CSS Background

CSS background properties are used to define the background effects of an element.
CSS properties used for background effects:

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

 Background Color

The background-color property specifies the background color of an element.
The background color of a page is defined in the body selector:
Example

body {background-color:#b0c4de;}

With CSS, a color is most often specified by:

  • a HEX value – like “#ff0000”
  • an RGB value – like “rgb(255,0,0)”
  • a color name – like “red”

In the example below, the h1, p, and div elements have different background colors:
Example

h1 {background-color:#6495ed;}
p {background-color:#e0ffff;}
div {background-color:#b0c4de;}

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

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

Below is an example of a bad combination of text and background image. The text is almost not readable:
Example

body {background-image:url('bgdesert.jpg');}

 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('gradient2.png');
}

If the image is repeated only horizontally (repeat-x), the background will look better:
Example

body
{
background-image:url('gradient2.png');
background-repeat:repeat-x;
}

Background Image – Set position and no-repeat

Note: When using a background image, use an image that does not disturb the text.
Showing the image only once is specified by the background-repeat property:
Example

body
{
background-image:url('img_tree.png');
background-repeat:no-repeat;
}

In the example above, the background image is shown 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.
The position of the image is specified by the background-position property:
Example

body
{
background-image:url('img_tree.png');
background-repeat:no-repeat;
background-position:right top;
}

Background – Shorthand property

As you can see from the examples above, there are many properties to consider when dealing with backgrounds.
To shorten the code, it is also possible to specify all the properties in one single property. This is called a shorthand property.
The shorthand property for background is simply “background”:
Example

body {background:#ffffff url('img_tree.png') no-repeat right top;}

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 ones that are present 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-color Sets the background color of an element
background-image Sets the background image for an element
background-position Sets the starting position of a background image
background-repeat Sets how a background image will be repeated

 

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