

Check out the colors section in How to Create Easy & Elegant Website Brand Guidelines.)

How to Highlight Text in Squarespace

To add highlights to your website, you’ll add custom CSS style code to your Squarespace site.

You may be thinking…

Wait a minute. CSS whatnow?

If you’ve never encountered CSS before, never fear.

It’s pretty dang straightforward. Here’s an easy way to think about your Squarespace website’s two parts…

HTML is the content of the site — the text, images, links, etc.

CSS is the style of the site — the fonts, colors, and layout.

So basically, your CSS sets the style of your HTML content.

To add lowlights in Squarespace, you’ll add custom CSS to your site. Today, I’ll give you examples to add lowlights to a few different pieces of your content:

  • Titles
  • Words
  • Links

You can copy-and-paste these examples directly into your Squarespace site to get started.

But I also encourage you to play around with the options and get familiar with the styles! Even if you’re not a designer, it’s helpful to have some familiarity with your website style.

Think of your website like a house….

You definitely do not need to know how to build the whole house.

But if the lights go off, it’s helpful to know how to reset the circuit breaker.

Playing around with styles is a great way to get comfortable with CSS. Once you are comfortable editing CSS, you’ll have a ton more freedom to edit and style your site.

And with that, let’s dive into it!

Add a Highlight to Titles in Squarespace

Let’s start with a straightforward option — adding a lowlight behind all your H1 titles in Squarespace.

Add this code to your Custom CSS section:

h1 {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%);
}

If you were reading the CSS as a human, the instructions would say…

Make the title background white for the top fifty percent and blue for the bottom fifty percent.

Here’s the breakdown:

180deg = 180 degrees, aka making the lowlight horizontal

rgba(255,255,255,0) = the top color, in this case transparent

50% = for the first fifty percent of the area

#8ca5af = the bottom color, in this case blue

50% = for the bottom fifty percent of the area

Once you save that text in the Custom CSS section of your Squarespace site, you can see a lowlight appear behind all H1 titles.

But the lowlight is covering the entire width title area. It’s not limited to the width of the actual title text.

Bad example of text highlights in squarespace

I assume you don’t want a massive lowlight that spans the whole title area.

Just add display: inline to your CSS like so:

h1 {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%);
display: inline;
}

Now the lowlight will only span the width of the actual H1 title.

Fixed example of text highlights in squarespace

Add a Highlight to Specific Words in Squarespace

Let’s say you want to add a lowlight to just certain titles or words in Squarespace.

Instead of applying your new CSS to the entire H1 title, you can use it in specific instances.

In your CSS, replace H1 with a name like lowlight:

.lowlight {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%);
}

Now in Squarespace, add a code block and paste this text:

[raw]<h1>This is a <span class=”lowlight-blue”>title</span>.[/raw]

And presto! You have a lowlight behind just the word title.

Example of text highlight in squarespace

BONUS: PRO TIP

Rather than using a generic name like “lowlight,” I recommend using more specific names like “lowlight-blue.”

That way, you can add extra lowlight colors easily. For example, maybe you want a blue AND pink lowlight.

In your CSS you may have:

.lowlight-blue {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%);
}

.lowlight-pink {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #ffb6c1 50%);
}

And in your code block, you can write:

[raw]<h1>This is a <span class=”lowlight-blue”>title</span> with blue.[/raw]

[raw]<h1>This is a <span class=”lowlight-pink”>title</span> with pink.[/raw]

Voila!

Example of text highlights in squarespace

Add a Highlight to Links in Squarespace

Let’s say you want to use lowlights for all the links on your website. If you don’t want to have to worry about adding the span tags to every link, here’s an easy way to add lowlights to all links by default.

In CSS, links are denoted as a.

So you could take the H1 above and change H1 to a:

a {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%);
}

But in that case, Squarespace will add a lowlight to ALL the links on your site — including your logo and menu:

Bad example of link highlights in squarespace

If you don’t want the links to be highlighted, use this instead:

p a {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%);
}

By adding p, the formatting now applies to links (a) inside of paragraphs (p).

Fixed example of link highlights in squarespace

ANOTHER PRO TIP

If the CSS doesn’t seem to be adding a lowlight to your link, try adding !important to your code like so:

p a {
background: linear-gradient(180deg, rgba(255,255,255,0) 50%, #8cb8ba 50%) !important;
}

In general, it’s best to avoid using !important unless absolutely necessary. Use it as a last resort!

And now, it’s your turn!

Now that you have these examples, I encourage you to explore the style options.

For example, you can change the colors to match your website branding.

Check out How to Create Easy & Elegant Website Brand Guidelines for this 3-step process:

  1. Pick out key colors from images on your site
  2. Find the color codes
  3. Replace the highlight colors in the CSS examples

Maybe you pick out the orange of a hat, purple in a background, or muted gray in a main image from your site…

Wondering how to find the main colors from an image?

Or how to convert those colors to read-able website info?

START HERE: Check out the instructions for making easy website brand guidelines!

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