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CSS Outline


CSS Outline Properties

An outline is a line drawn around an element - outside the border. This can be used to make an element "stand out".

The CSS outline properties specify the style, color, and width of an outline.

This element has a thin black border and a double outline that is 10px wide and green.


CSS Outline

An outline is a line that is drawn around elements (outside the borders) to make the element "stand out".

However, the outline property is different from the border property - The outline is NOT a part of an element's dimensions; the element's total width and height is not affected by the width of the outline.


Outline Style

The outline-style property specifies the style of the outline.

The outline-style property can have one of the following values:

  • dotted - Defines a dotted outline
  • dashed - Defines a dashed outline
  • solid - Defines a solid outline
  • double - Defines a double outline
  • groove - Defines a 3D grooved outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value
  • ridge - Defines a 3D ridged outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value
  • inset - Defines a 3D inset outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value
  • outset - Defines a 3D outset outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value
  • none - Defines no outline
  • hidden - Defines a hidden outline

The following example first sets a thin black border around each <p> element, then it shows the different outline-style values:

Example

p {
    border: 1px solid black;
    outline-color: red;
}

p.dotted {outline-style: dotted;}
p.dashed {outline-style: dashed;}
p.solid {outline-style: solid;}
p.double {outline-style: double;}
p.groove {outline-style: groove;}
p.ridge {outline-style: ridge;}
p.inset {outline-style: inset;}
p.outset {outline-style: outset;}

Result:

A dotted outline.

A dashed outline.

A solid outline.

A double outline.

A groove outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value.

A ridge outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value.

An inset outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value.

An outset outline. The effect depends on the outline-color value.

Try it Yourself »
Note Note: None of the OTHER CSS outline properties described below will have ANY effect unless the outline-style property is set!

Outline Color

The outline-color property is used to set the color of the outline.

The color can be set by:

  • name - specify a color name, like "red"
  • RGB - specify a RGB value, like "rgb(255,0,0)"
  • Hex - specify a hex value, like "#ff0000"
  • invert - performs a color inversion (which ensures that the outline is visible, regardless of color background)

Example

p {
    border: 1px solid black;
    outline-style: double;
    outline-color: red;
}

Result:

A colored outline.

Try it Yourself »

Outline Width

The outline-width property specifies the width of the outline.

The width can be set as a specific size (in px, pt, cm, em, etc) or by using one of the three pre-defined values: thin, medium, or thick.

Example

p {border: 1px solid black;}

p.one {
    outline-style: double;
    outline-color: red;
    outline-width: thick;
}

p.two {
    outline-style: double;
    outline-color: green;
    outline-width: 3px;
}

Result:

A thick outline.

A thinner outline.

Try it Yourself »

Outline - Shorthand property

To shorten the code, it is also possible to specify all the individual outline properties in one property.

The outline property is a shorthand property for the following individual outline properties:

  • outline-width
  • outline-style (required)
  • outline-color

Example

p {
    border: 1px solid black;
    outline: 5px dotted red;
}

Result:

An outline.

Try it Yourself »

Test Yourself with Exercises!

Exercise 1 »  Exercise 2 »  Exercise 3 »


All CSS Outline Properties

Property Description
outline Sets all the outline properties in one declaration
outline-color Sets the color of an outline
outline-offset Specifies the space between an outline and the edge or border of an element
outline-style Sets the style of an outline
outline-width Sets the width of an outline