The background shorthand CSS property sets all background style properties at once, such as color, image, origin and size, or repeat method. Component properties not set in the background shorthand property value declaration are set to their default values.

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Constituent properties


/* 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");

/* Global values */
background: inherit;
background: initial;
background: revert;
background: revert-layer;
background: unset;

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

The syntax of each layer is as follows:

  • Each layer may include zero or one occurrences of any of the following values:
    • <attachment>
    • <bg-image>
    • <position>
    • <bg-size>
    • <repeat-style>
  • The <bg-size> value may only be included immediately after <position>, separated with the '/' character, like this: "center/80%".
  • The <box> value may be included zero, one, or two times. If included once, it sets both background-origin and background-clip. If it is included twice, the first occurrence sets background-origin, and the second sets background-clip.
  • The <background-color> value may only be included in the last layer specified.



See background-attachment. Default: scroll.


See background-clip and background-origin. Default: border-box and padding-box respectively.


See background-color. Default: transparent.


See background-image. Default: none.


See background-position. Default: 0% 0%.


See background-repeat. Default: repeat.


See background-size. Default: auto.

The following three lines of CSS are equivalent:

background: none;
background: transparent;
background: repeat scroll 0% 0% / auto padding-box border-box none transparent;

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.
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

background = 
<bg-layer>#? , <final-bg-layer>

<bg-layer> =
<bg-image> ||
<bg-position> [ / <bg-size> ]? ||
<repeat-style> ||
<attachment> ||
<visual-box> ||

<final-bg-layer> =
<bg-image> ||
<bg-position> [ / <bg-size> ]? ||
<repeat-style> ||
<attachment> ||
<visual-box> ||
<visual-box> ||

<bg-image> =
<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 [0,∞]> | auto ]{1,2} |
cover |

<repeat-style> =
repeat-x |
repeat-y |
[ repeat | space | round | no-repeat ]{1,2}

<attachment> =
scroll |
fixed |

<visual-box> =
content-box |
padding-box |

<background-color> =

<image> =
<url> |

<length-percentage> =
<length> |

<url> =
<url()> |

<url()> =
url( <string> <url-modifier>* ) |

<src()> =
src( <string> <url-modifier>* )


Setting backgrounds with color keywords and images


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


.warning {
  background: pink;

.topbanner {
  background: url("starsolid.gif") #99f repeat-y fixed;



CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3
# the-background

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also