The image-rendering CSS property sets an image scaling algorithm. The property applies to an element itself, to any images set in its other properties, and to its descendants.

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The user agent will scale an image when the page author specifies dimensions other than its natural size. Scaling may also occur due to user interaction (zooming). For example, if the natural size of an image is 100×100px, but its actual dimensions are 200×200px (or 50×50px), then the image will be upscaled (or downscaled) using the algorithm specified by image-rendering. This property has no effect on non-scaled images.


/* Keyword values */
image-rendering: auto;
image-rendering: crisp-edges;
image-rendering: pixelated;

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



The scaling algorithm is UA dependent. Since version 1.9 (Firefox 3.0), Gecko uses bilinear resampling (high quality).


The image should be scaled with an algorithm that maximizes the appearance of the image. In particular, scaling algorithms that "smooth" colors are acceptable, such as bilinear interpolation. This is intended for images such as photos.


Identical to smooth, but with a preference for higher-quality scaling. If system resources are constrained, images with high-quality should be prioritized over those with any other value, when considering which images to degrade the quality of and to what degree.


The image is scaled with an algorithm such as "nearest neighbor" that preserves contrast and edges in the image. Generally intended for images such as pixel art or line drawings, no blurring or color smoothing occurs.


The image is scaled with the "nearest neighbor" or similar algorithm to the nearest integer multiple of the original image size, then uses smooth interpolation to bring the image to the final desired size. This is intended to preserve a "pixelated" look without introducing scaling artifacts when the upscaled resolution isn't an integer multiple of the original.

Note: The values optimizeQuality and optimizeSpeed present in an early draft (and coming from its SVG counterpart image-rendering) are defined as synonyms for the smooth and pixelated values respectively.

Formal definition

Initial valueauto
Applies toall elements
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

image-rendering = 
auto |
smooth |
high-quality |
pixelated |


Setting image scaling algorithms

In this example, an image is repeated three times, with each having a different image-rendering value applied.


.auto {
  image-rendering: auto;

.pixelated {
  image-rendering: pixelated;

.crisp-edges {
  image-rendering: crisp-edges;



CSS Images Module Level 3
# the-image-rendering

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also