background

The background shorthand CSS property sets all background style properties at once, such as color, image, origin and size, or repeat method.

Constituent properties

This property is a shorthand for the following CSS properties:

Syntax

/* Using a <background-color> */
background: green;

/* Using a <bg-image> and <repeat-style> */
background: url("test.jpg") repeat-y;

/* Using a <box> and <background-color> */
background: border-box red;

/* A single image, centered and scaled */
background: no-repeat center/80% url("../img/image.png");

The background property is specified as one or more background layers, separated by commas.

The syntax of each layer is as follows:

Values

<attachment>
See background-attachment
<box>
See background-clip and background-origin
<background-color>
See background-color
<bg-image>
See background-image
<position>
See background-position
<repeat-style>
See background-repeat
<bg-size>
See background-size.

Accessibility concerns

Browsers do not provide any special information on background images to assistive technology. This is important primarily for screen readers, as a screen reader will not announce its presence and therefore convey nothing to its users. If the image contains information critical to understanding the page's overall purpose, it is better to describe it semantically in the document.

Formal definition

Initial valueas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedno
Percentagesas each of the properties of the shorthand:
  • background-position: refer to the size of the background positioning area minus size of background image; size refers to the width for horizontal offsets and to the height for vertical offsets
  • background-size: relative to the background positioning area
Computed valueas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Animation typeas each of the properties of the shorthand:

Formal syntax

[ <bg-layer> , ]* <final-bg-layer>

where
<bg-layer> = <bg-image> || <bg-position> [ / <bg-size> ]? || <repeat-style> || <attachment> || <box> || <box>
<final-bg-layer> = <'background-color'> || <bg-image> || <bg-position> [ / <bg-size> ]? || <repeat-style> || <attachment> || <box> || <box>

where
<bg-image> = none | <image>
<bg-position> = [ [ left | center | right | top | bottom | <length-percentage> ] | [ left | center | right | <length-percentage> ] [ top | center | bottom | <length-percentage> ] | [ center | [ left | right ] <length-percentage>? ] && [ center | [ top | bottom ] <length-percentage>? ] ]
<bg-size> = [ <length-percentage> | auto ]{1,2} | cover | contain
<repeat-style> = repeat-x | repeat-y | [ repeat | space | round | no-repeat ]{1,2}
<attachment> = scroll | fixed | local
<box> = border-box | padding-box | content-box

where
<image> = <url> | <image()> | <image-set()> | <element()> | <paint()> | <cross-fade()> | <gradient>
<length-percentage> = <length> | <percentage>

where
<image()> = image( <image-tags>? [ <image-src>? , <color>? ]! )
<image-set()> = image-set( <image-set-option># )
<element()> = element( <id-selector> )
<paint()> = paint( <ident>, <declaration-value>? )
<cross-fade()> = cross-fade( <cf-mixing-image> , <cf-final-image>? )
<gradient> = <linear-gradient()> | <repeating-linear-gradient()> | <radial-gradient()> | <repeating-radial-gradient()> | <conic-gradient()>

where
<image-tags> = ltr | rtl
<image-src> = <url> | <string>
<color> = <rgb()> | <rgba()> | <hsl()> | <hsla()> | <hex-color> | <named-color> | currentcolor | <deprecated-system-color>
<image-set-option> = [ <image> | <string> ] <resolution>
<id-selector> = <hash-token>
<cf-mixing-image> = <percentage>? && <image>
<cf-final-image> = <image> | <color>
<linear-gradient()> = linear-gradient( [ <angle> | to <side-or-corner> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<repeating-linear-gradient()> = repeating-linear-gradient( [ <angle> | to <side-or-corner> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<radial-gradient()> = radial-gradient( [ <ending-shape> || <size> ]? [ at <position> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<repeating-radial-gradient()> = repeating-radial-gradient( [ <ending-shape> || <size> ]? [ at <position> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<conic-gradient()> = conic-gradient( [ from <angle> ]? [ at <position> ]?, <angular-color-stop-list> )

where
<rgb()> = rgb( <percentage>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgb( <number>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgb( <percentage>#{3} , <alpha-value>? ) | rgb( <number>#{3} , <alpha-value>? )
<rgba()> = rgba( <percentage>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgba( <number>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgba( <percentage>#{3} , <alpha-value>? ) | rgba( <number>#{3} , <alpha-value>? )
<hsl()> = hsl( <hue> <percentage> <percentage> [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | hsl( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value>? )
<hsla()> = hsla( <hue> <percentage> <percentage> [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | hsla( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value>? )
<side-or-corner> = [ left | right ] || [ top | bottom ]
<color-stop-list> = [ <linear-color-stop> [, <linear-color-hint>]? ]# , <linear-color-stop>
<ending-shape> = circle | ellipse
<size> = closest-side | farthest-side | closest-corner | farthest-corner | <length> | <length-percentage>{2}
<position> = [ [ left | center | right ] || [ top | center | bottom ] | [ left | center | right | <length-percentage> ] [ top | center | bottom | <length-percentage> ]? | [ [ left | right ] <length-percentage> ] && [ [ top | bottom ] <length-percentage> ] ]
<angular-color-stop-list> = [ <angular-color-stop> [, <angular-color-hint>]? ]# , <angular-color-stop>

where
<alpha-value> = <number> | <percentage>
<hue> = <number> | <angle>
<linear-color-stop> = <color> <color-stop-length>?
<linear-color-hint> = <length-percentage>
<angular-color-stop> = <color> && <color-stop-angle>?
<angular-color-hint> = <angle-percentage>

where
<color-stop-length> = <length-percentage>{1,2}
<color-stop-angle> = <angle-percentage>{1,2}
<angle-percentage> = <angle> | <percentage>

Examples

Setting backgrounds with color keywords and images

HTML

<p class="topbanner">
  Starry sky<br/>
  Twinkle twinkle<br/>
  Starry sky
</p>
<p class="warning">Here is a paragraph<p>

CSS

.warning {
  background: pink;
}

.topbanner {
  background: url("https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/11983/starsolid.gif") #99f repeat-y fixed;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3
The definition of 'background' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation The shorthand property has been extended to support multiple backgrounds and the new background-size, background-origin and background-clip properties.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'background' in that specification.
Recommendation No significant changes
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'background' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also