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background Attribute | background Property

Sets or retrieves up to five separate background properties of the object .


HTML Scripting
{ background : sBackground }
object . style.background [ = sBackground ]

Possible Values

sBackground String that specifies or receives up to five of the following space-delimited values, in any order:
color Any of the range of color values available to the backgroundColor property.
image Any of the range of image values available to the backgroundImage property.
repeat Any of the range of repeat values available to the backgroundRepeat property.
attachment Any of the range of attachment values available to the backgroundAttachment property.
position Any of the range of position values available to the backgroundPosition property.

The property is read/write. The property has a default value of transparent none repeat scroll 0% 0% . The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) attribute is not inherited.

Expressions can be used in place of the preceding value(s), as of Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5. For more information, see About Dynamic Properties .


The background property is a composite property. Separate properties can be used to specify each property, but in many cases it is more convenient to set them in one place using this composite property.

Individual background properties not set by the composite background property are set to their default values. For example, the default value for image is none . Setting background : white is equivalent to setting background : white none repeat scroll 0% 0% . So, in addition to setting the background color to white, setting background : white clears any image , repeat , attachment , or position values previously set.

The background properties render in the object's content and padding; however, borders are set using the border properties.

In Microsoft® Internet Explorer 3.0, elements that expose the background property only support the color and image values; the attachment value is only supported by the body , table , and td elements. In block elements, such as p and div , background images and colors appear only behind text in Internet Explorer 3.0; in Internet Explorer 4.0 and later, backgrounds stretch from margin to margin when used with block elements.

Although objects do not inherit the background property, the background image or color of an object's parent appears behind an object if a background is not specified.

For more information about supported colors, see the Color Table .


The following examples use the background property and the background attribute to set the background values.

This example uses inline event handlers to modify the background-color and background-position attributes of an image. These attributes are specified in an embedded style sheet using the background attribute.

.style1{ background :beige url(sphere.jpg) no-repeat top center}
.style2{ background :ivory url(sphere.jpeg) no-repeat bottom right}
<SPAN onmouseover="this.className='style1'" onmouseout="this.className='style2'"> . . . </SPAN>

This example uses inline scripting to modify the backgroundColor and backgroundPosition properties of an image.

<SPAN onclick="this.style. background ='beige url(sphere.jpeg) no-repeat top center'"> . . . </SPAN>

Standards Information

This property is defined in World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 and is defined in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Level 1 (CSS1) .

Applies To

[ Object Name ] Platform Version
Windows CE:
A , ADDRESS , B , BIG , BLOCKQUOTE , BODY , BUTTON , CAPTION , CENTER , CITE , CODE , COL , COLGROUP , CUSTOM , DD , defaults , DFN , DIR , DIV , DL , DT , EM , FIELDSET , FORM , hn , HTML , I , IMG , INPUT type=button , INPUT type=checkbox , INPUT type=file , INPUT type=image , INPUT type=password , INPUT type=radio , INPUT type=reset , INPUT type=submit , INPUT type=text , ISINDEX , KBD , LABEL , LEGEND , LI , LISTING , MARQUEE , MENU , NOBR , OL , P , PLAINTEXT , PRE , runtimeStyle , S , SAMP , SMALL , SPAN , STRIKE , STRONG , style , SUB , SUP , TABLE , TBODY , TD , TEXTAREA , TFOOT , TH , THEAD , TR , TT , U , UL , VAR , XMP
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