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The background CSS property is a shorthand for setting the individual background values in a single place in the style sheet. background can be used to set the values for one or more of: background-clip, background-color, background-image, background-origin, background-position, background-repeat, background-size, and background-attachment.

/* 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 CSS shorthand property assigns explicit given values and sets missing properties to their initial values.

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
Mediavisual
Computed valueas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Animation typeas each of the properties of the shorthand:
Canonical orderorder of appearance in the formal grammar of the values

Syntax

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.

Formal syntax

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

where
<bg-layer> = <bg-image> || <position> [ / <bg-size> ]? || <repeat-style> || <attachment> || <box>{1,2}
<final-bg-layer> = <bg-image> || <position> [ / <bg-size> ]? || <repeat-style> || <attachment> || <box> || <box> || <'background-color'>

where
<bg-image> = none | <image>
<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()> | <cross-fade()> | <gradient>
<length-percentage> = <length> | <percentage>

where
<image()> = image( [ [ <image> | <string> ]? , <color>? ]! )
<image-set()> = image-set( <image-set-option># )
<element()> = element( <id-selector> )
<cross-fade()> = cross-fade( <cf-mixing-image> , <cf-final-image>? )
<gradient> = <linear-gradient()> | <repeating-linear-gradient()> | <radial-gradient()> | <repeating-radial-gradient()>

where
<color> = <rgb()> | <rgba()> | <hsl()> | <hsla()> | <hex-color> | <named-color> | currentcolor | <deprecated-system-color>
<image-set-option> = [ <image> | <string> ] <resolution>
<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> )

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

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

Examples

HTML

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

CSS

.warning { 
  background: red; 
}

.topbanner { 
  background: url("https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/11983/starsolid.gif") #00D 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

FeatureChromeFirefoxEdgeInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic Support1.01.01243.51.0
Multiple backgrounds1.03.612910.51.3
SVG image as background31.09.0129.021.05.1
Values of background-size longhand21.09.0129.021.05.1
Values of background-origin longhand21.022.0129.021.05.1
Values of background-clip longhand21.022.0129.021.05.1
FeatureAndroidChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic Support2.1?(Yes)1.010.05.03.2
Multiple backgrounds2.1?(Yes)1.010.0?3.2
SVG image as background3.0?(Yes)4.010.0(Yes)4.2
Values of background-size longhand3.0?(Yes)18.010.0(Yes)4.0
Values of background-origin longhand3.0?(Yes)22.010.0(No)4.0
Values of background-clip longhand3.0?(Yes)22.010.0(No)4.0

See also