The style read-only property returns the inline style of an element in the form of a CSSStyleDeclaration object that contains a list of all styles properties for that element with values assigned for the attributes that are defined in the element's inline style attribute.

See the CSS Properties Reference for a list of the CSS properties accessible via style. The style property has the same (and highest) priority in the CSS cascade as an inline style declaration set via the style attribute.


style = CSSStyleDeclaration.style


A CSSStyleDeclaration object, with the following properties:

computed flag
parent CSS rule
owner node

Setting styles

While this property is considered read-only, it is possible to set an inline style by assigning a string directly to the style property. In this case the string is forwarded to CSSStyleDeclaration.cssText. Using style in this manner will completely overwrite all inline styles on the element.

Therefore, to add specific styles to an element without altering other style values, it is generally preferable to set individual properties on the CSSStyleDeclaration object. For example, element.style.backgroundColor = "red".

A style declaration is reset by setting it to null or an empty string, e.g., elt.style.color = null. Internet Explorer requires setting it to an empty string, and does not do anything when setting it to null.

Getting style information

The style property is not useful for completely learning about the styles applied on the element, since it represents only the CSS declarations set in the element's inline style attribute, not those that come from style rules elsewhere, such as style rules in the <head> section, or external style sheets. To get the values of all CSS properties for an element you should use Window.getComputedStyle() instead.

The following code snippet demonstrates the difference between the values obtained using the element's style property and that obtained using the getComputedStyle() method:

  <body style="font-weight:bold;">
    <div style="color:red" id="myElement">..</div>
var element = document.getElementById("myElement");
var out = "";
var elementStyle = element.style;
var computedStyle = window.getComputedStyle(element, null);

for (prop in elementStyle) {
  if (elementStyle.hasOwnProperty(prop)) {
    out += "  " + prop + " = '" + elementStyle[prop] + "' > '" + computedStyle[prop] + "'\n";

The output would be something like:

fontWeight = '' > 'bold'
color = 'red' > 'rgb(255, 0, 0)'

Note the presence of the value bold for font-weight in the computed style and the absence of it in the element's style property


Specification Status Comment
CSS Object Model (CSSOM)
The definition of 'the ElementCSSInlineStyle.style property' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also