Experimental: This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The element() CSS function defines an <image> value generated from an arbitrary HTML element. This image is live, meaning that if the HTML element is changed, the CSS properties using the resulting value are automatically updated.

A particularly useful scenario for using this would be to render an image in an HTML <canvas> element, then use that as a background.

On Gecko browsers, you can use the non-standard document.mozSetImageElement() method to change the element being used as the background for a given CSS background element.





The ID of an element to use as the background, specified using the HTML attribute #id on the element.


These examples work in builds of Firefox that support -moz-element().

A somewhat realistic example

This example uses a hidden <div> as a background. The background element uses a gradient, but also includes text that is rendered as part of the background.

<div style="width:400px; height:400px; background:-moz-element(#myBackground1) no-repeat;">
  <p>This box uses the element with the #myBackground1 ID as its background!</p>

<div style="overflow:hidden; height:0;">
  <div id="myBackground1" style="width:1024px; height:1024px; background-image: linear-gradient(to right, red, orange, yellow, white);">
  <p style="transform-origin:0 0; transform: rotate(45deg); color:white;">This text is part of the background. Cool, huh?</p>

The <div> element with the ID "myBackground1" is used as the background for the content including the paragraph "This box uses the element with the #myBackground1 ID as its background!".

Page Preview

This example based on Vincent De Oliveira's creates a preview of the <div id="css-source"> inside <div id="css-result">.


<div id="css-source">
    <h1>Page Preview</h1>
<div id="css-result">


#css-result {
    background: -moz-element(#css-source) no-repeat;
    width: 256px;
    height: 32px;
    background-size: 80%;
    border: dashed;



CSS Image Values and Replaced Content Module Level 4
# element-notation

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also