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The text-shadow CSS property adds shadows to text. It accepts a comma-separated list of shadows to be applied to the text and text-decorations of the element. Each shadow is described by some combination of X and Y offsets from the element, blur radius, and color.

/* offset-x | offset-y | blur-radius | color */
text-shadow: 1px 1px 2px black; 

/* color | offset-x | offset-y | blur-radius */
text-shadow: #FC0 1px 0 10px; 

/* offset-x | offset-y | color */
text-shadow: 5px 5px #558ABB;

/* color | offset-x | offset-y */
text-shadow: white 2px 5px;

/* offset-x | offset-y
/* Use defaults for color and blur-radius */
text-shadow: 5px 10px;

/* Global values */
text-shadow: inherit;
text-shadow: initial;
text-shadow: unset;

Initial valuenone
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Computed valuea color plus three absolute lengths
Animation typea shadow list
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


This property is specified as a comma-separated list of shadows.

Each shadow is specified as two or three <length> values, followed optionally by a <color> value. The first two <length> values are the <offset-x> and <offset-y> values. The third, optional, <length> value is the <blur-radius>. The<color> value is the shadow's color.

When more than one shadow is given, shadows are applied front-to-back, with the first-specified shadow on top.

This property applies to both ::first-line and ::first-letter pseudo-elements.


Optional. The color of the shadow. It can be specified either before or after the offset values. If unspecified, the color's value is left up to the user agent, so when consistency across browsers is desired you should define it explicitly.
<offset-x> <offset-y>
Required. These <length> values specify the shadow's distance from the text. <offset-x> specifies the horizontal distance; a negative value places the shadow to the left of the text. <offset-y> specifies the vertical distance; a negative value places the shadow above the text. If both values are 0, the shadow is placed directly behind the text, although it may be partly visible due to the effect of <blur-radius>.
Optional. This is a <length> value. The higher the value, the bigger the blur; the shadow becomes wider and lighter. If not specified, it defaults to 0.

Formal syntax

none | <shadow-t>#

<shadow-t> = [ <length>{2,3} && <color>? ]

<color> = <rgb()> | <rgba()> | <hsl()> | <hsla()> | <hex-color> | <named-color> | currentcolor | <deprecated-system-color>

<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>? ] )

<alpha-value> = <number> | <percentage>
<hue> = <number> | <angle>


Simple shadow

.red-text-shadow {
  text-shadow: red 0 -2px;
<p class="red-text-shadow">Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste
    natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium,
    totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore.</p>

Multiple shadows

.white-text-with-blue-shadow {
  text-shadow: 1px 1px 2px black, 0 0 1em blue, 0 0 0.2em blue;
  color: white;
  font: 1.5em Georgia, serif;
<p class="white-text-with-blue-shadow">Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste
    natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium,
    totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore.</p>


Specification Status Comment
CSS Transitions
The definition of 'text-shadow' in that specification.
Working Draft Specifies text-shadow as animatable.
CSS Text Decoration Module Level 3
The definition of 'text-shadow' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation The CSS property text-shadow was improperly defined in CSS2 and dropped in CSS2 (Level 1). The CSS Text Module Level 3 spec refined the syntax. Later it was moved to CSS Text Decoration Module Level 3.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 2.0 (Yes) 3.5 (1.9.1)[1] 10[3] 9.5[2] 1.1 (100)[4]
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) ? ? ? ?

[1] Gecko theoretically supports infinite text-shadows (don't try it). Gecko 2 (Firefox 4 / Thunderbird 3.3 / SeaMonkey 2.1) and later cap the blur radius at 300 for performance reasons. If the <color> value is unspecified, then Gecko uses the value of the element's color property.

[2] Opera supports a maximum of 6-9 text-shadows for performance reasons. The blur radius is limited to 100px. Opera 9.5 to 10.1 adheres to the old, reverse painting order (in CSS2, the first specified shadow is on the bottom).

[3] Internet Explorer 5.5 supports Microsoft's Shadow and DropShadow Filter.

[4] In Safari, any shadows that do not explicitly specify a color are transparent. Safari 1.1 to 3.2 only supports one text-shadow (displays the first shadow of a comma-separated list and ignores the rest). Safari 4.0 (WebKit 528) and later support multiple text-shadows. Konqueror supports text-shadow starting with version 3.4.

Quantum CSS notes

  • Gecko has a bug whereby transitions will not work when transitioning from a text-shadow with a color specified to a text-shadow without a color specified  (bug 726550). This has been fixed in Firefox's new parallel CSS engine (also known as Quantum CSS or Stylo, planned for release in Firefox 57).

See also