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The CSS Background-Position Property

Reading time 2 min
Published Sep 8, 2017
Updated Oct 1, 2019

Defining the CSS background position

The CSS background-position property is used to specify the initial position for the background image:

Example
body { 
    background-image: url('fruit-citrus.jpg');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-attachment: fixed;
    background-position: left; 
}

If you're using multiple background images, you can define a different position for each one.

The background position syntax

The syntax for the CSS background-position property is rather intuitive:

background-position: value;

Property values

Value Description Example
Keywords Vertical: top (100%) or bottom (0%)
Horizontal: left (0%), center (50%) or right (100%)
background-position: center;
Percentages The X% point of the image will be aligned with the X% point of the container background-position: 10% 15%;
Length units The image moves the specified distance background-position: 3cm 50px;

You can define up to four property values. Usually, two values are defined for horizontal and vertical CSS background image position:

Example
body { 
    background-image: url('fruit-citrus.jpg');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-attachment: fixed;
    background-position: 40% 30%; 
}

Declaring just one value for the CSS background-position property defines the horizontal offset, and the vertical offset is set to center by default.

You can also combine keywords with numeric values to define the background position in CSS. This way, you have to define four values (two keyword–number pairs) in total. If you skip a numerical value, it will be set to 0 by default:

Example
body { 
    background-image: url('fruit-citrus.jpg');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-attachment: fixed;
    background-position: left 60px top;
}

Browser support

Browser image
Chrome
1+
Browser image
Edge
12+
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Firefox
1+
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IE
4+
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Opera
3.5+
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Safari
1+

Mobile browser support

Browser image
Chrome
18+
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Firefox
4+
Browser image
Opera
All
Browser image
Safari
All