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Summary

The color property sets the foreground color of an element's text content, and its decorations. It doesn't affect any other characteristic of the element; it should really be called text-color and would have been named so, save for historical reasons and its appearance in CSS Level 1.

Note that the color value must be a uniform color, which may include a transparency value from CSS3 onwards. It can't be a <gradient> which is an <image> in CSS.

Initial valueVaries from one browser to another
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedyes
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).
Animatableyes, as a color
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

/* A CSS Level 1 color */
color: red;

/* The only color added in CSS Level 2 (Revision 1) */
color: orange;

/* CSS Level 3 color, sometimes called a SVG or X11 color */
color: antiquewhite;

/* The color 'lime' with the 3-character dash notation */
color: #0f0;

/* The color 'lime' with the 6-character dash notation */
color: #00ff00;

/* A color using the available functional notations */
color: rgba( 34, 12, 64, 0.3);

/* Use the color of this element's direct ancestor */
color: currentcolor;

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

Values

<color>
Is a <color> value giving the color of the textual elements of the element.

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> = <ident>
<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

The following are all ways to make the element's text red:

element { color: red; }
element { color: #f00; }
element { color: #ff0000; }
element { color: rgb(255,0,0); }
element { color: rgb(100%, 0%, 0%); }
element { color: hsl(0, 100%, 50%); }

/* 50% translucent */
element { color: rgba(255, 0, 0, 0.5); } 
element { color: hsla(0, 100%, 50%, 0.5); }

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Transitions
The definition of 'color' in that specification.
Working Draft Defines color as animatable.
CSS Color Module Level 3
The definition of 'color' in that specification.
Recommendation Deprecated system-colors; added SVG colors; added rgba(), hsl(), hsla() functional notation.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'color' in that specification.
Recommendation Added the orange color and the system-colors.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'color' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 3.0 3.5 1.0
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1) 6.0 6.0 1.0

See also