Summary

The background-color CSS property sets the background color of an element, either through a color value or the keyword transparent.

Initial valuetransparent
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valueIf the value is translucent, the computed value will be the rgba() corresponding one. If it isn't, it will be the rgb() corresponding one. The transparent keyword maps to rgba(0,0,0,0).
Animation typea color
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
background-color: red;

/* Hexadecimal value */
background-color: #bbff00;
background-color: #bbff0077;

/* RGB value */
background-color: rgb(255, 255, 128);

/* HSLA value */
background-color: hsla(50, 33%, 25%, 0.75);

/* Special keyword values */
background-color: currentColor;
background-color: transparent;

/* Global values */
background-color: inherit;
background-color: initial;
background-color: unset;

Values

<color>
Is a CSS <color> that describes the uniform color of the background. Even if one or several background-image are defined, this color can be affect the rendering, by transparency if the images aren't opaque. In CSS, transparent is a color.

Formal syntax

<color>

where
<color> = <rgb()> | <rgba()> | <hsl()> | <hsla()> | <hex-color> | <named-color> | currentcolor | <deprecated-system-color>

where
<rgb()> = rgb( <rgb-component>#{3} )
<rgba()> = rgba( <rgb-component>#{3} , <alpha-value> )
<hsl()> = hsl( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage> )
<hsla()> = hsla( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value> )
<named-color> = transparent | aliceblue | antiquewhite | aqua | aquamarine | azure | beige | bisque | black | blanchedalmond | blue | blueviolet | brown | burlywood | cadetblue | chartreuse | chocolate | coral | cornflowerblue | cornsilk | crimson | cyan | darkblue | darkcyan | darkgoldenrod | darkgray | darkgreen | darkgrey | darkkhaki | darkmagenta | darkolivegreen | darkorange | darkorchid | darkred | darksalmon | darkseagreen | darkslateblue | darkslategray | darkslategrey | darkturquoise | darkviolet | deeppink | deepskyblue | dimgray | dimgrey | dodgerblue | firebrick | floralwhite | forestgreen | fuchsia | gainsboro | ghostwhite | gold | goldenrod | gray | green | greenyellow | grey | honeydew | hotpink | indianred | indigo | ivory | khaki | lavender | lavenderblush | lawngreen | lemonchiffon | lightblue | lightcoral | lightcyan | lightgoldenrodyellow | lightgray | lightgreen | lightgrey | lightpink | lightsalmon | lightseagreen | lightskyblue | lightslategray | lightslategrey | lightsteelblue | lightyellow | lime | limegreen | linen | magenta | maroon | mediumaquamarine | mediumblue | mediumorchid | mediumpurple | mediumseagreen | mediumslateblue | mediumspringgreen | mediumturquoise | mediumvioletred | midnightblue | mintcream | mistyrose | moccasin | navajowhite | navy | oldlace | olive | olivedrab | orange | orangered | orchid | palegoldenrod | palegreen | paleturquoise | palevioletred | papayawhip | peachpuff | peru | pink | plum | powderblue | purple | rebeccapurple | red | rosybrown | royalblue | saddlebrown | salmon | sandybrown | seagreen | seashell | sienna | silver | skyblue | slateblue | slategray | slategrey | snow | springgreen | steelblue | tan | teal | thistle | tomato | turquoise | violet | wheat | white | whitesmoke | yellow | yellowgreen
<deprecated-system-color> = ActiveBorder | ActiveCaption | AppWorkspace | Background | ButtonFace | ButtonHighlight | ButtonShadow | ButtonText | CaptionText | GrayText | Highlight | HighlightText | InactiveBorder | InactiveCaption | InactiveCaptionText | InfoBackground | InfoText | Menu | MenuText | Scrollbar | ThreeDDarkShadow | ThreeDFace | ThreeDHighlight | ThreeDLightShadow | ThreeDShadow | Window | WindowFrame | WindowText

where
<rgb-component> = <integer> | <percentage>
<alpha-value> = <number>
<hue> = <number>

Examples

HTML

<div class="exampleone">
 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer
</div>

<div class="exampletwo">
  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer
</div>

<div class="examplethree">
  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer
</div>

CSS

.exampleone {
  background-color: teal;
  color: white;
}

.exampletwo {
  background-color: rgb(153,102,153);
  color: rgb(255,255,204);
}

.examplethree {
  background-color: #777799;
  color: #FFFFFF;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3
The definition of 'background-color' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Though technically removing the transparent keyword, this doesn't change anything as it has been incorporated as a true <color>
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'background-color' in that specification.
Recommendation No change
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'background-color' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari Servo
Basic Support1.0121.04.013.51.0?
Alpha channel for hex value52.0No supportNo supportNo supportNo supportNo supportNo support
Feature Android Chrome for Android Edge Mobile Firefox for Android IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic Support(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)1.0(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)
Alpha channel for hex value52.052.0No supportNo supportNo supportNo supportNo support

1. In Internet Explorer 8 and 9, there is a bug where a computed background-color of transparent causes click events to not get fired on overlaid elements.

See also