CanvasRenderingContext2D: globalCompositeOperation property

The CanvasRenderingContext2D.globalCompositeOperation property of the Canvas 2D API sets the type of compositing operation to apply when drawing new shapes.

See also Compositing and clipping in the Canvas Tutorial.


A string identifying which of the compositing or blending mode operations to use.



Changing the composite operation

This example uses the globalCompositeOperation property to draw two rectangles that exclude themselves where they overlap.


<canvas id="canvas"></canvas>


const canvas = document.getElementById("canvas");
const ctx = canvas.getContext("2d");

ctx.globalCompositeOperation = "xor";

ctx.fillStyle = "blue";
ctx.fillRect(10, 10, 100, 100);

ctx.fillStyle = "red";
ctx.fillRect(50, 50, 100, 100);



HTML Standard
# dom-context-2d-globalcompositeoperation-dev

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

  • In WebKit- and Blink-based Browsers, a non-standard and deprecated method ctx.setCompositeOperation() is implemented besides this property.
  • Support for "plus-darker" and "darker" were removed in Chrome 48. Developers looking for a replacement should use "darken".

Gecko-specific notes

  • An early Canvas specification draft specified the value "darker". However, Firefox removed support for "darker" in version 4 (Firefox bug 571532). See also this blog post that suggests using "difference" as a way to achieve a similar affect to "darker".

See also