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CSS Backgrounds


The CSS background properties are used to define the background effects for elements.

CSS background properties:

  • background-color
  • background-image
  • background-repeat
  • background-attachment
  • background-position

Background Color

The background-color property specifies the background color of an element.

Example

The background color of a page is set like this:

body {
  background-color: lightblue;
}
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With CSS, a color is most often specified by:

  • a valid color name - like "red"
  • a HEX value - like "#ff0000"
  • an RGB value - like "rgb(255,0,0)"

Look at CSS Color Values for a complete list of possible color values.

Example

Here, the <h1>, <p>, and <div> elements will have different background colors: 

h1 {
  background-color: green;
}

div {
  background-color: lightblue;
}

p {
  background-color: yellow;
}
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Background Image

The background-image property specifies an image to use as the background of an element.

By default, the image is repeated so it covers the entire element.

Example

The background image for a page can be set like this: 

body {
  background-image: url("paper.gif");
}
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Example

This example shows a bad combination of text and background image. The text is hardly readable: 

body {
  background-image: url("bgdesert.jpg");
}
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Note: When using a background image, use an image that does not disturb the text.


Background Image - Repeat Horizontally or Vertically

By default, the background-image property repeats an image both horizontally and vertically.

Some images should be repeated only horizontally or vertically, or they will look strange, like this:

Example

body {
  background-image: url("gradient_bg.png");
}
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If the image above is repeated only horizontally (background-repeat: repeat-x;), the background will look better:

Example

body {
  background-image: url("gradient_bg.png");
  background-repeat: repeat-x;
}
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Tip: To repeat an image vertically, set background-repeat: repeat-y;


Background Image - no-repeat

Showing the background image only once is also specified by the background-repeat property:

Example

Show the background image only once:

body {
  background-image: url("img_tree.png");
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
}
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In the example above, the background image is placed in the same place as the text. We want to change the position of the image, so that it does not disturb the text too much.


Background Image - Set position

The background-position property is used to specify the position of the background image.

Example

Position the background image in the top-right corner: 

body {
  background-image: url("img_tree.png");
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-position: right top;
}
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Background Image - Fixed or Scroll?

The background-attachment property specifies whether the background image should scroll or be fixed (will not scroll with the rest of the page):

Example

Specify that the background image should be fixed:

body {
  background-image: url("img_tree.png");
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-position: right top;
  background-attachment: fixed;
}
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Example

Specify that the background image should scroll with the rest of the page:

body {
  background-image: url("img_tree.png");
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-position: right top;
  background-attachment: scroll;
}
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Background - Shorthand property

To shorten the code, it is also possible to specify all the background properties in one single property. This is called a shorthand property.

The shorthand property for background is background.

Example

Use the shorthand property to set all the background properties in one declaration:

body {
  background: #ffffff url("img_tree.png") no-repeat right top;
}
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When using the shorthand property the order of the property values is:

  • background-color
  • background-image
  • background-repeat
  • background-attachment
  • background-position

It does not matter if one of the property values is missing, as long as the other ones are in this order.



All CSS Background Properties

Property Description
background Sets all the background properties in one declaration
background-attachment Sets whether a background image is fixed or scrolls with the rest of the page
background-clip Specifies the painting area of the background
background-color Sets the background color of an element
background-image Sets the background image for an element
background-origin Specifies where the background image(s) is/are positioned
background-position Sets the starting position of a background image
background-repeat Sets how a background image will be repeated
background-size Specifies the size of the background image(s)