Transcriptional enhancers are short segments of genomic DNA (50 bp to 1 kb in length) that can work over long distances (≥1 Mb) to regulate gene expression in specific cells and tissues. Genomic assays have identified on the order of 400,000 to one million putative enhancers in the human genome (e.g., ENCODE Consortium). This suggests that a typical gene is regulated by tens of enhancers, ensuring stringent regulation of gene expression in response to a variety of intrinsic and external signals. Despite the discovery of the first transcriptional enhancer more than 30 years ago, we know surprisingly little about how enhancers regulate gene expression. In particular, the relationship between primary DNA sequence and enhancer specificity remains obscure. Here we summarize recent high-throughput studies in whole embryos aimed at the systematic identification of the sequence and organizational constraints underlying enhancer function and specificity.