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The CSS Background Property

Reading time 2 min
Published Aug 8, 2017
Updated Oct 15, 2019

The CSS background property explained

By using the CSS background property, you can modify the background of any element:

Example
body {
    background: lightblue url("pom-laptop.png") repeat fixed right;
}

It is actually a CSS background shorthand for eight separate subproperties:

Syntax for the CSS background property

As we are using the CSS background shorthand here, you don't need to list the names of subproperties – only the values themselves:

background: image position / size repeat attachment origin clip color;

You do not need to define all the values. However, position and size do need to come in a pair, separated by a slash. It is also recommended to follow the order displayed in the syntax example.

You can see all the values for the CSS background property defined in the table below.

Property Values

Value Description Default
image Specifies an image for the CSS background none
position Specifies the position for the CSS background image 0% 0%
size Specifies the size for the CSS background image auto auto
repeat Makes the CSS background repeat or not repeat across the page repeat
attachment Specifies if the CSS background image will be fixed or scrollable scroll
origin Specifies the positioning area for the CSS background image padding-box
clip Specifies the painting area for the CSS background image border-box
color Specifies the color of the CSS background transparent

Browser support

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

Mobile browser support

Browser image
Chrome
18+
Browser image
Firefox
4+
Browser image
Opera
10.1+
Browser image
Safari
1+